Isabel Pearce

Isabel's great-grandfather baked Vita Sackville-West's parents' wedding cake in 1890

Interviewed by Julia Kiggell

The wedding cake of Lionel and Victoria Sackville-West
The wedding cake of Lionel and Victoria Sackville-West

Isabel Pearce tells us about her great-grandfather and his very special connection to the Sackville-West family, and talks about a news article written at the time describing his work.


I.P.: Well, he was alive in the late nineteenth century, and he lived on until just before the Second World War, I think, round about – and he was obviously a master baker and he was employed by Ellman’s in London Road, Sevenoaks, as their manager. And this was where he was commissioned, obviously, to make the wedding cake for the marriage of Victoria [i.e. Vita] Sackville-West’s parents, which is 1890, and then in about 1899/1900 he then started his own business in Brasted, and he was the village baker there. And his family continued after his death and it traded until the early 1950s.

It tells you all about the orange blossom, the clematis, lily of the valley, spirea, the shields and the snakes heads, jasmine, stephanotis…

These are all the flowers on it…

I.P.:  Yes, the cake measured two feet by 20 inches and it was three feet high and weighed 90lbs.

Goodness me… It looks like that from the photo!

This page was added by Nicky Stitchman on 10/01/2014.

Comments about this page

  • Hi Anna,
    Yes, isn’t it beautiful and memorable. We were lucky to have been able to interview Isabel about this special time at Knole and the family’s history.
    Best wishes,
    The Knole Oral History team

    By Veronica Walker-Smith (02/05/2019)

Add a comment about this page

Your email address will not be published.

Popular keywords

These are the most popular keywords used on the site. The more popular the keyword, the bigger the font size.

View all the keywords used in this catalogue.