Vita at Sissinghurst

The gatehouse tower to Sissinghurst Castle in Kent, home to Vita Sackville-West and her husband Harold Nicolson, serves as an entry point to this illustrated post placing Vita in context before a review of her final novel. Her presence is evident in lettered tiles set into a window sill on the turret stairs.

Continuing up the stairs …

… the visitor soon is able to enjoy the views of the garden ‘rooms’ set out by Vita and Harold:

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Vita’s own private rooms in the tower are lined with books and art.

In the couple’s library, created from former stables, sits a 1909 portrait of Vita aged almost 17, though she actually disliked it enough to store it away during her lifetime.

The library is a conscious evocation of nearby Knole Park, where Vita was brought up.

To round off this mini-tour here are some views of the gardens in September this year.

The final shot is of an urn framed in an evergreen corridor, a view reminiscent perhaps of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

Adam Nicolson, Sissinghurst Castle Garden. National Trust (2018)
Vita Sackville-West, No Signposts in the Sea. Virago (1961)

4 thoughts on “Vita at Sissinghurst

    1. It is, Jane, it is! The White Garden was past its best when we went in September but the rest was all as we were led to believe it would be, and more. 🙂 The library and Tower were fantastic but the cottage, equally as good, was out of bounds for photos, sadly. (And we were limited to ten in a tour of the cottage, though the guide we had did like the sound of his voice…) I do hope you get see inside in 2019!


    1. There was no photography indoors at Charleston so I can’t divert you with how much or little it has changed three decades on, Gert, I’m afraid. Did you manage to get to Monk’s House too?


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