Doddington Place was built in 1870, by Trollope, for Sir John Croft. A previous house, known as Whitemans, had stood closer to the Faversham Road; it was pulled down as requested in the will of the owner, who did not wish to pass it to her next-of-kin.
It was for this original property that the gas-yard was constructed - later used to supply fuel for the larger house on top of the hill. It is said that the bricks used for the building were made at the village brick works, using clay from the grounds of Doddington Place.
The Croft family - of Croft Original Sherry fame - lived in the property from 1870 until 1906. It was then purchased jointly by the Jeffreys and Oldfield families. The story goes that the decision to buy was based on the magnificent view alone, with the interior of the house unseen.
To the South and East of the house there is a ha ha, 13 feet high, of brick and flint panels 100 yards in length; it runs into a terraced garden to the South East, with red brick walls and arcaded upper sections, raised corner sections and a flight of brick steps out into the gardens. These lovely gardens, now open to the public, were designed by Maude Jeffreys, a well-known 'character' in the Parish of Doddington.
The Edwardian front hall was added at a later stage, with heavy and beautifully-carved Jacobean panelling to grace the interior.
The house itself is only a shadow of that originally intended - which may account for the rather strange shape of the present property. For whatever reason, it was decided to halt the building operation well before completion.
During the war years, the army was billeted in the grounds in a number of Nissan huts. These same huts were used for growing mushrooms between 1947 and 1979.
A degree of rivalry existed between Sharsted Court and Doddington Place, heightened by the decision of the then Lord Harris to appoint retired General Douglas Oldfield as the Colonel of the Home Guard - in favour of Allured de-Laune, who felt he should have been given the post.
Although there were a few tradesmen and shops in Doddington, many of those who lived in the village were employees on the various farms owned by either de Laune at Sharsted or the Oldfields at Doddington Place. Between them, the two estates controlled, dominated and employed almost every resident of the village. This situation lasted until the First World War, since when fewer and fewer people have been employed in and around the big houses.
The folly in the garden of Doddington Place, visible from the road between Newnham and Doddington, was erected in 1997 by local builder Geoffrey Streeting and his team. It is a memorial to Alexandra Oldfield who died in 1995. As befits a folly, it was designed by an amateur - Richard Oldfield. It is octagonal, built of brick and has two storeys, the lower having napped flint facing. The folly serves no particular purpose other than as an adornment and as a place from which to view the park and the woodland garden.
DODDINGTON PLACE GARDENS (See Website)
Doddington Place has a large landscaped garden set in an area of outstanding natural beauty. The 10 acre garden was created by William Nesfield (1793 - 1881). He was arenowned garden designer who worked on more than 200 gardens and estates in England and Scotland. His work can still be seen in the gardens at Harewood House, Kensington Gardens and Castle Howard. The partnerre at Holkham Hall was his work as were some of the fine vistas at Kew Gardens. At Doddington Place Nesfield incorporated the marvellous views from the garden. The woodland garden is spectacular in the spring when the azaleas, rhododendrons, and bulbs are in bloom. The mixed borders of the formal terraces are full of colour in late summer. There is also an Edwardian rock garden, fine trees and lawns, impressive yew hedges and a new folly.