Tithe barn, Mill Street
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1005183
Date first listed: 05-Jan-1927
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Maidstone (District Authority)
National Grid Reference: TQ 76033 55480
Tithe barn, 74m north-east of All Saints’ Church.
Reasons for Designation
Despite some later alterations, the medieval tithe barn 74m north-east of All Saints’ Church is a fine example of its type, which survives in a good state of preservation. A tithe barn is a large medieval barn that was used to store the tithe, a tenth part of the annual produce of agriculture etc, paid by the tenants of ecclesiastical lands. The barn was later used as a stable block for the archbishop’s palace and formed a significant part of the ecclesiastical estate. Bishops' palaces were high status medieval domestic residences providing luxury accommodation for the bishops and lodgings for their large retinues. They were usually set within an enclosure, sometimes moated, containing a range of buildings such as a hall or halls, chapels, lodgings and a gatehouse, often arranged around a courtyard or courtyards.
This tithe barn is an impressive building, which provides a significant educational and recreational resource accessible to the public. The site will contain below ground archaeological and environmental information relating to the medieval construction, use and history of the barn.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 15 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 medieval tithe barn situated on low-lying ground east of the River Medway in Maidstone.
The barn is built of Kentish ragstone and is six bays long with a hipped clay tiled roof. The exterior has stone buttresses between each bay and at the angles of the barn. The west front has five pointed doorways and a central porch. The ground floor of the porch is stone but above it is timber-framed with modern brick infilling. The first floor projects on protruding ends of the floor joists and brackets. On the north side of the porch is a double loft door approached by an external stone staircase. The west front has five small windows on the first floor. The east front has six narrow windows on each floor. The interior includes a crown-post roof.
The tithe barn was built in the 14th century and was subsequently used as the stables of the nearby palace of the Archbishop of Canterbury. The palace was begun by Archbishop Ufford in about 1348 and completed by Archbishop Islap by about 1366. It was enlarged in the 15th century and exchanged by Archbishop Cranmer with Henry VIII for other lands in the 16th century. The barn has latterly been used as a carriage museum.
It is Grade I listed.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: KE 22
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
Kent HER TQ 75 NE 48. NMR TQ75NE48. PastScape 415163. LBS 173438, 173433.
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