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Former Hemp House, Spinning Room and Offices

A Grade II* Listed Building in Chatham, Medway

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Latitude: 51.3924 / 51°23'32"N

Longitude: 0.526 / 0°31'33"E

OS Eastings: 575839

OS Northings: 168955

OS Grid: TQ758689

Mapcode National: GBR PPP.MTL

Mapcode Global: VHJLV.28FF

Entry Name: Former Hemp House, Spinning Room and Offices

Listing Date: 13 August 1999

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1378608

English Heritage Legacy ID: 476561

Location: Medway, ME4

County: Medway

Electoral Ward/Division: River

Built-Up Area: Chatham

Traditional County: Kent

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Kent

Church of England Parish: Gillingham St Mark

Church of England Diocese: Rochester

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Listing Text

(West side) Chatham Dockyard
Former Hemp House, Spinning
Room and Offices


Hemp store, spinning house, and offices. 1729 single-storey hemp house, doubled in width 1743-47, extended to S and first floor added 1812, mid C19 engine house. Brick with slate hipped roof.
PLAN: rectangular single-depth plan, with N attached engine house and office. EXTERIOR: 2 storeys and cellar; 21:2:1-bay range. Long hemp house has overhanging eaves, divided into three first-floor 3:1:3-window sections with the middle ones flanked by shallow buttresses and containing wide round-arched ground-floor doorways and altered C20 first-floor windows; single ground-floor windows, altered, segmental-arched first-floor 12/12-pane casements. N engine house is patterned brick with a 4-bay end with blank outer bays, 2-storey flat-headed recesses containing round-arched 24/24-pane casements.
Early C19 lower, narrower 5-bay office against the N end comprises a 4-window range with overhanging eaves, has a central timber porch, and rubbed brick heads to 6/6-pane sashes.
INTERIOR: has a fire-proof cellar, match boarded ground-floor store with posts and masonry walls with round arches supporting the upper floor, timber queen and prince post roof trusses with attached belt drive for the spinning plant. The former engine house has tall cast-iron columns to the beam floor.
HISTORY: the 1729 Hemp house was the only part of the old dockyard to survive the late C18 rebuilding of the ropeyard in the S end of the dockyard, and was used for storing raw hemp before ft was taken to the hatchelling house for combing. When mechanised spinning was added mid C19 it was put into the upper floor, and the beam engine in an extension on the N end.
Part of the most complete ropery (see Anchor Wharf) and one of the largest integrated groups of C18 industrial buildings in the country; also part of a fine and complete group of Georgian dockyard buildings.
(Sources: Coad J: Historic Architecture of Chatham Dockyard 1700-1850: London: 1982: 162 ; Coad J: The Royal Dockyards 1690-1850: Aldershot: 1989: 207 -8 ; The Buildings of England: Newman J: West Kent and the Weald: London: 1976: 205).

Listing NGR: TQ7583668956

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

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