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National Trust - Stoneacre, Maidstone

#2 of 7 in Historic Sites in Maidstone
Historic Site · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
Stoneacre is a small National Trust property in Otham, near Maidstone, Kent in southern England. The property is a half-timbered yeoman farmer's house dating from the 15th century, together with a small garden, orchard and meadows. The house is a Grade II* listed building.It is a private residence but opened to visitors on Saturdays and Bank Holiday Mondays from mid March to the end of September. There are toilet facilities, refreshments and car parking available for visitors.HistoryThe site overlies an outcrop of Kentish ragstone and from this the name is thought to originate. Hasted's History of Kent mentions that during the reign of Edward II one John Ellys resided here. A will from a century later records another John Ellis who died a wealthy man. His son (also called John Ellys) built the hall house in the 1480s. The steep slope and poor foundation led to problems with the north wing in the middle of the 16th century. The cellars and ground floor had to be rebuilt in stone with buttresses to stop the slippage, as is visible today. At this date high hall houses were going out of fashion and the opportunity was taken to insert and upper floor into the original hall. The Ellys family continued to hold Stoneacre until 1725 when it was sold and occupied by tenants.In 1920 the ruin was purchased by Aymer Vallance. Aymer was a 58-year-old bachelor when he bought the property, but in 1921 he married Lucy Ada Hennell. Aymer set about reconstructing the house to his vision of a Tudor yeoman's dwelling. As a consequence of reopening the hall to its full height, two bedrooms were lost. These were provided by an extension to the south with the library underneath. The old single-storey scullery to the rear was removed and a 16th-century farmhouse which was to be demolished, North Bore Place from Chiddingstone Kent, was used to build a new two-storey wing westwards from the north end. The new wing provided a servants' hall and kitchen below with two maid's bedrooms above. In 1928 the property was presented to the National Trust.
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90 reviews
  • We stumbled upon this little hidden gem on our short staycation. The staff were knowledgeable, even let my little dog come into the house (carried in arms). Property well kept and beautiful...  more »
  • I visited during the pandemic, so not all rooms were open and there is not a cafe on site. I loved the house and wish more rooms were open and wish there was a cafe. I thought it was a lovely...  more »
  • Had an enjoyable visit to this little known gem in Maidstone, made very welcome by the volunteers and staff. Had a tour of the house and then had tea and cake made by the lady owner. The gardens were lovely. Biggest drawback is the walk from the car park to the house, not far but a bit steep.
  • Wonderful combination of mock tudor grandeur and Victoria romanticism
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