Information

2021 PricesAdultChildren (under 16)
Garden Only£7Free, except on some event days
House and Gardens£12Free, except on some event days.
Opening TimesDatesDaysTimes
Garden – Closed on Mondays (except Bank Holidays)
Pre-booked tickets only
30th Mar – 31st OctTues – Sun1pm – 6pm, last entry 5pm
House – Pre-booked tours only4th Jun – 2nd OctFri -Sat 1.30pm, 2pm, 2.30pm, 3pm, 3.30pm. 4pm
Tearoom (for House & Garden/Garden visitors only)21 May – 3rd Oct Fri – Sun1pm – 5pm


Plans for opening from 19th July

It feels like we are almost back to normal at Godinton with the house and tearoom now open as well as the gardens. Our house tours have been very popular, with most tours filling up a week or so in advance. Please remember that these are timed tours, so visitors must arrive at the house 5 minutes before the time they have booked to be able to join the tour.

Following the Government’s announcement that Stage 4 of the Road Map will go ahead as planned on Monday 19th July, we have decided to err on the side of caution for the time being and keep our visitor numbers at the same levels in the gardens, for house tours and in the tearoom, to ensure our visitors feel comfortable and to protect our staff and volunteers. Because of the growing infection rate at the moment, we would recommend that our staff and visitors continue to wear masks in indoor spaces, but this will be up to individuals to decide what is best for them.

We look forward to welcoming you to Godinton, and can assure you that you will be in a safe environment.


Tearoom Opens Friday 21st May 2021

Tearoom Opens Friday 21st May. House tour tickets available to book from 21st May.

We are delighted to see so many of you enjoying the gardens and homemade cake from our takeaway tearoom, and are now pleased to confirm that the tearoom in the House will be open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from Friday 21st May. We have considerably reduced the seating capacity to comply with social distancing guidelines and will operate on a first come first served basis, so please bear with us if the tearoom is full. You will also be able to pre-book house tour tickets from Friday 21st May for when the house opens for the season on 4th June. Again, capacity is limited so please book early to avoid disappointment.

We very much look forward to welcoming you back into the house.  Please note the tearoom is only for our House & Garden visitors.


Plans for opening in 2021

We are pleased to confirm that the gardens are now open to the public until Sunday 31st October and tickets are available on our website. Numbers will be limited to avoid overcrowding with tickets available in half-hourly time slots. Takeaway refreshments will be available from our Ticket Office from 1 pm to 5.30 pm with some outside seating from Tuesday 13th April (card payments only please). You are welcome to enjoy picnics in the grass area adjoining the car parks. Limited toilet facilities will be available on a one-in, one-out system.

Please remember that you can only visit in two household groups or up to six people from different households.  Due to recent changes in Government guidelines, we now need to ask for every visitor’s name and contact number when booking.

We are hoping to open the house tearoom from Friday 21st May, and house tours from Friday 4th June, subject to Government advice. Capacity will be limited to adhere to social distancing guidelines. Tickets for house tours will be available to book two weeks prior to opening.

Please keep an eye on our website for further information.


Accessibility

View map with disabled path

The staff at Godinton are always happy to help our visitors, please do not hesitate to ask for assistance and information. If you have any particular needs or questions, please call before you visit – 01233 643854 during working hours Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.

Parking – on arrival please follow the signs to the main car park where there are a number of marked parking bays for visitors with disabilities. From here a short, wide gravel track leads to the Ticket Office and accessible toilet.

Wheelchairs – there are none available on site.

Assistance Dogs are welcome with the relevant paperwork, but we regret that no other dogs are permitted.

Toilets – there is an accessible toilet situated with the public toilets near the ticket office and car park. Please note there are no toilets in the house.

Gardens – from the ticket office gravel paths lead around the garden, with grass paths through the wild garden avoiding steps to the lower level. The gardens are accessible to wheelchairs and mobility scooters, and there are a number of benches in various locations throughout the gardens. Link to map.

