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The Long House or 62 Strand Street

A Grade II* Listed Building in Sandwich, Kent

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Latitude: 51.2779 / 51°16'40"N

Longitude: 1.3377 / 1°20'15"E

OS Eastings: 632879

OS Northings: 158487

OS Grid: TR328584

Mapcode National: GBR X12.WHQ

Mapcode Global: VHLGS.44KP

Entry Name: The Long House or 62 Strand Street

Listing Date: 19 May 1950

Last Amended: 9 September 2016

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1069550

English Heritage Legacy ID: 177689

Location: Sandwich, Dover, Kent, CT13

County: Kent

District: Dover

Civil Parish: Sandwich

Built-Up Area: Sandwich

Traditional County: Kent

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Kent

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This list entry was subject to a Minor Amendment on 24/10/16

House erected between 1562 and 1578 on land formerly belonging to Christ Church Priory Canterbury, possibly for local ship owner and merchant John Gilbert. In the late C18 or early C19 it was re-fronted, re-fenestrated, a new staircase was added and there was some internal re-furbishing.


House erected between 1562 and 1578 on land formerly belonging to Christ Church Priory Canterbury, possibly for local ship owner and merchant John Gilbert. In the late C18 or early C19 it was re-fronted, re-fenestrated, a new staircase was added and there was some internal re-furbishing. It has a later C20 garage on the north-west side which is not of special interest.

MATERIALS: timber-framed with some brick nogging, the Strand Street range re-fronted in stucco, and the south-east side tile-hung above a stuccoed ground floor. The rear elevation is mainly of Flemish bond brown brick with some tile-hanging to the first floor. It has a tiled roof, with end hips and gablets to the front range and four brick chimneystacks.

PLAN: roughly T shaped, originally two storeys with four main rooms on each floor and a further projecting wing at the rear beside an eastern stair turret. There may also have been a stair turret on the west side. The original accommodation consisted of a western parlour, an adjoining hall probably of three bays, a separate entrance passage leading to the kitchen situated at the rear and an unheated room, possibly with a service use to the east. On the first floor three of the four first floor chambers were heated. This plan was modified by the insertion of a new staircase at the back of the front range in the late C18 or early C19.

EXTERIOR: the south-west principal front retains the continuous jetty although re-fronted in stucco and has a parapet and reeded cornice. The first floor has four-mid C19 sash windows with vertical glazing bars, horns and moulded cornices. The ground floor has six similar windows and two recessed doorcases with rectangular fanlights and panelled doors. Below is a plinth with two iron foot scrapers.

The south-east side has a stuccoed ground floor and tile-hung first floor with a later C20 casement to the ground floor.

The north-east or rear elevation eastern end is clad in brick with an external chimney stack and has a lean-to late C17 or early C18 stair turret with exposed timber-framing, including jowled post and stretcher bond brick nogging. The large full-height projecting gabled wing of two storeys and attic is stuccoed on the first floor of its south-east return but is otherwise of Flemish bond brickwork and some windows have elliptical arches. A first floor section further west is tile-hung with sash window and the ground floor is single storeyed with a C20 flat roof.

The north-west side is mainly obscured by a single-storey C20 brick garage with a penticed tiled and pantiled roof.

INTERIOR: the west parlour, now dining room, retains C16 cross braces to the ceiling but was refurbished in the late C18 or early C19 with a moulded cornice and full-height panelling on the north-west wall, incorporating a round-headed arched china cabinet with serpentine shelves, pilasters and keystone, a moulded fire surround with a panelled overmantel and a matching round-headed doorcase with keystone, pilasters and panelled doors. The other walls have dado panels of short over tall panels and a six panelled door.

The adjoining hall, now drawing room, has late C16 ceiling beams but an C18 plaster cornice. It retains a C16 carved wooden bressumer to the fireplace.

The rear kitchen has C16 cross beams to the ceiling and exposed timbers, probably the remains of a jetty.

