Literary Festival at Chiddingstone Castle in Kent

Following the success of last year’s inaugural event at Chiddingstone Castle in Kent, the organisers are delighted to reveal the line-up for next year’s Literary Festival, taking place during and after the May Bank Holiday weekend Sunday 30 April-Tuesday 2 May 2017.

Announcing the new partnership, next year’s Title Sponsor of the Literary Festival will be Brooks Macdonald, an award winning company that specialises in providing investment management services across the UK and internationally.

Chiddingstone Castle will welcome an impressive selection of authors covering a wide-range of topics. Highlights include Terry Waite, 25 years after his release from solitary imprisonment as a hostage in Beirut, talking about his life then and now, and his thoughts on the current situation in the Middle East. Biographers Artemis Cooper and Adam Sisman will discuss the life and writings of acclaimed travel-writer Patrick Leigh Fermor and Artemis will also talk about her latest biography of Elizabeth Jane Howard. Radio 4 presenter of Saturday Live, Rev. Richard Coles will be sorting the wheat from the chaff in his reflective account of life as a parish priest and broadcaster. Grief psychotherapist Julia Samuel (author of Grief Works) and Imogen Lycett Green, writer and founder of the Narrative Medicine Workshop in Brighton, will be in conversation with Guardian journalist Decca Aitkenhead (author of All at Sea) about the death of her husband and coming to terms with love, loss and the taboo of death.
Educationalist and biographer Anthony Seldon will be in conversation with David Walsh, and presenter of BBC TV’s Coast Nicholas Crane, will present his new book on the making of the British Landscape. Best-selling writer of historical fiction Alison Weir will launch Anne Boleyn: A King’s Obsession, the latest title in her Six Tudor Queens series and the highly-praised biographer Anne Sebba will shed light on how the women of Paris lived, loved and died in the 1940s. Rachel Kelly will introduce The Happy Kitchen (written with nutritionist Alice Mackintosh); an inspirational range of recipes scientifically proven to boost energy, relieve low mood, provide comfort and keep the blues at bay. No 1 bestselling author of the Emperor, Conqueror and the Wars of the Roses series Conn Iggulden will talk about his latest novel Dunstan with local historical fiction writer Angus Donald (author of The Outlaw series), about a tenth century Archbishop of Canterbury.

Family Events

For children, there are appearances from prize-winning authors Piers Torday and Lauren St John, poet A F Harrold and local author Christopher Lloyd. There will be a performance of The Ugly Duckling by award-winning theatre company Pericles, along with storytelling shows from Mr Dilly’s World of Wonder and Really Big Pants Theatre Company. The festival is expanding with the addition of a second marquee providing a space for workshops, storytelling, Sock Puppet Theatre and much more.

Events will take place over three days with a special programme for local schools on Tuesday 2 May. There will be vintage food vans, a bar and organic coffee trikes, along with the Castle’s own courtyard tea rooms serving cakes, sandwiches and light lunches.

During the build-up to the event, children are invited to enter a Short Story Competition (two categories: age 7-9 and 10-13).  The winning entries will be read out at the festival on Bank Holiday Monday and winners will receive a signed copy by one of our children’s authors.

Tickets for each event on Sunday and Monday will be £12 for adults and £5 for children including entry into the Castle and Collections. Online ticket booking will be available via the Castle website from 1st March with discounts for Early Birds. Tickets for the school events on Tuesday will be £4 per student and are available for purchase directly from the Castle from 1st February 2016.

Chiddingstone Castle is an impressive Historic House in an idyllic country setting, which houses the unique and remarkable collections of the late antiquarian, Denys Eyre Bower.  Today it is a fascinating museum, a visitor attraction and an award-winning wedding venue.

Press enquiries to Caroline Edmunds at Pennington PR on 01892 616647 or email:

For further information about the Literary Festival contact Victoria Henderson email: or visit

Chiddingstone Castle, Chiddingstone, Edenbridge, Kent TN8 7AD

T: 01892 870347   E: