Nathaniel Lloyd bought the property at Great Dixter in 1910 and combined the house’s medieval origins with 20th-century innovative building to create a romantic imitation of a medieval manor house.
Great Dixter House looks medieval but looks are deceiving. Though the Great Hall, built in the 1450s, is the oldest surviving bit of the house, most of it was built in the early 20th century, when it was bought in 1910 by Nathaniel Lloyd, a businessman,. He moved a 16th-century house in a similar style from Kent and combined it with the original building with the help of architect Edwin Lutyens. He loved mixing antique furniture from different eras together and the house has a combination of Renaissance French and Italian furniture that sits right beside English furniture from hundreds of years ago. You can visit the house to see where Nathaniel and his family lived and examine their pottery collection, which has over 300 pieces of pottery by the now extinct Aldermaston Pottery.
Great Dixter is most famous for its gardens, which were laid out by Nathaniel Lloyd along with his wife, Daisy, and then his son, Christopher Lloyd. Christopher died in 2006 and passed the house on to Great Dixter Charitable Trust to look after it after his death. He was a garden writer and television personality and contributed to making the gardens the colourful place they are now. There’s a sunken garden, walled garden with mosaic paving, upper moat (formerly filled with water, now a meadow), peacock topiary garden and a vegetable garden that used to grow food for the house. You can buy some of the fresh produce at the house itself, or maybe pick up some plants from the nursery there. And for the keen gardeners, Great Dixter regularly hosts lectures,courses and workshops designed to transmit and preserve gardening knowledge.
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