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Hay House

A Grade II Listed Building in Hythe, Kent

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Latitude: 51.0724 / 51°4'20"N

Longitude: 1.0774 / 1°4'38"E

OS Eastings: 615682

OS Northings: 134841

OS Grid: TR156348

Mapcode National: GBR V0L.P64

Mapcode Global: FRA F649.3JM

Entry Name: Hay House

Listing Date: 23 October 1974

Last Amended: 5 November 2010

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1068931

English Heritage Legacy ID: 175185

Location: Hythe, Shepway, Kent, CT21

County: Kent

District: Shepway

Civil Parish: Hythe

Built-Up Area: Hythe

Traditional County: Kent

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Kent

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Listing Text


23-OCT-74 (South side)

(Formerly listed as:

Former Commandant's House, now six flats, built c1804 and altered in the later C19 and C20.

MATERIALS: Painted brick with a brick dentil course, hipped slate roof and six-over-six timber sliding-sash windows.

PLAN: Rectangular in plan; long hip-roofed range to the south, with four perpendicular hipped roofs to the north. Six stacks. Two-storey pitch-roofed out-shut to the north. The principal entrance is to the east, with the garden front to the south.

EXTERIOR: The east elevation is three bays wide; there is a central doorway with semi-circular fanlight and ground and first-floor windows to either side. The original list description describes this elevation as having a porch and doorcase with two engaged Tuscan columns; these do not remain. Four-bay south elevation; ground floor windows are three-light sashes with recessed segmentally-arched heads.

HISTORY: The house was bought in 1809 as a residence for the Commandant of the Royal Staff Corps and Director of the Royal Military Canal, Lt Col John Brown. The house was adjacent to Hythe barracks; built 1808-1810 to provide a new depot for the Royal Staff Corps, which was previously stationed at Chatham.

Lt Col (later Major-General) John Brown (bap.1756 - 1816) was a military engineer and talented watercolour artist. It was he who had, in 1804, conceived the idea of the Royal Military Canal as the principal element of the costal defence of Kent and Sussex against the threat of French invasion. The ease with which boats could land on the coastline between Folkestone and Hastings made it particularly vulnerable, and the canal was to act as a defensive line, containing the enemy on Romney marshes. Under Brown's direction the Royal Staff Corps were responsible for the construction of the canal, which was completed in 1809. As Commandant of the Staff Corps, and Director of the newly-completed canal, Brown took up residence in the house in 1809, and lived there until his death in 1816.

The Royal Staff Corps was disbanded in 1837, and the barracks became home to the School of Musketry from 1853; the Commandant's House became the residence of the Inspector-General of Musketry. The barracks remained in army use until 1969 but have since been demolished. In the late C20 The Commandant's House, also known as Paddock House, became Hay House, and was divided into six flats.

P A L Vine, The Royal Military Canal (1st ed. 1972 and 2nd ed. 2010)
Cpt A J Parsons, A Brief History of The Small Arms School Corps and the Small Arms Wing School of Infantry, Hythe (1953)

Hay House, an early C19 house is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Historic interest: the house is the only surviving part of the Napoleonic period Hythe Barracks complex, which was home to the Royal Staff Corps, who oversaw the construction of the Royal Military Canal; the principal element of the costal defence of Kent and Sussex against the threat of French invasion
* Architectural interest: the house is a handsome example of early C19 domestic architecture.

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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