Sackville School / Foxbush

2 Sep 1999
Sackville School, London Road, Hildenborough, Tonbridge And Malling, Kent, TN11 9HN
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Foxbush, London Road, Hildenborough, Tonbridge And Malling, Kent, TN11 9HN
Photograph (Digital)


This information is taken from the statutory List as it was in 2001 and may not be up to date.

HILDENBOROUGH LONDON ROAD (south west side) TQ 54 NE 5/141 Sackville School - GV II

School, converted from a country house called Foxbush. 1866, built to the designs of G. Somers Clarke. Red brick with blue diapering and stone dressings; brick stacks; peg-tile roof. High Victorian Gothic externally, showing a C15 French influence; interior an eclectic mixture including Jacobean and Renaissance.

Plan: Almost identical to Mountains (q.v.), adjacent to Sackville and built in 1865 to the designs of the same architect. Double depth plan on a west east axis; entrance on the north side. Long, asymmetrical, approximately rectangular arrangement with a front left (north east) chapel wing. Corridor on the long axis, with the principal rooms facing south. Garden door from the corridor at the west end, matching the arrangement at Mountains. Entrance into a large heated hall containing the stair. Service wing to the left (east) with a service stair off the axial corridor.

Exterior: Externally the house is more irregular than Mountains, consisting of 3 staggered blocks plus the chapel wing. The middle block is a crosswing.

2 storeys, 3-storey crosswing, single-storey chapel. Steeply-pitched hipped roofs; brick chimney shafts with corbelled brick cornices and moulded vertical ribs. Stone mullioned windows throughout with moulded stone lintels, some with high transoms others with engaged shafts with carved capitals, all glazed with plate glass sash windows which may be original. Long 2:5 bay entrance (north) elevation, the 2-bay to the crosswing, the chapel wing projecting to the front at left (east). One-window projection to front right. Battlemented projecting porch to right of centre with diagonal buttresses and a 3-centred moulded stone doorway with a hoodmould and carved label stops. A carved stone rebus panel in the central merlon depicts a fox under a bush. Flanking the porch but slightly set back from it a single-storey flat-roofed projection, like a narthex (2-bays to the left, one-bay to the right) has 3-light windows.

The stair window, to the left of the porch, breaks the eaves with a tall gable. 2-light transomed stair window with a 2-light traceried roundel in the head. 3 first floor 2-light gabled dormers. The front right projection has a finial at the apex of the hipped roof, a 3-light ground floor window with shafts with carved capitals and a 2-light gabled dormer above. The 3-storey crosswing to the left has 2 gabled dormers and 2- and 3-light windows. The inner (west) return of the chapel wing has 2 gabled dormers which act as a clerestory and 3 ground floor windows. The north end of the wing has a pyramidal roof with lucarnes and a lead finial. 5:2:4 bay garden (south) elevation, the 2 windows to the crosswing. Polygonal projecting bay to left of centre with a faceted conical roof and tall finial. To the right (east) of the main block a single storey projecting bay with a hipped roof and 4-light window. Other windows are 1-, 2- and 3-light with 4 gabled dormers to the main block, one to the crosswing and 2 to the service block at the right (east) end. Various lower-roofed service blocks adjoin at the east end round a service courtyard which is entered on the north side through a moulded archway east of the chapel wing. The west end of the house has a stone doorway into the axial corridor, the doorway with a deeply-moulded lintel and an overlight below the hoodmould.

Interior: Well-preserved. The inner door of the porch has a heavy moulded lintel with an original panelled door into the lobby, which has-a glazed roof.

The doorway from the lobby into the hall has irontwist shafts and a large overlight. Panelled hall with moulded ceiling beams and a massive Tudor style chimney-piece with panels of carved armorial bearings. Original stair with turned balusters. The westernmost of the principal rooms is panelled in an early C18 style with a good plaster cornice and white marble chimney-piece.

The centre south facing principal room is panelled with engaged Corinthian columns, a plaster cornice and marble chimney-piece with Ionic columns. The drawing room, to the east, is fitted out in a Jacobean style with exposed ceiling beams, panelling, panelled doors and a stone chimney-piece. The chapel has a timber barrel ceiling. The first floor principal rooms have good cornices and chimney-pieces, the first floor westernmost room with a particularly striking High Victorian chimney-piece of green marble and alabaster. The first floor includes a former bathroom, entirely lined with circa 1920s coloured marble.

A High Victorian Country house very complete externally and with interesting internal features. Group value with The Lodge (q.v.).

Listing NGR: TQ5633848693


This is part of the Series: IOE01/1100 IOE Records taken by Michael James2; within the Collection: IOE01 Images Of England


© Mr Michael James. Source: Historic England Archive

This photograph was taken for the Images of England project

People & Organisations

Photographer: James2, Michael

Rights Holder: James2, Michael


Brick, Stone, Tile, Victorian Service Wing, Domestic, Counting House, House, Dwelling, Chapel, Religious Ritual And Funerary, Place Of Worship, Courtyard, Gardens Parks And Urban Spaces, School, Education

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