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The Higham Park estate can be traced back to 1320 when it was ceded to the 'De Hegham' family by Edward II. Since those early days it has been home to many important and colourful characters, including in the 1920's Count Louis Vorrow Zborowski who conceived and built the first aero-engine powered racing cars on the estate, later immortalised by Fleming's fantasy film 'Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang. Higham Park has also been frequented by the rich and famous including Mozart, Jane Austen, General Charles de Gaulle and royalty.
The Fortunes of the estate declined following its use as a Hospital for an prolonged period commencing during the second World War and extending to 1981 when it was closed and estate fell into neglect and disrepair.
In 1995 an amazing restoration project commenced with three people pooling their resources to buy the derelict mansion and some 25 acres of wilderness, following a life changing decision to undertake the extensive renovation of Higham Park.
These three people are Barry Gibb his mother Patricia and Amanda Harris-Deans who knowing more about horses than houses and gardening, embarked upon the massive restoration of the mansion and gardens. The restoration is still ongoing but the major part is complete and a conducted tour of the house reveals the fascinating story of the highs and lows of ten years of renovation.
The result is the creation of one of the area's most impressive stately homes, with gardens extending for 25 acres, including a spectacular sunken Italian water garden and a terraced rose garden.
Higham Park is located at Bridge off the A2, three miles south of Canterbury.
Update 2012 This house and Garden may no longer be open to the public.