Long Barn, located in the village of Sevenoaks Weald, Kent, is a Grade II* listed property and the former home of Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson. The house is also notable for having famous residents such as Douglas Fairbanks and Charles Lindbergh at various times.
"reputedly the birthplace of William Caxton"
|Governing body||Privately owned|
|Official name: Long Barn|
|Designated||10 September 1954|
Long Barn is thought to date in part from the mid-fourteenth century, at which time this substantial house was divided into farm workers' accommodations. By the nineteenth century it had been restored and extended by the addition of a long barn, hence the name of the house, which was moved to the site from the field below. Restoration work was started by the Thompsons and later continued by the diplomat Harold Nicolson and his wife, writer Vita Sackville-West, who lived there until 1931.
A formal garden was begun by Sackville-West and Nicolson when they bought the house in 1915. The garden at Long Barn, like their later garden at Sissinghurst, was a product of the couple's different tastes and temperaments. It was further developed by their friend Edwin Lutyens in 1925.
The Bloomsbury Group often met at Long Barn, and visitors included Virginia Woolf, Stephen Spender, Clive Bell, Lytton Strachey, E. M. Forster, Hugh Walpole, and others such as Roy Campbell, Rosamund Grosvenor (Vita's childhood lover), Violet Trefusis, Charlie Chaplin, and Douglas Fairbanks.
After the kidnapping of their son, the American aviator Charles Lindbergh and his wife, the aviator and author Anne Morrow, rented the house from the Nicolsons. Their second child is remembered by the villagers as being watched over by an armed body guard while playing in the grounds.
Although the house is not open to the public, the gardens of Long Barn are opened periodically and during Christian Aid Week.
- House & garden: a guide to the arts of living, page 141. Access Company, 1986.