Lullingstone Castle gateway


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Sevenoaks (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:


Tudor gatehouse to Lullingstone Castle, 70m south-west of St Botolph’s Church.

Reasons for Designation

The Tudor gatehouse to Lullingstone Castle 70m south-west of St Botolph’s Church was originally the outer gatehouse of a fortified house. Fortified houses were residences belonging to some of the richest and most powerful members of society. Their design reflects a combination of domestic and military elements. In some instances, the fortifications may be cosmetic additions to an otherwise conventional high status dwelling, giving a military aspect while remaining practically indefensible. They are associated with individuals or families of high status and their ostentatious architecture often reflects a high level of expenditure. The nature of the fortification varies, but can include moats, curtain walls, a gatehouse and other towers, gunports and crenellated parapets. Their buildings normally included a hall used as communal space for domestic and administrative purposes, kitchens, service and storage areas. Fortified houses were constructed in the medieval period, primarily between the 15th and 16th centuries although the origins of the class can be traced further back.

In common with castles, some fortified houses had outer courts beyond the main defences in which stables, brew houses, granaries and barns were located.

Despite partial rebuilding following bomb damage during the Second World War, the Tudor gatehouse to Lullingstone Castle survives well. It includes some well preserved architectural details such as the carriage archway, mullioned windows and crenellated parapet.


See Details.


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 18 December 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 Tudor gatehouse associated with a fortified house now known as Lullingstone Castle. It is situated at the foot of a steam valley of the River Darent within Lullingstone Park, south-west of Eynsford.

The gatehouse is built of red brick laid in English bond, with traces of diaper pattern. At the centre is a carriage archway with a room over, which is flanked turrets of three storeys. The gatehouse has casement windows with brick mullions and is surmounted by a castellated parapet and machicolations. The outer (west) elevation has a four-centred archway with original oak double doors. Over the archway are a cartouche and a single window of two tiers of four lights. Flanking the archway are semi-octagonal stair turrets with quatrefoil loop lights and terracotta panels. The turret on the south side was partly rebuilt in the 1960s following Second World War bomb damage. The inner (east) elevation has an archway with brick dripstone, above which is a cartouche and a single window of two tiers of four lights. The archway is flanked by canted three-storey bays, which contain doorways with dripstones flanked by small rectangular single light windows. Above the doorways are two tiers of three-light windows. Adjoining the gatehouse to the south is a Tudor stable range. On the north side of the gatehouse is the scar of a gable indicating that there was originally a further range to the north.

The manor of Lullingstone was mentioned in the Domesday Survey. In the late 1490s Sir John Peche built a new house probably on the site of, or close to, an earlier manor house. The outer gatehouse was built from about this time. Sir John was prominent at the courts of Henry VII and VIII, the latter who probably visited Lullingstone several times. A tilt yard was apparently constructed for him on a flat area, immediately in front of the outer gatehouse. The gatehouse formed part of a complex including an inner and outer gatehouse, and moat surrounding the house. The house was later renamed Lullingstone Castle. In the 18th century, the inner gatehouse and walls were demolished and the moat was filled in.

The gatehouse is Grade I listed.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
KE 91
Legacy System:


NMR TQ56SW18, TQ56SW58. PastScape 410359, 410467. LBS 411975. PAG 5282.


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