The Quintain on the Green
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1005188
Date first listed: 23-Oct-1967
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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 65730 57277
Quintain, 36m south-east of Quintain House.
Reasons for Designation
A quintain is an object supported by a crosspiece on a post, used by knights as a target in tilting. It was used as a form of military training and/or recreation in Roman camps and later became a popular activity in the medieval period and subsequent centuries. The term probably derives from the Latin name for the street between the fifth and sixth maniples of a camp, where warlike exercises took place. The quintain was a lance exercise, often carried out on horse back, in which a competitor would attempt to strike an object or target set upon a pole. They had to hit the target at speed and with precision whilst avoiding the weight on the other end of the swing arm, which would otherwise hit them on the back of the head.
Despite restoration in the past, the quintain 36m south-east of Quintain House is a rare and perhaps unique monument which survives well. The site is likely to contain below-ground archaeological information relating to the construction and use of the quintain.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 17 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 quintain or tilting pole situated on the village green at the centre of Offham.
The quintain has an upright timber post about 2.7m high set in a concrete base or pedestal about 0.5m high. On top of the upright post is a crossbar or swing arm on an iron swivel. The shorter arm of the crossbar has an aiming board decorated with recessed circles about 2.5cm wide, arranged in 5 rows of 12. The longer arm carries a chain with an iron weight at its end.
Near the quintain is a rectangular stone set up in 1951 (not included in the monument) with an inscription providing an explanation of the history and use of the quintain.
Although this type of structure dates to the medieval period, this example is thought to date to the Tudor period. It is recorded in 1798, at which time the weight on the crossbar was a bag of sand, and is shown on 19th century Ordnance Survey maps. The quintain is likely to have been restored on several occasions. It was taken down during the Second World War and re-erected in the presence of Lord Cornwallis, Lord Lieutenant of Kent on 11th August 1945.
It is Grade II listed.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: KE 33
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
Hasted, E, 'Parishes: Ofham', The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 4 (1798), 533-542, accessed 19 Jan 2010 from http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=53830
Rowe, M, ‘Origins of the Offham Quintain’ (2005), accessed 19 Jan 2010 from http://www.offhampc.kentparishes.gov.uk/default.cfm?pid=736
Kent HER TQ 65 NE 5. NMR TQ 65 NE 5. PastScape 412476. LBS 426949
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