Sunday 6 April 2014

Ightham Mote

Ightham Mote in Kent (pronounced Item) is 700 years old and has the only Grade I listed dog kennel in existence, which was built for a St Bernard called Dido. If that alone isn't worth the annual National Trust subscription fee then I don't know what is. 

Ightham is a little treasure of a place. You can't really tell from the photo below - am I actually the worst photographer in Britain? Am I? Actually I'm safe, it's my mother - but the house is surrounded by a moat:

Ightham Mote

This picture is marginally better:

Ightham Mote

Anyway, no-one is exactly sure who built Ightham, but the materials used in the the tower and the Great Hall date back to the 1300s. It's been extended and chopped and changed over the years but it has somehow retained a sense of wholeness. Like many other properties, you walk from a medieval Great Hall through to a chapel consecrated in 1633 through to bedrooms refurbished in the 20th century but somehow it feels right at Ightham. Maybe it's because it's on an island. 

Disappointingly, Dido the St Bernard didn't get much publicity. There was no-one leaping about in a big dog costume and no plaque explaining her life and times. Where did she come from? Did she have one of those little barrels of brandy round her neck? Sadly, I'll never know. This is the half-timbered dog kennel that was built for her in 1891 - somebody obviously loved her as it's practically a Wendy house:  

Ightham Mote Dog Kennel

The Ightham Mote scone
One thing that definitely didn't let us down at Ightham was the scones. Ightham has one of the nicest restaurants that I've ever seen at a National Trust property - it's really spacious with very friendly staff. The scones were lovely - nicely sized, and a good texture with a bit of fruit. 

Ightham Mote: 5 out of 5
Scones: 4.5 out of 5
Dido's kennel: 5 out of 5

1 comment:

  1. A little bit of Mote for you :-)

    On my visit I was quite taken with the dog kennel, it is very unusual.