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Latitude: 51.2957 / 51°17'44"N
Longitude: 0.5048 / 0°30'17"E
OS Eastings: 574730
OS Northings: 158149
OS Grid: TQ747581
Mapcode National: GBR PQT.NFV
Mapcode Global: VHJM6.PPQM
Entry Name: Toll House on Island at Allington Lock
Listing Date: 22 September 2006
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1391764
English Heritage Legacy ID: 495296
Location: Maidstone, Kent, ME16
Electoral Ward/Division: Allington
Traditional County: Kent
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Kent
144/0/10010 NR. CASTLE ROAD
22-SEP-06 TOLL HOUSE ON ISLAND AT ALLINGTON LOCK
Small lock building, toll office. Early C19, extended early C20.
MATERIALS: Built in irregular Kentish ragstone with yellow brick quoins; the back half of the building has sandstone door and window surrounds, the front half yellow brick. The roof is pitched and tiled.
PLAN: The building is single storey, rectangular in plan.
EXTERIOR: The front is almost wholly taken up by the door within a double recessed gauged yellow brick four centred arch with label mould over. The roof eaves are wide, and the gable has a bargeboard with wavy decorative edge. The east elevation has one window and a door, both immediately under the eaves, the window within a gauged brick arched recess, the door in a gauged dressed sandstone four centred arched recess. Both are wood, the door similar in style to the front. The top half opens independently, stable style, for the receipt of tolls. The west elevation also has two windows, the north, one, all similar to that on the east: and as on the east elevation, the surround of the front window is gauged yellow brick, that of the back sandstone. All windows are of wood, arched, with downward sloping wooden sills. A clear line in the stonework half way down both east and west elevations, which also runs across the tiling on the roof, indicates that the building was extended at some time in order to double its size. Evidence drawn from historic OS maps suggests that this took place sometime between 1908 and 1936.
INTERIOR: The interior is a single room with largely modern fittings; there is a counter across the middle and monitoring equipment mounted on the wall. Original features include a shelf at sill height on the inside of the east door, and possibly the bench across the back of the room, which could have accommodated a sleeping duty lock keeper.
HISTORY: The Lower Medway Company was founded in 1792. The Act of Parliament which established the company gave it the authority to improve the navigation of the Lower Medway by building Allington Lock, and by making a towpath: the lock was enlarged in 1881, and the current structure dates to 1939. The Lock House, on the other side of the lock, was built in 1833 to house the offices of the company. The 1876-95 OS map shows a small square building on the island in the same location as the current building, which seems to have served as lock keeper's office and toll house.
SUMMARY OF IMPORTANCE: This small building early C19 building with early C20 enlargement, thoughtfully constructed in a Tudor inspired style, has architectural interest in its own right, as well as an association with the history of navigation on the Medway River and a close visual and functional relationship with the grade II 1833 Lock House opposite.
Hilton, John 1975 A History of the Medway Navigation Company
Darwin, Andrew 1976 Canals and Rivers of Britain
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