Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:


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Statutory Address:

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

Tunbridge Wells (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
TQ 70038 36460


GOUDHURST FINCHCOCKS TQ 73 NW 5/167 Finchcocks 9.6.52 GV I House. Dated 1725, for Edward Bathurst. Red brick with light red brick dress- ings, and darker red brick parapet and chimneys, with painted mouldings. Elon- gated rectangular main block with curved and projecting flanking wings in full blooded Baroque style. Entrance front: 3 storeyed, attic and basement main block with 2 storey flanking wings, the whole disposed to central emphasis. Main block with plinth, plat band and painted moulded cornice supported on Tuscan corner pilasters with moulded bases and entablature blocks with triglyphs. Centre 3 bays projecting, with pediment filled with Bathurst Arms and martial rapliers. Above the cornice level is the 3rd storey, with corner pilasters, cornice and panelled parapet to hipped roof with segmentally headed dormers. 3 panelled stacks (orginally with a fourth dummy stack of wood and plaster to rear right to complete the symmetry) and arched stacks to left and to right. Seven window bays wide, with 2 segmentally headed glazing bar sashes on each floor in recessed flanks, each floor with progressively smaller sash heights. Centre projections with 2 roundels on 2nd floor and 2 round headed glazing bar sashes on ground and 1st floor, and gauged and rubbed semicircular niche to centre on 1st floor with statue of Queen Anne (C17 and said to be from the old Royal Exchange, set hoe late C19). Central double round-headed doors with raised and fielded panels at head of 5 moulded steps in broad Tuscan door surround. Segment headed basement windows. Flanking wings ....... with plinth, plat band and cornice on smaller examples of the Tuscan pilasters with entablature blocks on the main block. (Panelled para- pet, with hipped roof to right hand wing, all the horizontal features carried round the curve of the quadrant with the main block. Three segmentally headed glazing bar sashes on each floor (2 only to left wing ground floor) and round headed glazing bar sashes to quadrants. The left hand wing is only in fact 1 storey high, the upper floor containing false windows. These wings were added somewhat later, being of lesser quality brick and not bonded in to the main block. Projecting to left and to right are panelling brick walls, ramped down from house and extending 25 yards or so. Garden elevations: simpler composition of red and blue chequered brick with plinth, plat band, cornice and cornice to panelled parapet with pilaster-corners. Seven glazing bar sashes to 1st and 2nd floors, the centre 3 projecting and round-headed, with 6 on ground floor and slightly reduced versions of front door and doorcase to centre. The wings play very little role in this facade, nor to the side elevations, of 3 unadorned bays only, their main purpose being to emphasise the composition of the entrance front. The northern wing (to left of entrance front) contains the kitchen/offices, with a small courtyard formed largely of early C19 single storeyed blocks, 2 hipped ranges project from the left of the garden front, orginally laundry/bakehouse etc, now with columned arcade. Projection to the north of this service courtyard are lengths of brick wall partly enclosing the courtyard, with a ramped and buttressed wall about 6 feet high terminating after sane 20 yards in a dovecot, hipped with boarded door, casement window and dove holes, at time of survey housing electri- city generator. Interior: in plan a central hall the full depth of the house, the stair running straight out of this, with 2 rooms either side. Wings at lower levels, the upper floor originally not communicating at all with main block (reflecting the 2 periods of building). Extremely large fireplace in hall, possibly from an earlier house on site, originally with framed and fitted painting of Bathurst family by James Manbart, now sadly removed. The wooden surround made of the same Tuscan pilasters as the outside elevations. Large panelled wain- scotting about 7 feet high with moulded surrounds to main doors with keyed semi- circular heads, the doors with large, simple and very fine brass L-hinges and fittings. Hall-landing stair with moulded wreathed and ramped handrail with 3 turned balusters to each a scrolled tread, leading to upper landing with balu- strade and single Tuscan column at stair head. This landing with fireplace for use as an upper parlour. Other rooms with simple oak panelling, some possibly C17 and removed from earlier house on site, with bolection moulded fireplace. Dog leg stair with turned baluster to wing. Cellar of painted brick, vaulted on piers with stone caps and springers, with passage through base of main stack, and flanked by barrel-vaulted secondary cells. The cellars were said to have been so extravagantly built as to have delayed the erection of the wings. No architect is known for the house. Traditionally the design is assigned to Thomas Archer on stylistic grounds, the execution to a local builder who fitted the plan as best he could to the main elevations. Remarkable similarities with a number of contempo- rary houses in Kent and East Sussex (Rampyndene, Burwash, East Sussex 1699; Matfield, Brenchley, 1728; Bradbourne, East Malting, 1713 etc). The only name associated with the house is that of a Mr John Hodgskin, "The Architect" who eloped with Mary Bathurst in 1740. (See BOE Kent I, 1980, 285-7; see also Country Life, od 50, 132 and Ord 99 pp.670 and 716; all Country Life material by Christopher Hussey.

Listing NGR: TQ7003836460


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

Legacy System number:
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Books and journals
Newman, J, The Buildings of England: West Kent and the Weald, (1980), 285-7
'Country Life' in Country Life, , Vol. 50, ()
'Country Life' in Country Life, , Vol. 50, ()
'Country Life' in Country Life, , Vol. 50, (), 670, 716


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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Date: 02 Aug 2002
Reference: IOE01/08241/17
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Robert Holden. Source Historic England Archive
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