Bradbourne House is where the East Malling Trust is based. It is a Queen Anne Grade 1 listed house surrounded by around 20 acres of parkland with a large lake and stream. Normally closed to the public, the house and park can be visited once a year as part of the National Gardens Scheme, where you can see a demonstration garden showing a variety of trained fruit trees – Hatton Garden. To hire Bradbourne House for weddings, conferences and business meetings or corporate entertainment, please visit: www.bradbournehousekent.co.uk.
The house as it is today was built between 1712 and 1715 although there was a Tudor house on the site built in the early 1600s which has been considerably changed and altered over the years. The history of Bradbourne House is fascinating partly because it remained in the ownership of one family, the Twisdens, for around 400 years before being purchased by what is now The East Malling Trust in 1938. The East Malling Trust has produced 2 booklets on the history of the house. One details the house and its architecture etc. with a brief history of the Twisden family. The other booklet charts the lives of the Twisdens and their portraits which remain in the house by kind permission of the Kent Archaeological Society. Copies of both publications can be purchased from the Trust and cost £5 each, including UK delivery… Please Email us.
The park and grounds are part of a conservation area and the Trust manages the day-to-day care and landscaping of this area. Since 2007, more than 1700 new native trees have been planted as part of on-going improvements to the park. A new woodland planting has been developed, including cherry, oak, ash, walnut and sycamore trees from selected sites around the country. The new woodland complements more mature trees in the park. There are some fine ancient trees and a wide variety of species including yew, beech, holly, oak, ash, willow, London plane, maple and box.
In 1938 it was purchased by the East Malling Trust for Horticultural Research, a charity, which still owns it, together with nearly 600 acres (2.4 km2) of adjoining land. The Trust’s income supports horticultural research at the nearby East Malling Research Station, and elsewhere.