For centuries Sevenoaks, with Knole at its heart and St Nicholas’ as its soul, saw only gradual change. Only in the last 150 years or so has there been significant growth, starting with the coming of the railways, providing easy access to and from London. Expansion continued with the demand for housing after World War One.

Old estates were broken up, roads driven through, cottages built for the workers, more grand houses for the affluent. Fortunately, when the grand estates were redeveloped they were subdivided into generously-sized plots, sometimes with covenants dictating a minimum size for the houses to be built thereon.

The town thereby benefits from characteristically substantial houses set in large gardens that allow plenty of space for trees and landscaping. In recent years there has been a trend towards attempts to subdivide these plots, and the town needs to guard against over-development which will harm the town’s special character. 

Today, as a town that must look to ways to maintain its ”competitive edge” through trade as well as heritage, it is dominated not so much by the ancestral power and influence of Knole but by the commercially-driven requirements of large retailers.

Nevertheless the town retains many fine historic and interesting buildings, as well as Knole, the jewel in its crown; and we hope that this web-site will help you to learn more about them and perhaps appreciate them a little more.