This afternoon after having lunch at Bodiam Castle we are traveling to Smallhythe Place. This is the lovely timber framed chocolate-box home of Ellen Terry who was a famous Victorian actress. The home is in Weald of Kent near Tenterden. Upon finding Smallhythe Place there is parking right out front of the home.
Smallhythe Place was built in the late 15th or early 16th century. It was once the site of medieval ship building near the River Rother. Ellen Terry bought this home in 1899 as a getaway from London. Ellen Terry was the leading Shakespearean actress in Britain. She would come by train to enjoy her time off from her busy schedule.
Edith Craig, Ellen's daughter, set up a museum in her mother's honor upon Ellen's death in 1928. Along with the National Trust's help she ran the museum until her death in 1947 when they took over its care. The home is full of Ellen Terry's possessions. Let's go inside and look around.
The home is so old, but full of charm--undulating floorboards, huge beams and a rickety staircase.
There are many of her costumes from her plays in Smallhythe Place! This is truly a museum of her work and life.
I'm sorry about the glare, but you can imagine a lot of her costumes are behind glass. The painting of Dame Ellen Terry was done by Clare Atwood. Yes, she was given the title of Dame Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire.
There was a lovely case of antique dolls.
The Liberty Dress
After seeing the inside of this incredible home, we wanted to look around at the gardens and the theatre that Ellen Terry's daughter built.
I love the espalier rose on the side of the building!
Another espalier rose.
I just love seeing these beautiful black faced sheep at Smallhythe Place.
To the back of Smallhythe Place Edith Craig (Ellen's Daughter) had a thatched roof theatre built. The Barn Theatre regularly has Shakespearean plays that the public may attend.
Inside of the theatre we see another costume that has been recently restored.
Let's go back outside to view more of the gardens that surround Smallhythe. Look at the back of the home. As you can tell it's quite large.
There is a charming path to walk to the view the grounds.
The wild flowers along the path is typically English and quite charming.
The garden borders up to a lovely old Church.
As we left the garden we came upon this beautiful old well. The beauty of Smallhythe Place will stay with our stored memories of the lovely chocolate box home of Ellen Terry.