House & Tearoom – the ground floor rooms and Tearoom are accessible for wheelchair users and mobility scooters with wide doorways and level thresholds. There is one step on the ground floor with no handrail due to the historic nature of the building. Staff will provide a ramp for use as necessary. A wide staircase with shallow steps and a handrail accesses the first-floor showrooms; regrettably, these rooms are inaccessible for wheelchair users.

Seating is available in each room if needed.


“We’re Good To Go”

“We’re Good To Go” is the official UK mark to signal that a tourism and hospitality business has worked hard to follow Government and industry COVID-19 guidelines and has a process in place to maintain cleanliness and aid social distancing.  We are delighted to have been awarded this official mark and look forward to welcoming visitors to Godinton safely.


Tours of the House

Tours of the house are led by expert guides unraveling the 600 years of history and revealing an excellent country house collection of furniture, art, porcelain, and curios. The first tour leaves at 1.30pm and the last tour at 3.45pm. Pre-booked tours only.


Map

View Larger Map Godinton House is a few minutes drive from Junction 9 off the M20. From Junction 9, follow signs for Lenham, A20. About a ¼ mile after the second roundabout, there is a signpost for the house on the left-hand side (opposite the Hare & Hounds public house). A taxi ride from Ashford International Railway Station takes 10 minutes and costs approximately £6. The 10x bus runs from Ashford Town Centre, County Square (Stop K) and stops opposite the Hare and Hounds public house after about 20 minutes. It is then a short walk along Godinton Lane to the North Lodge gates. Any questions contact 01233 643854


Tearoom

The Tearoom in the house serves a selection of excellent homemade cakes and cream teas. We do not offer a lunch or savoury menu. The Tearoom in the house is only available to visitors to the house or gardens Fri, Sat, Sun and Bank Holidays. Refreshments are available from the ticket office and outside tearoom Tuesday to Sunday  from 1pm – 5pm April to September.


Toilets

Toilets are available to House & Garden visitors and are located near the ticket office. Please note there are no toilets in the main house or inside tearoom.


Shop

No shop, but a selection of plants and homegrown produce is sold from the ticket office when available.


Picnics

Picnics are allowed on the grass next to the car park or in the area near the ticket office but not in the formal gardens except during our special picnic evenings.


Dogs

Dogs are not allowed in the house or garden, but can be taken on leads around the conservation walk that circles the house and garden. Assistance dogs are permitted with relevant documentation.


Parking

Two large hard standing car parks and parking for two coaches (coaches must book, Tuesday to Thursday only).


Special Events

Many events go on throughout the year, see the What’s On page for more information or contact us.


Ownership

In 1991 Alan Wyndham Green established the Godinton House Preservation Trust with a board of Trustees, to secure the future of Godinton House and its contents, grounds and parkland ‘for the public benefit’. Mr Wyndham Green made it clear when he created the Trust that he did not want the house to become an impersonal museum after his death. The Trustees will continue to honour his wishes, incorporated in the Trust Deed, to preserve Godinton for the benefit, appreciation and education of the public; in short, to continue the sound stewardship of this fascinating and hospitable house and estate as it moves into the next chapter of its long history, not simply as a museum but as a living house, gardens and estate.


Vacancies

Head Gardener

Godinton House Preservation Trust

Godinton House, Great Chart, Ashford, Kent TN23 3BP

Godinton House is a Jacobean mansion set in 12 acres of spectacular gardens, last landscaped by Reginald Blomfield in 1898.  They include an Italian garden, rose garden, significant herbaceous borders, walled garden, terraced lawns and vast formal yew hedging.   The house and garden are set in a traditional parkland with ancient oaks and chestnuts, and the Trust’s wider estate.

The maintenance of the gardens to a high standard for visitor interest is a priority for the Trust in association with its charitable purpose of preserving the house.  The garden is also host to an active and very successful education programme for school children, and a series of exhibitions and events throughout the year.

