A private visit to Rochester House and Vine House took place on Thursday 8th February with Dr Tessa Murdoch. Remarkable survivals of city mansions, both have been restored by Robert Tucker and his partner Jonathan Wilmot and furnished with 17th and 18th century furniture and paintings. Restoration House takes its name from the stay of King Charles II on the eve of the Restoration and was the inspiration for Charles Dickens’s description of Miss Havisham’s home in Great Expectations.

The visit was followed by lunch at the French Hospital La Providence, founded in London in 1718 and moved to Rochester in 1958. Portraits, silver and memorabilia of Huguenot settlers are displayed here and at the Huguenot Museum. Highlights of the visit included, the Uppark ‘Baby’ House, the exceptional 18th-century dolls’ house which belonged to Sarah Lethieullier, the Huguenot heiress married to Matthew Fetherstonhaugh.


Image Credit: Restoration House. Photo © Robert Tucker