Hall Place, Dartford

Hall Place is a beautiful Tudor house with award-winning gardens, on the outskirts of Crayford, South East London. On the banks of the river Cray, there are 65 hectares of landscaped grounds to explore, including Butterfly Gardens, a sub-tropical plant-house and a rock garden. However, the most distinctive feature of the property is the Queen’s Beasts topiary animals.

Hall Place Gardens

Brick walls dating from the 18th century enclose the north garden, with elaborate iron gates attributed to Thomas Robinson.

Hall Place Gardens


There’s so much to see in Hall Place gardens, but let’s step inside via the imposing riverside entrance. You pass through an attractive courtyard before entering the Tudor section of the house.

Hall Place Luxury Columnist travel blog

There are regular Hall Place events and you can also hire the medieval Great Hall and Great Chamber, which are licensed for civil wedding ceremonies.

Hall Place Luxury Columnist London blog

The visitor centre includes some interesting history about the house and some funky modern exhibits. Children, or kids at heart like ourselves, will have fun doing brass rubbings.

Brass rubbing Hall Place

And if you’re lucky, you might spot one of the 3 alleged ghosts of Hall Place, including Edward the Black Prince. Most of Hall Places’ original furniture was sold, however the ornate 18th century floral motives in the Lady Limerick Gallery on the first floor are particularly impressive.

Hall Place interiors

When we visited, there was a fascinating exhibition upstairs on Hall Place’s secret wartime history, Code Name: Santa Fe. It revealed how American soldiers stationed here intercepted coded messages sent by Germany, helping to defeat the Nazis.

The Queen’s Beasts

One of the highlights of a visit to Hall Place is the unique Queen’s Beasts topiary sculptures, planted in 1953 to commemorate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. These 10 heraldic statues feature mythical animals such as the griffin and the dragon.

The Queen's Beasts

There’s also a series of yews that were shaped into chess pieces on the instructions of the last private tenant, Lady Limerick. The house itself is a Grade I listed mansion, built for a former Lord Mayor of London in 1537.

Hall Place Bexley

Dining at Hall Place and Gardens

Bexley Heritage Trust received a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to develop the site and to create a new Riverside Cafe. It’s a good spot for a coffee and cake and there’s also a separately owned steakhouse, Miller & Carter, in the Jacobean barn.

Hall Place Opening Times

House and visitor centre – Monday – Saturday 10am – 5pm. Sunday and Bank Holidays 10am – 5pm. 
Formal gardens – Monday – Saturday 9am – dusk. Sunday and Bank Holidays 9am – dusk

Read about our visit to Butterfly Jungles, in the grounds of Hall Place.

Hall Place & Gardens, Bourne Road, Bexley, Kent DA5 1PQ

It’s a great day trip from London. What are your favourite places for a day excursion from your home?

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22 thoughts on “Hall Place and the Queen’s Beasts”

  1. LuxuryColumnist

    It does feel very country, although the road traffic is a bit noisy but once you’re inside the building you can’t here it

  2. LuxuryColumnist

    I hadn’t heard of it either, amazing how many interesting places there are to visit just outside of London

  3. This looks beautiful especially the Topiary someone has spent many hours working their magic here. The birds of paradise are beautiful. I love visiting National Trust properties. Have loads of favourites they make a great day out and then lunch in a beautiful setting lucy x

    1. The topiary animals were my favourite part, so unusual! This place is actually run by the Bexley Heritage Trust but I agree, the National Trust does a great job too

  4. LuxuryColumnist

    It would make a great house wouldn’t it! The lawn and the topiary are so well cared for

  5. That’s very kind, thank you! Weather was a bit hit and miss but I got a few sunny shots

  6. I hope that you get to visit one day – liked your latest post, it’s interesting to see what different products you have to us here!

  7. ♫ Alison M ♪

    Brilliant, a dragon hedge! This looks like a really great place to visit, with plenty to discover.

  8. Johanna Bradley

    The perfect combination for big kids like me, Suzy- a game of chess followed by some brass rubbing! What a superb place. 🙂 Many thanks for sharing! If I’m in the neighbourhood it’s a must.

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