Medieval undercroft, Bridge Street, Wye
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1003604
Date first listed: 02-May-1986
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Ashford (District Authority)
Parish: Wye with Hinxhill
National Grid Reference: TR 05346 46666
Medieval undercroft 25m SSW of No.2 Church Street.
Reasons for Designation
A domestic undercroft of the medieval period might comprise three, four or more vaulted bays depending upon the wealth of the owner. They were constructed of stone, fireproof and used for the storage of provisions or items of special value. Placed beneath a house they could thus be kept under close supervision. Although undercrofts are sometimes referred to as cellars, they were not necessarily built entirely below ground level, but, where they are sunken into the ground this can aid their preservation when the house either falls into disuse or is replaced by a later structure. All domestic undercrofts of the medieval period with significant surviving archaeological remains are considered worthy of protection.
The medieval undercroft at the corner of Upper Bridge Street and Stonegate in Wye is a well preserved example of its type. It includes some significant medieval architectural details such as the ribbed vaulting, corbels and roof boss. The site will contain archaeological information and deposits relating to the construction, use and history of the undercroft.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 18 March 2015. This 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 medieval undercroft surviving as upstanding and buried remains. It is situated at the corner of Upper Bridge Street and Stonegate in Wye.
The undercroft is rectangular in plan and about 5.4m long by 4.5 m wide and 3m high. It has a sexpartite vault with plain chamfered ribs supported on corbels. The corbels are perpendicular in style. At the centre is a roof boss with a floral motif. The corbels, ribs and boss are built of ragstone but the webbing between them is of squared chalk blocks and the walls are of roughly coursed flint. The undercroft is accessed through a brick spiral stairwell and arched doorway in the south wall. Each side of the doorway are square alcoves. The north wall has a low segmental arched doorway with ragstone steps to the street. It is blocked by later brickwork. On either side are two windows, also blocked with later brickwork. The surviving window fixtures include hinge pins, latch plates and sockets, which originally supported iron bars and hinged shutters. The window sills are now 0.5m below modern pavement level, indicating a rise in ground level since the original construction of the undercroft.
The undercroft is thought to have been built in the 13th century. Partial excavation was carried out in the vicinity of the undercroft in 1988 and 1996. A robbed medieval stairwell, tile hearth and cess pit were indentified to the south. A flint wall was uncovered on the street frontage and a 19th century brick floor overlay the undercroft.
The undercroft is Grade II listed.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: KE 394
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
Roberts, E, The Wye Undercroft, accessed 12 May 2010 from http://www.wyeweb.org/?page_id=7224 on 12th May 2010
Kent HER TR 04 NE 34. NMR TR 04 NE 34. PastScape 463086. LBS 409838.
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