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Smallhythe Place, Tenterden

4.6
#4 of 14 in Things to do in Tenterden
Smallhythe Place in Small Hythe, near Tenterden in Kent, is a half-timbered house built in the late 15th or early 16th century and since 1947 cared for by the National Trust. The house was originally called 'Port House' and before the River Rother and the sea receded it served a thriving shipyard: in Old English hythe means "landing place".It was the home of the Victorian actress Ellen Terry from 1899 to her death in the house in 1928. The house contains Ellen Terry's theatre collection, while the cottage grounds include her rose garden, orchard, nuttery and the working Barn Theatre.Terry first saw the house in the company of Henry Irving, the manager of the Lyceum Theatre in London's Covent Garden, with whom she shared a famous theatrical partnership for nearly 24 years. The house was opened to the public by Terry's daughter Edith Craig in 1929, as a memorial to her mother. The National Trust supported Craig in her running of the museum from 1939, and took over the property when she died in 1947. It was designated as a Grade II* listed building by English Heritage on 8 May 1950.
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Smallhythe Place Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
270 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • Following the visit to Sissinghurst Castle Gardens, we also visited Smallhythe Place. Historically, the home of Victorian actress Ellen Terry may well be significant. It should be pointed out, however, that the house, although very beautiful to look at from the outside, is not a real highlight. The interiors are relatively unspectacular and contain mainly souvenirs of the actress, who will not be known even to the England-savvy tourist. Also the garden is relatively disappointing and not very well maintained. So if you are on the way through, you can visit Smallhythe Place. But it's not worth taking a detour for this.
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  • This old house built around 1530, is not big but very interesting que building method. Last century a famous actress lived in and she let the barn turn into a theatre. In the season, pieces are still being staged. The garden is not big but the whole is definitely worth a visit if you are in the area. The volunteers who are in the different rooms will gladly explain the building, the actress or the past of the surroundings. Also go over here to watch the dress with Beetle shields.
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Google
  • Amazing insight into the life of Helen Terry. Really fascinating! The beetle dress restoration is awesome! The Barn Theatre impressed us too, would love to come again to watch a production.
  • Lovely NT property, but we went to see open air theatre. It was superb. We saw Changeling Theatre Group do Shakespeare's "The Winter's Tale. What a fantastic group, wonderfully performed and greatly enjoyed by all. Will go again.
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