images of great dixter ...
Remember that very friendly tabby cat I was telling you about, well she lived here, at Great Dixter in Northiam, East Sussex, the wonderful family home of the late plantsman and garden writer Christopher Lloyd. A wonderful house and garden for you, me and the cat to explore.
One of six children, Christopher Lloyd was born at Great Dixter, into a strictly run household, where no smoking or drinking was permitted. His father, Nathaniel Lloyd, came from a comfortably off middle-class family in Manchester and his mother, Daisy Field, was reputedly a descendant of Oliver Cromwell. Nathaniel had bought Great Dixter in 1910, and commissioned Edwin Lutyens to restore and add to its 15th-century buildings. Lutyens also set out the framework of the garden as an array of formal spaces, which still exist today. Nathaniel died in 1933, leaving the 450-acre estate to his formidable widow. Sharing their enthusiasm for gardening, mother and son continued to develop the gardens and encourage visitors until Daisy died in 1972. The house and garden then became the property of Christopher and his niece Olivia - The Guardian
At present Great Dixter is actually three houses, one built here in the mid 15th century, the second a yeoman's house from Benenden, across the border in Kent, built in the early 16th century and moved here in 1910, and the third combines the two with additional accommodation, completed in 1912.
Possibly more widely known for its gardens, a walk around the interior of The House must not be missed. Upstairs in The Solar we had a very interesting conversation with the guide, an elderly lady who had played alongside Christopher Lloyd and his five siblings as a child, and had lived her life being very much part of Great Dixter. She told us how Christopher Lloyd would very much enjoy talking to visitors who stumbled across him sitting in his armchair with his beloved daschunds at his feet and who by no means minded sharing his home and private time with strangers.
The Barn and Sunk Garden above was designed by Nathaniel Lloyd.
The gift shop and small picnic area where we enjoyed spending a short while sharing our pork pie and conversation with one of a few resident cats!
I don't want the place to become a museum but it always wants to be respected and every generation must play its role. The garden has changed a lot in my time and so has the house. That's fine, so long as it is appreciated as it deserves. If it always remains loved and retains its own identity, everything else will fall into place - Christopher Lloyd
More photos from Great Dixter over on my garden blog.