The gardens are currently managed by a team of three permanent garden staff, up to two garden trainees, some self-employed contractors, and a small team of volunteers.  The team works alongside a wider staff community in the house and on the estate, managed by the Godinton House Preservation Trust.

The Role

The Trust is seeking to appoint a new Head Gardener to perform the following role:

  • Responsibility for the management of all aspects of the gardens. This will include extensive ornamental plant management, lawn and hedge care, plant propagation, glasshouse work and kitchen gardening
  • Collaboration with other team members to deliver the Trust’s objectives including involvement in the education and events programme, to include hosting school visits and adult education horticultural workshops
  • Management of the garden staff team including team leadership and development, and recruiting and supervising volunteers and apprentices
  • Supervision of health and safety in relation to garden staff and machinery

The Head Gardener will report to the Estate Manager day to day and directly to the Board of Trustees as required, and manage the existing garden team.

The Individual

We are looking to recruit an experienced and enthusiastic individual with the following attributes:

  • Excellent plant knowledge and hands on garden management experience
  • Preferably previous experience as a Head Gardener or in a senior capacity
  • A proven track record in a leadership role responsible for performance management and in supporting and developing a team
  • Good communication skills, and enthusiasm and confidence to engage with day visitors and lead educational groups
  • Competence in relevant health and safety legislation applicable to the role, and proficiency in use and management of garden machinery

The Package

  • A competitive salary package dependent on experience and is offered with a pension
  • The position is to start from mid July 2021
  • Daily working hours are 8 am to 5 pm plus weekend hours for watering and other duties, in rota with other staff, and some weekend working such as to host workshops and attend exhibitions in the garden
  • Accommodation can be available on terms to be agreed.
  • Holiday entitlement is 20 days annually plus bank holidays

How to Apply

Applications should be submitted with a covering letter to Rob Duggan (Estate Manager) at recruitment@godintonhouse.co.uk, by 11th June 2021.    Applicants selected for interview will be invited to attend at Godinton House, where Covid-19 secure arrangements are in place, and are encouraged to visit the gardens beforehand.


Additional Information

  • Lovely walks on the estate
  • Close to the picturesque village of Great Chart
  • 10 minutes from M20, Junction 9
  • Convenient for Channel crossings
  • 10 minutes from Ashford International Station
  • London to Ashford on the High Speed 40 minutes

Photography

The taking of photographs, videos, etc. for commercial purposes in this garden is forbidden without the prior permission of the Estate Manager.  Licences must be applied for in advance and a licence fee paid. The use of tripods or similar equipment likely to interfere with the viewing of other garden visitors is also not permitted. Filming and photography is not permitted in the house.


The Godinton Charitable Trust

Overview

A grant making trust supporting local Kentish charities, community organisations or similar good causes focused on Ashford and the surrounding area. The Trust does not support large national or international charities or individuals in fund raising.

How to Apply

To make an application please contact the Estate Manager, Rob Duggan either by post or email. The Godinton Charitable Trust, Godinton House, Godinton Lane, Ashford, Kent TN23 3BP. office@godintonhouse.co.uk Please provide a short introduction to your charity or organisation, the reason for and amount requested, brief information on finances and fund raising efforts. Please do not send long reports or sets of accounts. If further details are required we will request them.

Decisions

Suitable applications are considered twice a year by the Trustees. Generally grant sizes range from £250 to £5,000.

History

The Godinton Charitable Trust (GCT) was set up in 1974 by the late Alan Wyndham Green, who inherited Godinton House and Estate in 1952. The Trust was founded with generous gifts of land in 1974, 1986 and 1989. This land was required for development by Ashford Borough Council and Mr Wyndham Green wanted the proceeds for charitable purposes. When Alan Wyndham Green died in 1996 the Charitable Trust provided funding for the renovation of Godinton House, Gardens and Estate. The charity is a privately funded grant-making charity. Trustees have discretion as to the application of its income or capital for charitable objects or purposes, it was always the intention of the Settlor to provide long-term endowment and continued support if necessary for its associated charity, The Godinton House Preservation Trust.