HUNTON COURT

Hunton Court, Hunton, near Maidstone, was originally called Court Lodge. Image: Strutt & Parker.

Hunton Court, near Maidstone, dates to the thirteenth century and the traditional framed farmhouse dating to the fourteenth century, with a large roof structure and three crown posts can still be found in the attic rooms.

The house has long been associated with the Bannerman family, starting with Henry Bannerman (1798-1871), descended from a Perthshire family of farmers and distillers who, by the 1820s, had graduated into cotton-trading and manufacturing in Manchester. The firm of Henry Bannerman & Sons dealt with cotton, calicoes, muslins and plain fabrics before diversifying into manufacturing cotton goods.

It was from this fortune that Henry Bannerman bought the Court Lodge estate in Kent in 1848, enlarging and remodelling the existing farmhouse, adding a Georgian façade, with central pediment, canted bay windows and balustraded parapet.

The current garden layout is Victorian with features including two lakes which are thought to follow the form of the original moat, a bridge, kitchen garden and many specimen trees. Image: Strutt & Parker.

Henry Bannerman lived at Court Lodge until his death in 1871, leaving the estate to his wife, Mary, for life, and then to a nephew, Henry Campbell, on condition that he took the name of Bannerman, which he had reluctantly agreed to in 1872. He resided at nearby Gennings Park, part of the family estate, before moving into Court Lodge, renaming it Hunton Court, on Mary’s death in 1894.

Grade II listed Hunton Court was sold in 2008 for a price believed to be about £5.5 million. Subsequently restored it is on the market in 2019 with a guide price of £12.5 million. Image: Strutt & Parker.

Henry Campbell-Bannerman (1836-1908), the son of Sir James Campbell, a Glasgow merchant and Lord Provost, entered politics and became leader of the Liberal Party between 1899 and 1908, and Prime Minister between 1905 and 1908.

He died a few days after leaving office and the Hunton Court estate passed to his cousin, James Campbell-Bannerman, whose descendants remained until the death of Captain Michael Campbell Devas in 2007. The following year it was sold ‘in need of renovation’ and completely restored.

Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, British statesman and Liberal Party politician. He was knighted in 1895. On his death in 1908 he left estate worth £54,908, exclusive of settled estate at Belmont Castle in Scotland, and of Hunton Court and the Gennings Park estates in Kent.
The main house being occupied by his aunt, Henry Campbell-Bannerman and his wife took the nearby house at Gennings Park as their country residence, living there until 1887 . Image: Strutt & Parker.

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