Shelvingford Farmhouse


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:
Statutory Address:
Shelvingford Farmhouse, Shelvingford, Hoath, Canterbury, Kent, CT3 4LG


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Statutory Address:
Shelvingford Farmhouse, Shelvingford, Hoath, Canterbury, Kent, CT3 4LG

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

Canterbury (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:


House, formerly a farmhouse, of late C15 or early C16 date built by the Hawte Family, extended in the mid-C16 with some C18 alterations and a small C19 addition.

Reasons for Designation

Shelvingford Farmhouse, a late C15 or early C16 timber-framed continuous jetty house with a late C16 cross-wing, is listed at Grade II* for the following principal reasons:

* Architectural interest: a high status building with a good quality timber frame including a continuous jetty, curved braces, close-studding, a dragon beam, some original ogee and ovolo-moulded casement windows and chamfered ceiling beams; * Roof structure: a fine quality, fairly rare, rebated crown-post roof to the open hall, which also retains lime-washed wattle and daub, and a rafter and collar roof to the cross-wing; * Interior fittings: include a very rare surviving flight of solid wooden triangular-shaped tread stairs, some open fireplaces (one with unusual diamond-shaped decoration), original floorboards and plank doors; * Plan form: the plan of a four-bay continuous jetty house with two-bay open hall built with a fireplace from the beginning, and possibly an upper hall from the beginning, (the original solar bay replaced by a later two bay cross-wing), is readable both externally and internally; * Intactness: the timber wall frame, roof structure and some internal partitions survive to both the three surviving bays of the late C15 or early C16 continuous jetty house and the later C16 cross wing.


According to the County Historian, Edward Hasted, writing in 1800, the ancient manor of Ford was renamed Shelvingford after the Shelving family who held it at the beginning of the reign of King Edward III. By the marriage of Benedicta Shelving (1326-1391), daughter and heir of John Shelving, it passed to Sir Edmund Haut (or Hawte) in whose descendants it continued until the reign of Henry VIII.

During Henry VIII's reign Sir William Haut of Bishopsbourne had two daughters who were his co-heirs. The eldest Elizabeth (1504-1540) married Thomas Culpeper Esq. of Bedgebury (1492-1558). Culpeper's younger brother, who worked for Thomas Cromwell (confusingly also called Thomas Culpeper) was executed in 1541 for his alleged adultery with Queen Catherine Howard. In 1543 Sir Thomas Culpeper ceded Shelvingford Manor to Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, in exchange for estates elsewhere. The Archbishops of Canterbury had from early times held Ford Palace in the same parish. This transfer was made by an Act of Parliament and the deed is still held in the archives of Lambeth Palace.

During the period the manor was owned by the Church this building was a farmhouse. In the C18 some works took place, including the addition of a cellar on the north-west front. Some small early C19 or mid-C19 additions were made on the north-west side. On the 1872 First Edition 25 inch Ordnance Survey map the building is shown to its current extent with a rectangular walled garden attached to the south-east, farm buildings to the west and a large orchard to the south. In the C19 the timber-framing was covered in concrete render and a porch and bay windows added.

In the 1980s Shelvingford Farmhouse was sold by the Church Commissioners to private owners. The building was listed at Grade II on 14th March 1980. Since then the Victorian concrete render, porch and bay windows have been removed from the front, and internally later partitioning and ceilings have been removed.


House, formerly a farmhouse of late C15 or early C16 date built by the Hawte Family, extended later in the C16 with some C18 alterations and a small C19 addition.

MATERIALS: timber-framed with plastered infill and a steeply pitched tiled roof with brick ridge and end chimneystacks. The south-east and part of the north-west front is clad in Flemish bond brickwork. The north-east front is rendered.

PLAN: originally a two-storey, four-bay, continuous jetty house with a central upper hall of two bays with a brick chimneystack and solid tread staircase. The south-west solar bay was replaced in the mid-C16 by a two-storey, two-bay, jettied cross-wing. Small later extensions were added on the north-west and north-east sides.

EXTERIOR: the south-west or entrance front has an off-central C17 brick chimneystack at the junction of the open hall and cross-wing and exposed timber-framing with a jetty. The three northern bays, which are of late C15 or early C16 date, have a continuous jetty supported on brackets. The upper floor has curved braces, three restored window openings and two blocked former window openings. The framing opposite the chimneystack appears to indicate a smoke or chimney bay. The ground floor has close-studding, three restored window openings and a restored doorcase with plank door. The southern truss originally continued into a solar bay, later replaced by a cross-wing. The mid-C16 southern bay is also jettied but is higher with a corner dragon post. There are diagonal braces to the upper floor and a restored window on the ground floor.

The south-east front of the solar wing was re-fronted in the C18 in Flemish bond brickwork. There are two C19 casement windows and French windows to the ground floor.

The north-east side is rendered with an external brick chimneystack and two lean-to extensions.

The north-west front has at the south end a mid-C19 brick lean-to. To its centre is a gabled, part painted brick, part weather-boarded outshot and a projecting mid-C19 two storey extension with hipped roof and three over three sash windows with horns. The northern bay has a catslide roof over an C18 outshot.

INTERIOR: the entrance from the south-west front leads into the north-west service bay which has exposed ceiling beams, one with sockets indicating a former original partition.

The adjoining ground-floor room has chamfered spine beams, the wall frame is exposed with close-studding and window openings to the rear wall, and curved braces to an internal partition. A C17 brick fireplace has a chamfered wooden bressumer with the marks of a crane and a spice hole. Adjoining is a C16 triangular-shaped flight of solid tread stairs, in the original position but turned around.

The southern ground-floor end room in the cross-wing has exposed ceiling joists including a dragon beam, a C16 ogee-moulded casement window and a C17 parlour fireplace with chamfered beam with ornamental diamond stops.

The upper floor has a two-bay hall with a central rebated crown post with four head braces, end crown posts with curved braces, collar beams and rafters. The north end wall has exposed lime-washed original wattle and daub. There are original wide oak floor boards.

The upper room to the cross-wing has a roof of rafters and collar beams supported on curved brackets. The wall frame has curved braces and there is an original ovolo-moulded casement window.

The cellar under the cross-wing is reported to have candle niches with shouldered heads and a brick dated 1718.


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Hasted, E, History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent, (1800), 96-101
Kenneth, Gravett, The Houses of Hoath, (1984)


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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