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Latitude: 51.1258 / 51°7'33"N
Longitude: 0.2166 / 0°12'59"E
OS Eastings: 555212
OS Northings: 138620
OS Grid: TQ552386
Mapcode National: GBR MPX.7MH
Mapcode Global: VHHQC.PYWT
Entry Name: Holmewood House School
Listing Date: 24 August 1990
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1067565
English Heritage Legacy ID: 438587
Location: Speldhurst, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN3
District: Tunbridge Wells
Civil Parish: Speldhurst
Built-Up Area: Royal Tunbridge Wells
Traditional County: Kent
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Kent
Church of England Parish: Langton Green All Saints
Church of England Diocese: Rochester
TQ 53 NE SPELDHURST BARROW LANE
8/444 Holmewood House School
School, converted from a house. The original house on the site, called
Mitchells, was built to the designs of Decimus Burton for C.H. Okey and J.
Carruthers. It was burned in 1837 and rebuilt to a different design (Colvin,
p.173). C20 extensions. Sandstone ashlar brought to course, the masonry of
the principal block with diagonal rustication and contrasting rusticated
borders, smooth ashlar dressings; hipped slate roof; stacks with ashlar
Plan: Roofed on an east west axis, the main block has a deep rectangular plan
with the entrance in the centre on the north side, the south (garden)
elevation with a central low service block to the north west. The main block
has a heated entrance hall with corridor on the long axis, the princiapl rooms
facing south, the principal stair rising from the corridor to the west. The
C20 additions adjoin the service block at the west end.
Exterior: 2 storeys. Roof concealed behind parapets; ashlar chimneyshafts
with sunk round-headed mouldings, corbelled cornices and multiple shafts, the
principal stack with moulded dividers to the flues. Original C19 windows.
Overall symmetrical 7-bay entrance (north) front, the parapet with a moulded
cornice and sunk panels rises in the centre with pilasters on either side of a
larger panel with a moulded frame. A platband forms the sills of the first
floor windows which have sunk panels below, above a second platband with
moulded stone brackets. Deep projecting central portico with paired Tuscan
columns with no bases to the front and pilasters to the rear with a plain
frieze and cornice, the roof glazed. Patterned tiles below the porch include
a Greek key border. 2-leaf front door, the leaves glazed above moulded
panelling with glazed panels to left and right, divided by pilasters. First
floor window above porch a tripartite sash, 12-pane in the centre, 4-pane in
the outer lights, the lights divided by recessed stone mullions with carved
consoles. The other first floor windows are 12-pane sashes, except the left
hand bays which have blind recesses on both first and ground floors. Ground
floor window tall over 9 pane sashes. The left (south) return is 5 bays in
a matching style, the 2 left hand bays with blind recesses. Stone steps down
to the cellar at the left end. The south (garden) elevation is 9 bays to the
main block, the centre 3 bays bowed, the details matching those on the north
elevation. A 5-bay block adjoins at the left (west) end. This is probably
original: 3-bays in the centre with a parapet and late c19 first floor 4-pane
sashes. A single storey projection along the front has a parapet and early
C19 6 over 9 pane sashes, the left hand bay with a fine stone doorcase with
pilasters and a cornice with a dentil frieze and egg-and-dart moulding. To
the right a single-storey projecting polygonal bay with a parapet above a
similar frieze and moulding is divided by engaged columns with capitals and
square bases. Above the door and polygonal bay rendered first floor
projections are probably later additions. C20 addition to the far left is not
of special interest. The north elevation of the service block is 9 bays with
a 1:3:5-bay front in a similar but plainer style to the main block with C19
small-pane sash windows. The masonry of the 5-bay block at the right end is
not rusticated and the parapet is completely plain.
Interior: The entrance hall has an Adam style chimney-piece with paired
pilasters. A carved white marble medallion fixed to the wall above is in the
style of Chantrey. Adam style swags within panels (possibly C20) applied to
the woodwork of the entrance hall. The entrance hall is top-lit from a first
floor glazed dome with a round well cut in the ground floor ceiling, the
opening with a good cast iron balustrade on the first floor. Fine late 1830s
cast iron balustrade to the stair with a mahogany handrail, the balusters
richly decorated with stout 3-dimensional scrollwork and stylized flowers.
The dining room has decorated plaster cornices and a white marble chimney-
piece. The principal room to the-west, now the staff room, has a good C19
painted ceiling including key patterns. The library is panelled with a
ceiling rose and subdivided by a segmental archway with anthemia in the
spandrels. The first floor landing is panelled with a guilloche frieze. Most
of the first floor chimney-pieces are late C19 with grates and tiled
surrounds, an C18 style chimney-piece survives in the bow-fronted bedroom.
Well-preserved joinery includes doors, doorcases and skirtings.
Source Colvin, H., A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects. 1600-1840
Listing NGR: TQ5521238620
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