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Oast House at Florence Farm

A Grade II Listed Building in Groombridge, East Sussex

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Latitude: 51.1158 / 51°6'56"N

Longitude: 0.1847 / 0°11'4"E

OS Eastings: 553008

OS Northings: 137432

OS Grid: TQ530374

Mapcode National: GBR MPV.ZG1

Mapcode Global: VHHQK.47Z0

Entry Name: Oast House at Florence Farm

Listing Date: 23 October 2017

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1450871

Location: Withyham, Wealden, East Sussex, TN3

County: East Sussex

District: Wealden

Civil Parish: Withyham

Built-Up Area: Groombridge

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): East Sussex


Oast house. Stowage erected by 1881, kiln roundel probably added in the 1890s.


Oast house. Stowage erected by 1881, kiln roundel probably added in the 1890s.

MATERIALS: the stowage has a brick ground floor in Sussex bond and the first floor is clad in weatherboarding to a timber frame and has a tiled roof. The kiln, including the roof, is built of brick but the roof has been cement-rendered externally.

PLAN: a rectangular two-storey, three-bay stowage aligned north to south with a cart shed on the ground floor and a circular kiln attached to the north.

EXTERIOR: the first floor of the east side of the stowage has two small boarded window openings and a boarded ledged and braced loading door for bringing in green hops for drying. The ground floor has an open-sided cart shed supported on wooden posts.

The south side has a window opening on the upper floor. The north end is obscured by the kiln. The kiln is of brick with a cement-rendered conical roof. There is a ledged and braced wooden door for unloading the hops onto the drying floor.

INTERIOR: the ground floor of the stowage retains cart bays, a weather-boarded partition to the end bay on the north side, probably to provide shelter for the 'oastie' firing the kiln, and an open-tread enclosed ladder stair to the upper floor, retaining the hinge for the trap door.

The upper floor has boarded walls retaining some tally marks and a hatch cover in the floor for treading hops into the pockets. The rafters and purlins are original with the later addition of secondary collars.

The kiln has a brick floor and an arched entrance for loading fuel into the kiln. A low arch from the stowage has a ledged and braced door for unloading hops onto the drying floor. Mortice holes in the walls indicate the position of the timbers of the drying floor. The roof retains mortice holes for the cross piece that supported the pivot of the cowl.


A rectangular shape, probably the stowage barn, is shown in this position on the 1881 25 inch Sussex map in association with Florence Farm and there is no change shown on the second edition. By the Third Edition 25 inch map of 1909 the oast roundel is shown to the north.

Reasons for Listing

The oast house at Florence Farm, Groombridge, a C19 brick and timber-framed oast house, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

* an example of a distinctive regional type of agricultural building which survives substantially intact, both externally and internally, demonstrating the hop-drying process;
* its rarity as an unconverted oast house.

Historic interest:

* an iconic building within the landscape, it is evidence of the important C19 hop-growing industry in south-east England;

Group value:

* it is situated immediately south of the Grade-II listed Pollies Hall.

Other nearby listed buildings

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