Great Dixter House and Gardens - History and Facts | History Hit

Great Dixter House and Gardens

Antara Bate

04 Jun 2021
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About Great Dixter House and Gardens

Great Dixter is an historic house, a garden, a centre of education, and a place of pilgrimage for horticulturists from across the world. It features Christopher Lloyd’s renowned garden built around a 15th century house extended by Sir Edwin Lutyens.

Great Dixter House and Gardens history

Great Dixter was the family home of gardener and gardening writer Christopher Lloyd. It was the focus of his energy and enthusiasm and fuelled over 40 years of books and articles.

Dixter Manor is first recorded in 1220, but the earliest surviving part of the house, the Great Hall, likely dates from the 1450s.

The present Great Dixter is actually three houses, one built here in the mid-15th century with slightly later additions, 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. It was at this time that the house was renamed Great Dixter, to distinguish it from Little Dixter next door.

With the renovations and extension complete by 1912, Great Dixter was a large and comfortable family home. Nathaniel and Daisy Lloyd brought up six children at Great Dixter where they all developed a lasting attachment to the house and a deep knowledge of the garden.

For 4 years during the First World War, part of the house became a hospital and a total of 380 wounded soldiers passed through the temporary wards created in the great hall and the solar. In the Second World War, Dixter housed 10 evacuee boys from September 1939 until it was decided that they should go further west and away from the path of enemy aircraft.

Great Dixter House and Gardens today

Now under the stewardship of Fergus Garrett and the Great Dixter Charitable Trust, Great Dixter is an historic house, a garden and a centre of education.

The house and garden is open to the public from the start of April until the end of October, 11am until 5pm from Tuesday to Sunday.

Getting to Great Dixter House and Gardens

Great Dixter House and Gardens is located in Northiam, approximately half a mile off of the A28, which runs through the village. Follow the brown tourist signs.

For those travelling by public transport, the nearest train stations to Northiam with connecting buses are Rye and Hastings. Buses run directly to Northiam (Monday to Saturday) from Rye, Hastings and Tenterden.