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The Old Workhouse

A Grade II* Listed Building in Brenchley, Kent

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Latitude: 51.1514 / 51°9'4"N

Longitude: 0.3976 / 0°23'51"E

OS Eastings: 567784

OS Northings: 141855

OS Grid: TQ677418

Mapcode National: GBR NR2.RBT

Mapcode Global: VHJMX.VB26

Plus Code: 9F32592X+G3

Entry Name: The Old Workhouse

Listing Date: 20 October 1954

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1250070

English Heritage Legacy ID: 432306

Location: Brenchley, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN12

County: Kent

Civil Parish: Brenchley

Built-Up Area: Brenchley

Traditional County: Kent

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Kent

Church of England Parish: Brenchley All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Rochester

Find accommodation in
Paddock Wood


(south side)
15/137 Nos 1-3 inclusive, (The Old

House, divided into 3 tenanted cottagess. Probably late C16/early C17,
thoroughly restored and re-planned internally when it was bought and repaired
by the Borough Council in the 1950s and converted to public housing. Close-
studded framed construction, the rear wall rebuilt in brick, the right end
wall underbuilt in brick on the ground floor, the first floor tile-hung. Peg-
tile roof; brick stacks.

Plan: The house faces north, overlooking the High Street. 5-bays including
the porch, to left of centre. The 1950s alterations have made it very
difficult to decipher the original internal plan on a brief inspection. The
present arrangement has a left end stack and an axial stack which is
approximately central. Old photographs (A Victorian Pictorial Record of
Brenchley and Matfield (n.d., c.1988)) show an internal right end stack and
what appears to be a simple chimneypot on the ridge in an axial position. New
partitions and stairs have been introduced and at least one old partition
removed. In addition to the principal doorway, serving No 2, there are C20
doorways to No 1, alongside the porch to the left, and to No 3, at the extreme
right end of the range. The preservation of the external features of the
building and internal conversion were clearly the priorities in the 1950s.

Exterior: Very striking externally. 2 storeys and attics. Asymmetrical
1:1:2 window north front with a 2-storey gabled projecting porch to left of
centre. Roof hipped at the left end, half-hipped at the right. Axial stack
with a C20 brick shaft with corbelled cornice; projecting left end stack with
tile-hung set-offs and a corbelled cornice. The porch has a first floor coved
oriel window with a pent roof glazed with a repaired 4-light transomed
mullioned window with single transomed lights to the returns, glazed with
leaded panes. Square-headed outer doorframe to the porch, moulded inner
doorframe. The porch gable has a 3-light casement. C20 plank front doors to
Nos 1 and 3, both in C20 doorframes, No 1 with a diagonal porch hood, No 3
with a gabled porch hood on brackets. To the left a 2-storey bay on sandstone
footings, the first floor with a 5-light transomed mullioned window, probably
largely C17, the ground floor window C19 or C20, 4-lights and mullioned and
transomed. C19 or C20 4-light mullioned and transomed windows to the right of
the porch, glazed with leaded panes. 3 first floor C20 gabled dormers with
mullioned and transomed windows with leaded panes. C19 photographs show
smaller, more irregular windows to the right of the porch, including a third
first floor window, and only 2 gabled dormers. The earliest C19 photograph
shows stone coping on the roof to the right of the porch. Most of the studs
of the wall-framing are renewed.

Interior: Very altered. Chamfered crossbeams survive on the ground floor and
at least one crosswall (immediately left of the porch) is original. The left
end fireplace is largely rebuilt, no original exposed fireplaces to the axial

Roof: Inaccessible in Nos 1 and 2. No 3 is largely concealed but appears to
be a side purlin roof.

A very handsome and prominently-sited house.

Listing NGR: TQ6778741853

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