Chiddingstone Castle Christmas Fair 2016


Chiddingstone Castle’s annual Christmas Fair will take place on Saturday 26 November

2016 between 11am and 4pm. Admission £4.

There will be more than 60 stalls and some of these will have a vintage feel.

Choose your ideal festive gifts from the beautifully laid out stalls in the Castle’s historic rooms and marquee. Mulled wine and mince pies will add to the seasonal cheer!

The beautiful countryside location of this lovely Castle is perfect for a relaxed shopping opportunity with many stalls selling unique products that are not found in the High Street. Both the Castle and marquee will be brimming with Christmas gifts ideas including home accessories, vintage wares, jewellery, books, cards, slate and lacquer goods, bags, children’s clothes, locally-produced food and drink, soaps, candles, cards and much more.

For a restorative tea or coffee, visitors can visit the cosy Tea Rooms which will also be serving homemade soup, sausage rolls and cakes. The grounds of the Castle will be open for a peaceful stroll to the Victorian Orangery or around the lake.

For more information on Chiddingstone Castle, the collections and activity days please visit or call 01892 870347.

Chiddingstone Castle: Hill Hoath Road, Chiddingstone, Edenbridge, Kent TN8 7AD. Tel: 01892 870347.

For more information, images or to arrange a press trip please contact Caroline Edmunds on 01892 616647 or email

Editors Notes
Born in 1905, in Crich in Derbyshire, Denys Bower was a passionate if eccentric collector who led an extraordinary life. He disabled his hand in a motorcycle accident when he was a youth, which meant he did not serve in the Second World War. In 1955 he bought Chiddingstone Castle for £6,000 and opened it to the public to display his collections.

In September 1957, his life took a curious turn as he fell in love with a woman 30 years his junior and who claimed to be the Comptesse de Estainville, though she was really the daughter of a Peckham Bus Driver. After more than a year she broke off the engagement, and Denys, who was distraught, took a revolver from his collections and visited her in an attempt to change her mind. The young woman let Denys in and, as she turned to adjust a budgie cage he drew the revolver, accidentally pulling the trigger, and shot her. Thinking he had killed her, he turned the gun on himself and fired.

With a policeman standing over him, Denys awoke in the Miller Hospital in Greenwich, muttering that Anna’s father, the Count Grimaldi must be told. Naturally the police, knowing who the young woman really was, assumed that Bower was not quite right in the head. Luckily the “Countess” had only minor injuries and was released after a few days. Bower was not so fortunate and on his release from hospital after a fortnight, was tried and sentenced to life imprisonment for attempted murder and attempted suicide.

The case received sensationalist press coverage and many believe it was this that led to his conviction, but thanks to the efforts of two sisters, Denys was released from Wormwood Scrubs in 1961. The Eldridge sisters took pity on the ex-convict and helped him restore Chiddingstone Castle.
Much more of Denys’ remarkable story is told in the book, “Beyond Belief”, which is on sale in the shop at Chiddingstone Castle.