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A Rhododendron and Azalea clad valley sweeps down to Scotney Old Castle, a beautiful 14th century medieval ruined manor house surrounded by a stunning moat. The fortified manor house was built c.1378 by Roger Ashburnham. The South Ashburnham Tower is the only complete part of the original building still standing amongst the ruins of various annexes woven together over the centuries.
The gardens are laid out in the picturesque style which leans toward to a naturalistic effect. Surrounded by cool woodland walks, swaying wildflower meadows, meandering waterways, hidden boathouses and glorious vistas. It is a place steeped in history that certainly deserves a second visit. The romance of the garden is what really shines for me. I can imagine courting couples reciting poetry amongst the ruins and amorous whisperings floating down the waterways on summer afternoons in the shadow of the ancient trees.
And if that is just all too gooey for you then could spend your time looking for Scotney Castle's 'Dripping Ghost'. No self-respecting castle would be seen without a ghost and the tale of our dripping friend is quite a shocker.
During the 18th century Scotney resident Arthur Darrell was outlawed as a smuggler and fled the castle and faked his own death so that he could continue his smuggling operations. The ghost is said to be of a revenue Officer who was hot on the heels of Darrell and discovered his secret. It is alleged that Darrell killed the poor chap and subsequently threw his weighted body into the moat.
Darrell's faked death was proved when they opened his coffin in 1924 to find nothing more than a pile of pebbles. So this part of the story is true. But what of the dripping figure who emerges from the moat only to start hammering on the door of the castle......................................