Lord Bruce-Lockhart, who died last week at the age of 66, grew apples and pears on 120ha of land in Headcorn for 20 years until he launched into local government.
Before the taking over at English Heritage in 2007, he chaired the Local Government Association and was a council leader in Maidstone.
"Sandy made a great contribution to our work," said English Heritage chief executive Simon Thurley. "He achieved a major breakthrough in our plans for Stonehenge.
"It wasn't just the grand places he loved but the hidden heritage of ordinary people. His gentle wisdom and insight into what people really care about will be a great loss."
Thurley added: "The nation has lost a heritage crusader and English Heritage has lost a respected leader."
Local Government Association chairman Sir Simon Milton said: "His social conscience, sense of humour and commitment to public service offered a template to all politicians."
Lord Bruce-Lockhart, who was knighted in 2002, is survived by his wife and three children.