Ightham Mote is a romantic moated and half-timbered manor house, dating in part from the fourteenth century. It was rescued by a consortium of local people, who kept it watertight for two years, until it was bought in 1953 by an American stationery millionaire, Charles Henry Robinson (1892–1985), who bequeathed the house to the National Trust in 1985. Particular highlights are the 1330s Great Hall and New Chapel with panels of Henry VIII’s regal emblems painted in situ in the 1520s. One of the more interesting pictures is the Tudor portrait of ‘Dorothy Bonham (1572–1641), Dame Dorothy Selby’, standing in a colourful dress with slashed sleeves adorned with cruciform ribbons, holding a fan. She was the wife of Sir William Selby II (c.1556–1638), nephew of Sir William Selby I (d.1611/1612), who acquired Ightham in 1591/1592. There is also Anton von Maron’s rare portrait of an Englishman, ‘Thomas Charles Bigge (1733–1794)’, painted in 1765 during Bigge’s Grand Tour, and which was bought by the National Trust in 2006. The portrait of his wife, Jemina Ord, by Angelica Kauffman, was unfortunately sold at the same time.
National Trust, Ightham Mote
Mote Road, Ivy Hatch, Sevenoaks, Kent TN15 0NT England
Please remember to double-check the opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit