Arts & Culture
A thriving arts and cultural scene to suit all tastes from the classical to the most avant-garde can be discovered across the Sevenoaks District.
The Annual Sevenoaks Summer Festival, which includes the Sevenoaks Three Arts Festival, has the whole town buzzing. The festival features a range of events and activities at many of the District’s historic houses, where residents and visitors alike can enjoy performances by professional and young musicians, actors and artists showcasing their talents.
Throughout the year, as well as during the festival, the Stag Community Arts Centre presents a lively selection of entertainments, taking advantage of its theatre, performances spaces and two digital cinemas.
A visit to the local museums showcases the vibrant history of the people and landscape of this prosperous part of the Garden of England.
The Eden Valley Museum focuses on the social history and environment of the picturesque Eden Valley including the market town of Edenbridge and surrounding villages.
Sevenoaks Kaleidoscope is home to the Sevenoaks Museum which conserves more than 3,000 artefacts and stages regularly changing exhibitions and special events. Standing displays explore hop picking, the Second World War, and cricket.
The popular Kaleidoscope Gallery is a contemporary exhibition space featuring the works of local, established and emerging artists.
In Shoreham, The Land, Air and Sea Museum is home to a unique collection of flying cars, amphibious aeroplanes, hovercrafts and submarines.
Hever Castle contains one of the best collections of Tudor portraits outside the National Portrait Gallery. The castle, which celebrates its role as the childhood home of Anne Boleyn has recently acquired a portrait of Henry VIII – a rare 16th century replica of a portrait in the Royal Collection.
Art lovers visiting Knole will find works by Reynolds, Gainsborough and Van Dyck, alongside an internationally significant collection of 17th century tapestries.
Art and antiques enthusiast and collector Denys Eden Bower made Chiddingstone Castle his home for more than 22 years. Today visitors can enjoy the collections he created.
The Japanese Lacquer collection is world-renowned, and the most important pieces from his exquisite collection of Japanese swords are currently on display. The discovery of Tutankhamen’s tomb fuelled a passion for collection Ancient Egyptian pieces – The Bower collection includes a 5,000-year-old funerary boat, figurines placed in tombs to assist the deceased in the afterlife and numerous food and drink vessels.
The Royal Stuart and Jacobite Collection features two Samuel Cooper portrait miniatures of James II and Charles II, and broadswords used at the Battle of Culloden. Meanwhile, the Buddhist Collection includes objects from Tibet, India, Nepal, Myanmar, China and Japan.