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  • Location: Sissinghurst

Sissinghurst: An Unfinished History

Sissinghurst: An Unfinished History

Why a Booktrail?

1930s: A fascinating account from award-winning author Adam Nicolson of the history of  his family home

  • ISBN: 978-0007240555
  • Genre: Biography/memoirs

What you need to know before your trail

Sissinghurst is world-famous as a place of calm and beauty, a garden slipped into the ruins of a rose-pink Elizabethan palace. But is it entirely what its creators intended? Has its success over the last thirty years come at a price? Is Sissinghurst everything it could be?

The story of this piece of land, an estate in the Weald of Kent, is told here for the first time from the very beginning. Adam Nicolson, who now lives there, has uncovered remarkable new findings about its history as a medieval manor and great sixteenth-century house, from the days of its decline as an eighteenth-century prison to a flourishing Victorian farm and on to the creation, by his grandparents Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson, of a garden in a weed-strewn wreck.

Alongside his recovery of the past, Adam Nicolson wanted something else: for the land at Sissinghurst to live again, to become the landscape of orchards, cattle, fruit and sheep he remembered from his boyhood.

Travel Guide

Visit Kent

Victoria Mary Sackville-West, Lady Nicolson  (9 March 1892 – 2 June 1962) was an English poet, novelist, and garden designer.

In 1913, at age 21, Vita married the 27-year-old writer and politician Harold George Nicolson  in the private chapel at Knole.

The couple had an open marriage. Both Sackville-West and her husband had same-sex relationships before and during their marriage. They were members of The Bloomsbury Group  –  writers and artists like themselves

In the 1930s, the family acquired and moved to Sissinghurst Castle, near Cranbrook, Kent. Sissinghurst had once been owned by Vita’s ancestors, so that made it even more appealing than usual. There the couple created the famous gardens that are now run by the National Trust.

Booktrail Boarding Pass:  Sissinghurst: An Unfinished History

Destination:   Sissinghurst  Author/Guide: Vita Sackville-West  Departure Time: 1930s

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