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The Old Vicarage

A Grade II* Listed Building in Brenchley, Kent

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Latitude: 51.1505 / 51°9'1"N

Longitude: 0.3998 / 0°23'59"E

OS Eastings: 567936

OS Northings: 141759

OS Grid: TQ679417

Mapcode National: GBR NR2.ZTZ

Mapcode Global: VHJMX.WB6X

Plus Code: 9F32592X+5W

Entry Name: The Old Vicarage

Listing Date: 20 October 1954

Last Amended: 24 August 1990

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1250138

English Heritage Legacy ID: 432300

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


(south side)
15/131 The Old Vicarage (formerly listed
as house 45 yds north of All Saints
20.10.54 Church and Frank Burton's Store)

House, formerly vicarage, C16 origins with various phases of extension and
refurbishment including a fine late C17 parlour. The house incorporates a
former C19 shop (previously listed separately) and a probably early C20 store
associated with the shop. The early parts of the house are of framed
construction, the east elevation plastered on the ground floor, weatherboarded
on the first floor, the south elevation tile-hung with bands of scalloped
tiles, all painted white. Some exposed close-studding to the west elevation.
peg-tile roof; brick stacks. The former shop is brick, the first floor of the
front elevation weatherboarded; slate roof.

Plan: Complex evolution. The house is basically L-plan. The east facing
entrance block is 2-cell with an entrance to right of centre into a passage
which now extends to the far west end of the house. The right hand (north)
room, probably originally unheated, is heated from a rear lateral stack. The
larger left hand room is heated from an axial stack in the long rear left
(south west) wing with the late C17 parlour beyond it heated from a back-to-
back fireplace in the same stack. The angle of the L has been filled in,
probably piecemeal, by 2 other wings, one on a north south axis parallel to
the entrance block, another at right angles, parallel to the rear left wing.
The shop, facing north east, encloses the complex on the High Street side. At
the west end of the complex, sited behind the Bull Public House there is a
single-storey kitchen and, beyond it at the extreme west end of the site, a
substantial early C20 store. It is difficult to sort out the precise sequence
of the early parts of this multi-phase building. Both the entrance block and
the rear left wing have plain unsooted crown post roofs of an early C16
character, the axial stack in the wing being an insertion. The entrance block
was evidently longer than it is at present, the C19 shop truncates the 3 bay
roof. The whole complex is sited partly within the churchyard, in its north
western corner. The location of the building and absence of a stack or smoke-
bay to the wing suggests that it may have functioned as a church or guild

Exterior: 2 storeys and 3 separate cellars. Jettied on both the east and
south elevations with moulded fascias. The asymmetrical entrance (east)
elevation is 3 windows with a central C18 panelled front door with a
rectangular overlight. 2 4-pane early C19 sash to ground floor left, early
C19 canted bay to the right with a central 16-pane sash and flanking 8-pane
lights. The 3 first floor windows are 3-light transomed casements with square
leaded panes and quadrant catches. The leadwork was found to be dated in the
1740s during repair (information from owners). Roof hipped at the left end,
gabled at the right end, rear right lateral stack. The south elevation is 3
windows. On the ground floor there is a C19 panelled recessed door to the
right, 2 16-pane early C19 sashes to ground floor, one C20 pane sash to ground
floor right, 2 first floor 3-light transomed casements with square headed
panes, matching those on the east elevation, with one small one-light
transomed window between them. The C19 shop elevation, overlooking the High
Street has a 2-leaf C19 half-glazed door in the centre with a rectangular
overlight, flanked by large C19 shop windows, 24-pane in the right and 2 8-
pane to the left, with a 12-pane window at the extreme left. The first floor
has 2 16-pane sashes and, at the extreme right, a loft door. A wide
horizontal canopy projects at first floor level. Slate roof, gabled at ends.

Interior: Very unspoiled. Important both for its C16 carpentry and an
exceptionally fine late C17 parlour. Parts of the C16 frame with jowled wall
posts and some large tension braces survive,including a mullioned window (now
internal and blocked) on the rear first floor wall of the east block and
another on the inner first floor wall of the south west wing. The southern
ground floor room in the east block preserves chamfered stopped ceiling beams,
including a dragon beam. The late C17 parlour (west room in the south west
wing) is remarkable, with its original scheme of painted decoration almost
perfectly intact. A large bolection-moulded chimney-piece is covered with
painted marbling and the overmantel incorporates 3 integral late C17 landscape
paintings, which include architectural features and figures. The walls are
panelled in 2 tiers of oyster-painted imitation walnut, the lower tiers with
heart-shaped motifs in the corners and central floral motifs. The painted
scheme extends across the inner face of the 2-panel door to the room and
across the door to a walk-in cupboard adjacent to the stack. The outer face
of the door to the room was also originally painted and this may survive below
the existing gloss. The ceiling beams are cased in timber carved with
lozenges and, like the fielded panel shutters, also show evidence of the
remains of painting. The scheme probably dates from circa 1690. The right
hand (northern) room in the east block is plastered with a probably C18 timber
moulded chimney-piece. The left hand room incldues a fitted C18 corner
cupboard. The C19 shop incorporates fittings of interest, including a
mahogany-topped counter complete with drawers and a bank of fitted spice

Roof: The east and south west wings have crown post roofs, 2-bay to the south
west wing and 3 bays plus to the east wing, where the roof has been truncated
by the addition of the shop. The crown posts are slightly chamfered with step
stops and 3-way bracing, twice to the collar purlin, once to the tie beam.
The braces are not all intact and in the south west wing one bay has been
interrupted by the stack. The east wing roof timbers are covered with
graffiti, much of which is late C19 and includes interesting comments on local
people. The C19 shop has a king post and strut roof with pegged joints.

An extremely interesting and very unspoiled traditional house.

Listing NGR: TQ6793541756

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