Wakehurst Place (NT) is Kew’s Country Garden in the heart of Sussex. The Price family bequeathed the property, with a large endowment, to the National Trust in 1963. The current position is that since 1965 the House and land have been leased to the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, who use and manage the property.
The Grade I listed Mansion was built in the late 16th century, but the garden is mainly 20th century. Visitors are able to explore several rooms in the Mansion, which was commissioned in 1590 by Edward Culpeper. Items of furniture used by Sir Henry and Lady Price are arranged beside the marble fireplace in the Blue Room, and include Hepplewhite easy chairs, a side table and a Chinese screen. There is currently a display of Botanical paintings by John Day, brothers Franz and Ferdinand Bauer and Sarah Drake in the gallery. Visitors are able to tour parts of Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank, housed in a modern, temperature-controlled building, which is used to store seeds from around the world.
The wild Botanic Garden has over 500 acres of beautiful ornamental gardens, woodlands and a nature reserve. The Mansion Garden has formal and informal borders, a sweeping lawn, a pond and a walled garden. The Seed Café serves sandwiches, soup and cakes, plus hot and cold drinks. The Stables Restaurant serves hot and cold food as well as cakes and drinks.
On our way home we plan to visit Quebec House (NT) which is the birth-place of General James Wolfe. He lived in the 16th century brick-built house from January 1727 to 1738. The house was extensively rebuilt in the 18th and 20th centuries. The Coach House contains an exhibition on the Battle of Quebec and Wolfe’s life, whilst the house has memorabilia and paintings connected to him.
Refreshments available are cake, plus hot and cold drinks.