In June 2010, we pootled along to Smallhythe Place, the home of Victorian actress Ellen Terry. Small Hythe is a little hamlet near Tenterden & stood on the Rother estuary. In the 15th century, before the Romney Marshes silted up, it was a shipbuilding port. Looking around today, it's hard to imagine it being a port, because whichever direction you look, it's all lush & beautiful countryside.
Ellen Terry, said to be the most famous Shakespearean actress in Britain at the time, was born into a family of actors & her great nephew was Sir John Gielgud. She lived in Smallhythe Place from 1899 until her death in 1928. The National Trust own the property now & it's open to the public.
Smallhythe Place is a 16th century building. The front garden is quite narrow, so to get a front-on view of the house, you need to stand across the road :o) This pic was taken from the garden, which is why it's side on, really :o)
The house from across the road.
The back of the house.
This is the Barn theatre in the garden. Ellen Terry's daughter, Edith Craig converted the barn into a theatre as a memorial to her mother. To raise funds, Edith suggested that people paid £1 for a chair commemorating themselves or a friend.
The pond. Good job it has a wall around it, otherwise, with all the algae on top, you'd not know where the grass stopped & the pond began :o)
The little herb garden.
The *doorway* into the orchard & grounds.
Side view of the house from the rose garden. It's called the rose garden even though it has other plants in it. It's fairly small, but very beautiful.
The wild flower part of the gardens.
You can't really see a galleon in full sail making it's way along here, can you ? But, this is really all that's left of the Rother in Small Hythe. It continues across the road & sort of disappears from view after a while, but it's very pretty to look at.
The 16th century meets the 21st century just down the road from Small Hythe, on the Romney Marshes - wind turbines :o)