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About Us


A recap of Penshurst Festival 2019

See below some of our exciting performers and events from 2019's festival!


Penshurst Festival


Penshurst Festival was set up to provide a weekend of arts activities and entertainment for the region around the historic village of Penshurst in Kent. It focuses on literature and music and takes place annually in October. Sadly the Festival in October 2020 was cancelled due to the effects of Covid19. This year's festival wil be smaller than in 2019 because of the financial risks still involved in mounting events before the virus is fully under control. The 2021 min-weekend Festival will take place between 1-3 October 2021. 

The 2021 Festival is run by the Friends of Penshurst Church in partnership with Penshurst Place and Penshurst Church.  

Penshurst Place amp Gardens

Penshurst Place & Gardens

Prison Reading Groups

Prison Reading Groups


We would also like to thank the generous donors who helped to fund the setting up of the festival in its first year and have promised their support in 2021. They are listed at Support Us.


Who's Who


David Lough

Chair, Artistic Director

Author (No More Champagne, Darling Winston) , Trustee, FOPC


Helen Winning

Festival Director

Former CEO, Hastings International Music Festival, Trustee, FOPC


Stephen Hazell Smith


Former asset management CEO, Chairman of Trustees – FOPC


Ben Thomas


General Manager, Penshurst Place & Gardens


James Lee


Former CEO, Goldcrest Films; Chairman, Bureau of Investigative Journalism


Alastair Briggs


Former accountant and banker


Friends of Penshurst Church


The Friends of Penshurst Church is a registered charity which aims to raise funds to maintain, repair, protect, restore, improve and reconstruct the fabric of St John the Baptist Church, Penshurst for the benefit of the public.