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Penshurst Place



Penshurst Place, near Tonbridge, the residence of the late Lord de l'Isle and Dudley, the historic home of the Sydneys, is almost an unique example of what a wealthy English gentleman's country house was about the time of which we are writing, say the middle of the fourteenth century, or during the reign of Edward III. By the courtesy of the late Lord de l’Isle, the writer was allowed to examine many objects of great interest there, and from the careful preservation of many original fittings and articles of furniture, one may still gain some idea of the "hall" as it appeared, when that part of the house was the scene of the chief events in the daily life of the family - the raised dais for host and honoured guests, the better table which was placed there (illustrated on the preceding page), and the commoner ones for the body of the hall; and though the ancient buffet which displayed the gold and silver cups is gone, one can see where it would have stood. Penshurst is said to possess the only hearth of that period now remaining in England, an octagonal space edged with stone in the centre of the hall, over which was once the simple opening for the outlet of smoke through the roof; and the old andirons or firedogs are still there.





















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