Ightham Mote (pronounced "item moat") is a medieval moated manor house close to the village of Ightham, near Sevenoaks in Kent. The name "mote" derives from "moot", "meeting [place]", rather than referring to the body of water. Ightham Mote and its gardens are owned by the National Trust and open to the public.
Originally dating to around 1320, the building's importance lies in the fact that successive owners effected relatively few changes to the main structure, after the completion of the quadrangle with a new chapel in the 16th century. Nikolaus Pevsner called it "the most complete small medieval manor house in the country"
Highlights on the second floor of the house include the Old Chapel, built above the Crypt, and the New Chapel, built around 1480. This latter is a wonderfully panelled chamber with carved box pews, which also boasts a 16th century Spanish cross. The real treat, however, is above your head; look up, and marvel at the painted 16th century barrel-vaulted ceiling. Here there are Tudor symbols everywhere, including red roses, the Beaufort portcullis, and the castle representing Henry VIII's first wife, Catherine of Aragon. Further symbols are a quiver of arrows (also for Catherine of Aragon), the fleur-de-lys of France, and the roses of Lancaster and York.
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