Built in the early 16th-century when Smallhythe was a thriving shipbuilding port, Smallhythe Place was purchased by renowned Victorian actress Ellen Terry in 1899. In 1929, daughter Edith Craig set up the museum, which is home to a fascinating personal and theatrical collection which highlights Ellen Terry's extraordinary career and unconventional personal life. Smallhythe Place includes a cottage garden and a charming 17th-century thatched Barn Theatre which provides an opportunity to attend a show with a regular programme of talks and shows. On your visit, take a look at the information on the shipbuilding in the area and be sure to speak to their knowledgeable guides who can tell you more about this colourful industry.
Facilities – at a glance
Suitable for all child ages
- Parking onsite
- Parking nearby
- Access restricted to ground floor of House. Garden partly accessible, slopes, uneven paths, undulating terrain
- Facilities: Album of descriptions and photos of upstairs, Braille guide
- Opening Times: Open 2 Mar-30 Oct, Wed-Sun 11-5 (last admission 4.30). Tearoom 11.30-4.30. Open BHs
Also in the Area
About The area
The White Cliffs of Dover are an English icon – the epitome of our island heritage and sense of nationhood. They also mark the point where the Kent Downs AONB, that great arc of chalk downland stretching from the Surrey Hills and sometimes known as ‘the Garden of England’, finally reaches the sea. This is a well-ordered and settled landscape, where chalk and greensand escarpments look down into the wooded Weald to the south.
Many historic parklands, including Knole Park and Sir Winston Churchill’s red-brick former home at Chartwell, are also worth visiting. Attractive settlements such as Charing, site of Archbishop Cranmer’s Tudor palace, and Chilham, with its magnificent half-timbered buildings and 17th-century castle built on a Norman site, can be found on the Pilgrim’s Way, the traditional route for Canterbury-bound pilgrims in the Middle Ages.
In the nature reserves, such as the traditionally coppiced woodlands of Denge Wood and Earley Wood, and the ancient fine chalk woodland of Yockletts Bank high on the North Downs near Ashford, it is still possible to experience the atmosphere of wilderness that must have been felt by the earliest travellers along this ancient ridgeway.
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