Medieval hall at No 186 High Street
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1003603
Date first listed: 11-May-1978
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Tonbridge and Malling (District Authority)
National Grid Reference: TQ 59078 46829
Medieval open hall house, 127m north-west of St Peter and St Paul’s Church.
Reasons for Designation
A medieval open hall house is a house consisting of a single storey hall with two storey domestic ranges attached to either one or both ends. Typically, the medieval house had three components: a hall (or principal living room) at the centre; a service end divided from the hall by a screened-off cross-passage or simply opposed doorways and, at the other end, the more private room or rooms, including the parlour. The hall was single storeyed and open to the roof, but both ends could be storeyed. It was at the centre of hospitality and had symbolic significance; the height and size conferring esteem on the owner. The principal feature of the hall was a hearth, usually placed somewhere in the middle. Since there was no chimney stack it was open to the roof to allow the smoke to escape. Wealthier families could also enjoy more specialised rooms, such as a detached kitchen, a second parlour or a chapel. In the 16th and 17th centuries a desire for privacy and convenience led to the downgrading of the hall as the centre of the house. The adoption of chimney stacks also gave more flexibility in plan form and led to changes in the traditional layout of houses.
Despite later alterations and additions, the medieval open hall house 127m north-west of St Peter and St Paul’s Church survives comparatively well. It includes a significant amount of late medieval timber framing, which provides valuable information on its construction and layout. The site will also contain archaeological information relating to its history and use.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 8 September 2014. The record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.
The monument includes a late medieval open hall house surviving as upstanding and below-ground remains. It is situated on the west side of Tonbridge High Street.
The front elevation to the High Street has a mid 19th century false gabled front of two storeys and attics. Behind is a late 15th century or early 16th century timber-framed building of two storeys. It has a steeply pitched tiled roof and a tall 17th century brick chimney stack. The hall has curved timber braces and an original wooden mullioned window. The inside of the roof is no longer visible as a ceiling has been inserted. To the rear is a late 15th or early 16th century timber-framed single storey, which has been enclosed in brick since the 19th century. It has a steeply pitched tiled roof with two crown posts. These have curved braces on one side only.
It is Grade II listed.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: KE 334
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
Kent HER TQ 54 NE 9. NMR TQ 54 NE 9. PastScape 409312. LBS 435193.,
This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing