An earlier house on the site was one of many places the poet Charles d'Orleans was lodged during a long imprisonment in England after his capture at the Battle of Agincourt. Charles wrote one of my favourite lyrics of any time or any language- "Le temps a laisse son manteau."
The present house dates from the 1660s and tradition says- as it says of many buildings of the period- that Christopher Wren had a hand in the design. Arthur Conan Doyle was a frequent visitor in the days of his fame- when he was living just down the road in Crowborough- and used it- disguised as Birlstone Manor- as the venue for the shotgun killing in The Valley of Fear.
The house is a private residence- and so not open to the public- but the gardens can be visited- at a price- and are very pretty.
Twice a day- every day bar Fridays- Eddie and Veronica Hare of the Groombridge Raptor Centre fly their birds in the grounds. Here's Veronica with Maleficent the African Fish Eagle.