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Brenchley Manor

A Grade II* Listed Building in Tonbridge, Kent

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Latitude: 51.1537 / 51°9'13"N

Longitude: 0.3951 / 0°23'42"E

OS Eastings: 567595

OS Northings: 142105

OS Grid: TQ675421

Mapcode National: GBR NR2.QNY

Mapcode Global: VHJMX.S8QF

Plus Code: 9F32593W+F2

Entry Name: Brenchley Manor

Listing Date: 20 October 1954

Last Amended: 24 August 1990

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1277671

English Heritage Legacy ID: 430800

Location: Brenchley, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN12

County: Kent

District: Tunbridge Wells

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

Listing Text


6/38 Brenchley Manor (formerly listed
as The Old Parsonage)

Large house. C16 or earlier origins with substantial alterations and
additions of 1912-14 form Mr C.H. Allfrey (Oswald). Close-studded framed
construction; peg-tile roof; brick stacks.

Plan: The house faces east. The main range is 3 rooms on plan with an
entrance to right of centre, probably originally into a cross passage. High
quality hall to the left of the entry, with a rear lateral stack, fine parlour
beyond at the east end, also heated from a rear lateral stack. The lower end
is a small service room, originally unheated. It is difficult to judge how
much of the surviving house, apart from the main range, dates from the C16.
Behind the main block further rooms, including service rooms, are housed under
a 3 span roof at right angles, the rear completed by a block parallel to the
main range. The house was thoroughly restored between 1912 and 1914, when the
rear left (north west) wing was added in a style to match the main block and a
stair hall was incorporated to the rear of the C16 hall. The alterations
matched the style of the original externally and incorporated features
imported from elsewhere, obscuring the service rooms to the original house.
The roof construction is wholly C20.

Exterior: 2 storeys. Asymmetrical 3 window north front, the roof half-hipped
at ends. Most of the chimneyshafts are early C20, the parlour stack is
handmade brick with a staggered shaft. The close-studded framing was exposed
in circa 1912 and most of the studs are renewed. The first floor is jettied
with a moulded fascia - one of the jetty brackets has a roll-moulding and the
left end (south) corner has a triple bracket. The porch, to right of centre,
is probably largely early C20, re-using old timbers. It has a flat lead roof
with a moulded cornice, the deep eaves carried on dragon beams and curved
braces. The outer doorway has moulded jambs and a replaced lintel. The
richly-moulded inner doorframe is probably C16 with a Tudor arched head and
delicately-carved spandrels. Fine C16 ledged front door with moulded
overlapping planks fixed with studs. Windows largely early C20 but
incorporating old timbers, some of which may belong to original windows in
situ. 3 first floor regularly-spaced 4-light ovolo-moulded mullioned windows,
the centre window flanked by smaller 2-light millioned windows, all glazed
with early C20 square leaded panes. Similar transomed ground floor windows to
the left of the porch, ground floor window right is 2-light and transomed.
Projecting right end stack is probably C20. The left return of the main range
is also jettied with similar C20 windows including a 3-light attic window.
Beyond the main block the 3-window early C20 wing is also jettied and close-
studdied with a gable to the front at the left end. The rear (west) elevation
of the wing is also jettied with a 2-span roof. The rear right wing is brick
with large sash windows and may date from the C19. At the rear right end of
the house a single-storey north west wing is built of handmade brick and
probably C18 in date.

Interior: The main range preserves very high quality C16 carpentry and
panelling. The hall has a ceiling of richly-moulded intersecting beams, a
crossbeam marking the hall/passge division, for which there is no longer a
partition. Fine rear doorway to the former cross passage with a richly-
moulded frame and elaborate stops; richly-moulded doorframe with bar stops
from the passage into the lower end room. Moulded stone hall fireplace with a
Tudor arched lintel. The inner room parlour is fully panelled with 5 tiers of
linenfold crowned with a Renaissance frieze of arabesques and profile heads.
There has been some debate about the date (early or late C16) of the linenfold
and whether it is in situ (Oswald). The wainscotting is divided into bays by
classical pilasters and a panel over the door is dated 1573. The moulded
timber cornice abuts the moulded 4-panel ceiling beams rather awkwardly. Fine
Tudor arched moulded stone fireplace flanked by Ionic pilasters in the
wainscot. The overmantel has a cranked arch, the spandrels filled with lively
carvings depicting a man being bitten by a monster on one side and a woman
with a club in control of a similar monster on the other. A tier of 6 carved
panels above is divided by Ionic pilasters, the moulded panels with lions'
heads carved in relief, the centre 2 panels with the arms and initials of
Elizabeth Fane who had the Manor as her dower house following the death of her
husband in 1571. Her memorial in Brenchley church records that "her memorable
hospitalitie made her famous and renowned". Above the carved panels a frieze
of arabesques is divided by carved brackets. The lower end room has been sub-
divided and has a plain chamfered crossbeam. The C16 house evidently extended
further to the rear (south) since a moulded C16 doorframe leads from an
extension of the cross passage into what is now the stair hall. This contains
an early Georgian style stair, said to have been introduced in the early C20
(Oswald) with an open string, a moulded ramped handrail and replaced
balusters. The heavy egg-and-dart cornice in the stair hall is probably early
C20. The other rooms mostly have chimneypieces of the early C20 or 1980s.
The single-storey rear wing has a probably C18 tie-beam and queen strut roof.
The chamber over the hall on the first floor has a moulded stone fireplace
surround with a Tudor arched lintel.

Roof: All the roofs except the rear wing parallel to the main range are C20.
The rear wing roof was not accessible at time of survey (1988).

Extremely high quality interior features of the C16 in the main range make
this a house of special interest.

Source Oswald, A., 'Brenchley, Kent. 2', Country Life, June 7, 1946.

Listing NGR: TQ6759542105

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

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