Smiths Hall is an 18th-century country house in West Farleigh, Kent. At the time of its construction, the property was owned by John Brewer, a prosperous barrister. The Brewers were an old Kent family who had lived on the site since the reign of King Henry VI.
Overlooking the Medway River and its fertile valley, Smiths Hall is a fine example of a Queen Anne country house, distinguished in particular by its elaborate polychromatic brickwork. The identity of the architect or master builder who created Smiths Hall is a mystery, but there are unmistakable similarities with Bradbourne House at East Malling and to Finchcocks at Goudhurst. Like Bradbourne, the house was built on the site of an older building and incorporates materials from that building. The building was completed in 1719.
Smiths Hall today is almost unchanged from the 18th century original. Today’s gardens, although considerably extended in recent times, also follow the axes and plan of the original gardens with the addition in the 1960s of a summer house, which appears in 18th century illustrations but was apparently never built.
Known as Smiths Hall from its inception, the house was renamed "West Farleigh Hall" during the early part of the 20th century. It was returned to its original moniker in the early 1990s.
Smiths Hall has formal gardens associated with the country house. The older gardens feature areas enclosed by walls and yew hedging, whilst newer gardens have been added by the Norman family, first in 1950 – 1970, with a second phase during the past 20 years.
There has also been extensive tree planting in the surrounding park. Approximately 5,000 trees were planted, about half of which form an American arboretum.
The gardens and grounds are open to the public twice a year through the National Garden Scheme. For information about the gardens, contact Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Gardens at Smiths Hall
"Delightful mature three-acre gardens surrounding a beautiful Queen Anne House (not open to public). Lose yourself in the numerous themed rooms of this wonderful varied garden with its sunken garden with ornamental pond, colourful iris beds, scented old-fashioned rose walk, formal rose garden enclosed by impressive yew hedging, peony walk, colourful herbaceous borders, wild flower garden, varied shrub borders and selection of specimen trees."