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Where can a visitor enjoy cricketcaricatures, Tipu Sahib'sarmour, mathematical tiles, a flint-studded Gothic tower and anorchard laid out by Arabella Lennox-Boyd? The answer: Belmont House, anelegant medium-sized neoclassicalhouse about five miles from Faversham,Kent. It retains the special quality of anintimate family atmosphere, although it isnow run by a trust. In 1809 a young Harris bride, ElizaDick, praised Belmont as "a sweet placeand the mansion the best I ever saw; it isreckoned one of the completest housesin England". A guest at a house party forFamily treeDiscover a long line of military descendants at Belmont House, each of whom have put their own unique stamp on this enchanting family home. By Philippa GlanvilleBELMONT HOUSE26NADFAS REVIEW / SPRING 2011www.nadfas.org.uk27, she was enjoying a typical occasionof Harris hospitality. Today, privatelunches are often set out in the south-facing Orangery, scented by its row offruit-laden trees. Belmont has alwaysboasted famous hothouses and kitchengardens. In the 1840s the 3rd LordHarris, intent as Governor on improvingWest Indian horticulture, sent fromBelmont to Trinidad 30 sorts of annual,perennial and flowering plant seeds plus20 sorts of vegetable seeds, melons andcucumbers. The plants included "Dahlias,Fuschias, Gerenaums, Roses, Pinks,Lilliums, Calceolarias, Carnations,Achemenes, Gloxinia, Verbeneas, and

www.nadfas.org.ukNADFAS REVIEW / SPRING 201127Above:Belmontis famed for itsgardensAbove left:Theneoclassicalhouse looksbeautiful on asummer's dayLeft:Red bricksare concealedby mathematicaltiles and aCoadestoneborderand architect, also enriched the mainfacade and interiors with Coade stoneplaques for previous owner ColonelJohn Montresor.After Montresor's bankruptcy, disgraceand death in 1799, the house and about80 acres of "Pleasure Grounds" werebought at auction at Garraways CoffeeHouse in June 1801 by General GeorgeHarris. The price was £8,960, takenfrom General Harris's share of £150,000of prize money for defeating Tipu Sahibat Seringapatam two years before. With no inherited wealth and "risenfrom nothing", as General Harris proudlyclaimed, he achieved many domesticGrape Vine cuttings, Figs ..." Echoes of a lost world of 150 years ofinternational service - typical of manyBritish families - resonate throughout thehouse, from the Entrance Hall with itsWaterloo Sword and a silver porter'strolley, presented at the opening of anIndian railway in 1897, to a bedroomhung with large and evocative views ofTrinidad in the 1840s painted by theFree Black artist Jean-Michel Cazabon,whom Lord Harris encouraged withmany commissions. Notable are thewatercolours depicting the 40-year-oldGovernor's marriage in 1850 to SarahCummins, the 18-year-old daughter ofthe Archdeacon of Trinidad. Their son,George Robert Canning, later "thecricketing Lord Harris", was born inTrinidad in 1851. A snarling Indian tiger,shot by the 4th Lord while serving asGovernor of Bombay between 1890 and1895, greets visitors. Set on high ground with viewstowards Essex from its two pepper potlookout towers, the original 1760s housewas enlarged between 1789 and 1793,while the main facade was clad inmathematical tiles to conceal the fierycolour of the red bricks and to protectthem against the prevailing weather.Samuel Wyatt, an innovative engineer