Godinton House dates back to the 14th century, when the Great Hall was first constructed. The house was then constructed around this central room over the subsequent centuries: the greatest part of it is Jacobean, but the most recent alterations were in the earliest 20th century.
For the most part of its history, Godinton was the seat of the Toke Family, Kentish gentry, who oversaw the majority of its construction according to their tastes. Eventually Godinton was sold to the Ashley Dodds, who employed the architect Reginald Blomfield to alter and update the house and gardens. In 1917, Godinton was sold to Lillie Bruce Ward, whose family lived here until the last owner’s death in 1996.
Standing in its tranquil parkland setting, it has seen the rise and fall of a score of monarchs, uprisings, rebellions, Civil War and the threat of invasion. Like the great oaks in the park, it has been buffeted by the occasional onslaughts of change, but has remained relatively unsullied by time. It has been fortunate, and unusual among its neighbours, in having only two major changes in ownership in six hundred years. It has been doubly fortunate in that its owners improved their inheritance without sweeping away what had gone before, ensuring that such a rich heritage continues.