History in Structure

Thistles Wenhams Cottages

A Grade II* Listed Building in Five Oak Green, Kent

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Latitude: 51.1854 / 51°11'7"N

Longitude: 0.3566 / 0°21'23"E

OS Eastings: 564795

OS Northings: 145550

OS Grid: TQ647455

Mapcode National: GBR NQN.M05

Mapcode Global: VHJMQ.4GDL

Plus Code: 9F3259P4+5M

Entry Name: Thistles Wenhams Cottages

Listing Date: 20 October 1954

Last Amended: 24 August 1990

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1254121

English Heritage Legacy ID: 437521

ID on this website: 101254121

Location: Five Oak Green, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN12

County: Kent

District: Tunbridge Wells

Civil Parish: Capel

Built-Up Area: Five Oak Green

Traditional County: Kent

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Kent

Church of England Parish: Tudeley cum Capel with Five Oak Green

Church of England Diocese: Rochester

Tagged with: Cottage

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East Peckham



1/314 Nos 1 (Thistles) and 2 Wenhams
20.10.54 Cottages (formerly listed as
Moat Farm Cottages)

2 cottages, formerly a farmhouse. Dated circa 1436 by dendrochronological
analysis, with C16 and C17 improvements, some alterations in the late C19 when
the house was divided, both cottages modernised circa 1980. Timber-framed,
ground floor underbuilt with C19 and C20 brick, above first floor level the
frame is clad with painted weatherboards; brick stack and staggered
chimneyshaft; peg-tile roof.

Plan and Development: Originally a medieval hall house with a 3-room plan
facing south east. At the left (south west) end is the inner room end with
solar/master chamber above and jettied at the end. Next to it a 2-bay hall,
originally open to the roof and heated by an open hearth fire. There was
probably a through passage at the right end. The right end room was the
service end and was also storeyed from the beginning and it too may have been
jettied at the end. Some time in the C16 a timber-framed axial stack was
built into the hall backing onto the site of the passage but this was replaced
by the present brick stack in the early C17 and the hall was floored at the
same time,. The passage and service room end was rebuilt at ground floor level
in the late C19 when the internal partitions were removed and a fireplace
built backing onto the C17 stack. This was probably associated with the
division of the house into 2 cottages. No 1 occupies the C19 room on the site
of the original passage and service room whilst No 2 occupies the former hall
and inner room end.

House is 2 storeys with various circa 1960 and circa 1980 single storey
extensions to rear and a lean-to outshot on the right end.

Exterior: Irregular 4-window front of C20 casements with no glazing bars.
Both cottages have front doorways towards each front end and both contain C19
doors, the right one (No 1) behind a C20 gabled porch. The large post in the
centre of the front wall is the medieval wall post for the crown post truss.
First floor jetty at the left end carried on large joists. Roof is very tall
and steeply pitched and is hipped both ends; to right it is carried down over
the C20 kitchen there.

Interior: Shows that the structure of the late medieval hall house is well-
preserved. Some of the framing is exposed at first floor level and can be
seen most complete on the right (north east) end wall from inside the outshot
roof; it is 2 large bays with curving tension braces to the corner posts
lapping over the fronts of the studs and it includes a blocked 2-light window
divided by the central post. The crosswall at the upper end of the hall (in
No 2) is well-preserved although plastered over at ground floor level. cn the
hall side there is a dais rail just below first floor level; it is richly-
moulded with mostly beads and hollow chamfers with a crest of pierced
brattishing. At first floor level large curving tension braces to the central
post and above the tie-beam the crown post has curving down braces. Similar
crosswall in No 1 originally at the lower end of the hall but it has been
demolished at ground floor level and underpinned by a C19 crossbeam. At the
left end (in No 2) the inner room ceiling is carried on close-set plain joists
of heavy scantling oversailing the end wall to carry the solar jetty.
Mortises along the underside of one of the joists suggest that the inner room
was originally divided into 2 small rooms. Present stairs in the inner room
at the front end and appear to be occupying the site of the original stairs.

In the hall (No 2), axial crossbeam is chamfered with scroll-stops and large
brick fireplace with chamfered oak lintel with runout stops. Medieval roof is
essentially intact. 2 bays between the closed trusses each end. Central
truss has cambered tie beams set normal assembly fashion on large wall posts
with jowled heads. Large chamfered arch-braces descend well below first floor
level. On top an octagonal crown post with moudled cap and base and 4-way
bracing. Common rafter couples with notched lap-jointed collars. Hall roof
is heavily smoke-blackened from the original open hearth fire. The structure continues past the stack into No 1 and around the stack there is evidence of
the C16 timber-framed stack. The hipped roofs each end are essentially
original and are not smoke-blackened.

Nos 1 and 2 Wenhams Cottages are built in the well-preserved remains of a
medieval hall house.

A RCHM survey was carried out as a result of this listing survey. It includes
plans, elevations and details. Associated dendrochronological analysis by
Nottingham University Tree Ring Dating Laboratory.

Listing NGR: TQ6479545550

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