The Japanese Collection

The Japanese Lacquer collection at Chiddingstone Castle is perhaps one of the finest in a private collection in Western Europe and is one of Denys Bower’s greatest achievements.

Denys grew up in a collector’s world and his father was a knowledgeable collector of ancient Chinese porcelain. It is therefore quite natural that his love of oriental art grew from there. Japanese art also provided a particularly rewarding field for collecting, as it was highly accessible during the beginning of the 20th Century.

As a result of Denys Bower’s lifelong interest in Japanese swords, Chiddingstone Castle has an exquisite collection, an important selection of which is on display. The collection demonstrates a wide variety of types of swords and sword fittings including highly decorative pieces from the Edo Period (1603-1868). There are also examples of sword fittings in the collection made specifically for the export market.

Information for researchers: Chiddingstone Castle is committed to providing access to its collections. Further information can be provided on request to

About Us

Chiddingstone Castle is an historic house, set in 35 acres of Kentish countryside, filled with treasures collected over a life time by Denys Eyre Bower.

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The Castle

The Collections

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Opening Times

From April to October we are open on the following days and times, with last entry at 4.15pm.

Monday: 11am - 5pm

Tuesday: 11am - 5pm

Wednesday: 11am - 5pm

Thursday: Closed

Friday: Closed

Saturday: Closed

Sunday: 11am - 5pm

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