Access to the upper floor is either by the eastern late C17 or early C18 winder staircase in the east stair turret, which has exposed wall framing and thick square balusters to the handrail, or by the late C18 or early C19 straight flight staircase with carved tread ends in the main hall.

The west chamber has cross beams to the ceiling and an exposed wall frame with a curved tension brace, midrail, studs and the east and west walls have circa 1570 grisaille wall paintings of griffins, fruit and flowers, including Tudor roses, with some surviving original colouring.

Another chamber also has an exposed wall frame and embossed patterned pargetting. Another has cross beams to the ceiling and borders stamped with narrow bands of embossed pargetting. A fourth room has a late C18 or early C19 panelled fire surround and dado panelling identical to the parlour panelling.

The main roof was originally a usable space. The original main rear slope survives with clasped side purlins, ogee-braced wind braces and rafters. The east wing has a sling-brace truss.

The cellar is reputed to date from 1253 and to have a blocked off passage which originally led to the quay.


The Long House was probably built on part of the property owned by Christ Church Priory, Canterbury before its dissolution in 1539. Its cellar is reputed to date from 1253.

The timber frame of The Long House has been dendro-dated to between 1562 and 1578. Although the identity of the original owner is not known for certain, it may have been John Gilbert, a ship owner and probably also a merchant, who was Mayor of Sandwich in 1572-3 when Queen Elizabeth was received in the town for four days in late August 1573. The house is located near the River Stour, and the site of a crane on land which had been leased to Gilbert in 1567. Five years later the new buildings were a cause of dispute but in 1597 Thomas Gilbert, John's son, bequeathed a 'great house' and adjacent tenements near the old crane to his son and it is thought that the 'great house' could have been the Long House.

In the late C18 or early C19 the timber frame was re-fronted, a further small wing was added to the north-east and some refurbishing took place, including the replacement of windows and of panelling in the parlour.

The house appears on the 1872 Ordnance Survey 25 inch map with a similar footprint to the present day but at that date the property also included an attached section on the north-west side in the position of the southern part of 62B Strand Street and a detached store, now 64 Strand Street, which has the inscription 'BAIZEHALL' . Baize was a loosely woven woollen cloth introduced to England by Dutch Huguenot immigrants in the third quarter of the C16 and produced in Sandwich. A rectangular garden is shown to the north-east with a path, a rockery and a shrub border. There is little change in the outline of the property on subsequent Ordnance Survey editions of 1897, 1907, and 1938.

62 (The Long House) Strand Street, Sandwich was listed at Grade II in May 1950 as part of the original listing survey of Sandwich. An Ordnance Survey map, issued in 1967 (surveyed 1955), shows a small eastern section of the original house which was at the time divided into a separate property, indicated as no. 62A (also known as The Short House). Structurally it is an integral part of 62 Strand Street, in 2016 is in the same ownership, and is included in the List entry.

Part of former outbuildings at the north-west corner of The Long House are now part of the separate property Monken Quay, nos. 62B and 64 Strand Street, and both 62B and 64 are excluded from the listing.

Reasons for Listing

The Long House or 62 Strand Street is listed at Grade II* for the following principal reasons:
* Early date: the timber frame has been dendro-dated to between 1562 and 1578;
* Architectural quality: an impressive continuous jetty house of high status, with four rooms on each floor, it is thought to be the 'great house' referred to in a will of 1597, and has an exposed later C16 wall frame, ceiling beams and roof structure with ogee-braced wind braces and a sling-brace truss to the east wing;
* Interior fittings: include a medieval cellar, late C17 or early C18 winder staircase in the east stair turret, good quality late C18 or early C19 wall panelling in two rooms, and an outstanding decorative scheme of c1570 to three first floor chambers, comprising well-preserved fine quality grisaille wall paintings of griffins, fruit and flowers, with some surviving original colouring;
* Historic interest: the decorative scheme may have been undertaken for Queen Elizabeth I's visit to Sandwich in 1573, when the owner of the house is thought to have been the Mayor of Sandwich, John Gilbert;
* Updating the NHLE: to provide clarity as to the extent of special interest.

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