the caves at chislehurst aren’t actually real caves they are completely man-made. they cover an incredible 22 miles and are up to, at points, 30 meters below the homes and woodlands above.
in 1903, william nichols the vice president of the british archaeological association, produced a theory that the caves had been built firstly by the druids, then the romans and finally the saxons. the three separate parts of the caves were then given these names and tour guides now point out druid altars and roman features, however this is mainly speculation as the earliest mention of the caves in 1250 is that of mines which were dug for chalk, lime and flint.
two for the price of one is exactly what you get when you go to see scotney castle. the old medieval moated castle, built by roger ashburnham sits on an island and dates way back to 1378 and the new castle, more english country house, designed by anthony salvin and built between 1835 and 1843. the two castles are nestled in picturesque gardens in the valley of the river bewl in lamberhurst kent. it is full of rhododendrons, azaleas and kalmia in the spring time and wisteria and roses in the summer.
the sun came out for just a few hours today, a few hours was just enough for us to escape what feels like a fog of winter heating and to get some fresh air through our heads. it was just what we needed. we drove out to kent and meet the in laws at scotney country house and castle for a picnic and a wander through the country house, gardens and of course the castle. i’ll post a little more about our visit in another post.
deep down in the druid caves