Knole from Kip and Knyff‘s Britannia Illustrata 1708

Next Study Day


We cover more than two centuries of English history and look at the travels of monarchs from Henry VII and Henry VIII to William III and Queen Anne, but there is no doubt who has the starring role in this Special Interest Day. When we think of Royal Progresses, we almost inevitably think of Queen Elizabeth I and rightly so. Here in Kent, this is particularly appropriate, because, excluding the ‘suburban’ counties of Essex, Middlesex and Surrey, the Queen spent more time on progress in Kent, than in any other county. In 1573 her travels took her to Knole and Sissinghurst as well as Bedgebury in Goudhurst and Hemstead in Benenden. As well as visiting great houses like Theobalds, Kenilworth and Longleat, the Queen stayed in cities like Norwich and Bristol and visited both Oxford and Cambridge.

The two morning sessions take us from the middle ages to the end of Elizabeth’s reign in 1603 and then, after lunch, we explore Stuart Progresses. Unlike Elizabeth, James I travelled through the north of England en route to London in 1603 and again in 1617. His son, Charles I travelled even more extensively, although not always in the happiest of circumstances and summer progresses had little appeal to Charles II, who, after his restoration in 1660, resolved ‘never again to go to his travels’. Perhaps the last true progress was by William III in 1695. Like Elizabeth before him, he wanted to see his Kingdom.

Architectural and Social History are the central themes, but we will also look at food, travel, costume and art as we explore the world of these monarchs and courtiers.

The lecturer Roger Mitchell M.A.(Oxon.) joined the Arts Society Directory in 1999 and has given over 400 lectures and study days for them throughtout the United Kingdom as well as Europe, Australiaand New Zealand. He is also a lecturer for the University of Liverpool and continues to do extensive research on  country houses in England and America.

For a place on the Study Day, at Benenden Village Hall on Tuesday 7th November 10.30 am – 3.30pm, including lunch, please send a £25 cheque and a STAMPED ADDRESS ENVELOPE to Daphne McKerrell, The Gatehouse, Sissinghurst Road, Sissinghurst Kent TN172JA. Tel:01580-714090.   Email address:

Previous Study Days in 2016 and 2015

How to look after your Antique Furniture by   Christopher Chanter

Art for the Modern Age; Painting in nineteenth-century France by Dr Lois Oliver.

Nov 2015: Mozart:  the  Operatic Genius by Peter Medhurst

Feb 2015: The Glories of English Watercolours by Ann Clements