NEW: The Victorian Kitchen

New for 2023, visitors can walk through time and get hands-on with history at Penshurst Place as we open our Victorian kitchen exhibit, giving access to a part of the house and antique family items that, for many years, have been hidden from public view.

Located in the 15th Century Buckingham Building, the room – with its high ceilings and flagstone floor – was used as the main kitchen for Penshurst Place from at least the 1800’s through to 1950. Now carefully restored, it will provide a snapshot in time of how a traditional kitchen in a large private house would have been used, plus insight into the roles of the household staff on this historic country estate.

A vast Victorian table in the centre of the room is set for cake making, while a cook’s desk complete with menus, cookbooks and shopping lists provides insight into the types of ingredients that would have been bought and meals they would have prepared in times gone by.

There is plenty for young visitors to see, do and touch – such as uncovering concealed facts and unfamiliar recipes, creating and sharing their own menu ideas, and sniffing out a selection of herbs and spices to spot which is which. The Kitchen at Penshurst is sure to spark plenty of family conversation and multi-generational learning, as well as being lots of fun.

One of the largest private collections of copper pots, pans and much more is on display in The Kitchen, from the tiniest beehive-shaped jelly moulds to a huge warming pan that would have been put inside a carriage to keep it warm. Many carry the De L'Isle insignia – the family have owned Penshurst Place since 1552 – while others prove the family’s close connections with royalty, displaying The King’s Crown (George IV monogram).