Kevington Manor is an old mansion that was owned from the C18th by the Berens family for whom landscaped gardens were laid out. Maps of the late C19th show a well-planted garden and a kitchen garden with glasshouses. Kevington was requisitioned during WWI and the house became a Canadian Divisional Battle School. After the war the Berens family sold the property to Kent County Council and the house became a primary school. Two other schools were built in the grounds; one of which involved pulling down half the kitchen garden walls. By the 1980s the house was no longer needed for a school and was sold with c.3.6 hectares of land including some fine trees, the ha-ha, the derelict pond, swimming pool and the flower garden.
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/12/2006
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The information below is taken from the relevant Local Authority's planning legislation, which was correct at the time of research but may have been amended in the interim. Please check with the Local Authority for latest planning information.
By the end of the C16th there was a house of the ‘Nobylite and Geentye at ‘Kevingtowne’. The seat of the Manning family, by 1664 it had twelve hearths. In 1767 Herman Berens, a City of London merchant from the Netherlands, bought Kevington and employed the architect Sir Robert Taylor to rebuild it. Berens' Account and Memorandum Book is still owned by the family and shows the costs and the materials used. Stables, a granary, dairy and dovehouse were also built at that time. From ‘The Account Book’ it is clear that the kitchen garden was built in 1769. There is also a memorandum about making a ‘Brickpit for Grapes’. In 1778 Berens re-routed part of Crokenhill Road away from the south-west garden front of the house; the ha-ha on that side may mark the earlier course of Crokenhill Road. No date or designer has been traced for the landscaped park, which could have been created in 1769 or alternatively in 1778 when the road was re-routed. In 1795 Joseph Berens inherited Kevington from his father; he rebuilt the stable block and the bay on the south-west garden front of the house.
The 1886 2nd edition OS 25ins map and a subsequent estate map show a well-planted garden and a kitchen garden with glasshouses. A flower garden, ornamental pool and swimming pool were created, probably in the early 1930s, and about the same time, on the edge of the park in the Warren, two natural ponds were joined to make a boating lake.
The current owners took over this part of the site in 1989 and have started to restore some of the main rooms of the house.
Sheila Triggs, MA essay for Birkbeck College London; Colvin, H. A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1600-1840, London 1978 p817; B Cherry & N Pevsner, 'The Buildings of England, London 2: South' (1983 reprint 1999 p193