The history of Chiddingstone Castle can be traced back to the early 1500s, and during its life, the castle has undergone a number of architectural changes and has been owned and lived in by an eclectic mix of people and families.
The early timber-framed Tudor dwelling, inhabited by the Streatfeild family, was first replaced and partly transformed into High Street House in the 1670s. The building went through another transformation during the early 1800s when the then owner, Henry Streatfeild, decided to rebuild the house to resemble a medieval castle and commissioned William Atkinson to design the changes.
Characteristic of the Castle’s history, Atkinson’s plans were never completed, due to lack of funds, and the castle’s transformation was partially finished according to Henry Kendall’s design during the 1830s.
The Streatfeilds did not occupy the castle after 1900 and finally sold it to Lord Astor in 1938. The castle served as a base for military forces during the Second World War, and then as a home for the Long Dene school until 1954 when the school was closed.
An exhibition on the history of Chiddingstone Castle explores the different aspects of the castle’s eventful past. Topics covered in the exhibition include the architectural changes of the castle and its surroundings, life at the castle and the use of the castle for educational purposes by the Long Dene School.
We aim to expand the exhibition in the future and welcome any memories or information, related to the castle, that any visitors may have.