Sir John de Pulteney built Penshurst in 1341 and it was subsequently owned by the Duke of Buckingham. On his execution for treason in 1551, the estate reverted to the Crown and after passing to Sir Ralph Fane who was also executed for treason, Edward VI gave Penshurst to Sir William Sidney. It has remained in the Sidney family ever since.
The Tower, Priest’s House and South Cottage are all that remain of the original Elizabethan house that was probably build Richard Baker c1560-70. In 1930, Harold Nicolson and Vita Sackville-West bought Sissinghurst and began restoring the buildings and garden….