Heritage Category:
Listed Building
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Date first listed:
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Ordnance survey map of WILSLEY HOTEL
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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 77847 36943


CRANBROOK ANGLEY ROAD (SOUTH TQ 73 NE SIDE) 3/8 Wilsley Hotel, 20.6.67 (formerly listed as Ye Olde Wilesley Hotel) GV II*

House, now hotel. 1864-70 for the painter John Calcott Horsley RA by Richard Norman Shaw, his first important domestic commission, incorporating C18 house to left and C17 outbuilding to right. Red and blue brick chequer on ground floor to left with mathematical tiled first floor over timber frame. Single red brick bay at entrance left; red brick additions to right with square projection of hall to right, tile-hung on first floor. Lower timber-framed studio-wing clad in red or blue brick chequer on ground floor and tile-hanging on first floor, projecting at entrance right. Bracketted eaves cornice to main block with plain tiled hipped roofs. Stepped hip to left, and hipped projecting wing to right. Off-centre square pavilion-like cupola on main ridge block with roof hipped up to right and ribbed brick stack behind. Two ribbed brick stacks behind main ridge to left and tall ribbed brick stack in angle of pro- jecting wing to right. Two pediment-gabled dormers in centre of main block. Low hipped plain tiled roof to studio wing at right with very tall flat-headed semi-dormer studio windows to east and north. Semi-dormer with hipped roof between main block and projecting wing to right. Two storeys and attics; Regular 5 window front in centre, glazing bar sashes with open boxes save one wooden cross window with Casements on first floor in centre and outer left-hand blocked window on ground floor with single bay to left, the last window blocked. Ovolo-moulded transom and mullion windows to right, with single bay between main block and projecting wing which contains very large main hall windows on ground floor. Almost continuous diamond lattice windows with deep reveals on ground floor of studio wing, with single window on right return front. Entrance in centre of main block with double glazed doors. North side: large end transom and mullion window to Music Room. West front: Square projecting block of original fireplace to right, much built up above with hall to left. Tile-hung over ground floor with plaster-decorated cove carried around inglenook on ground and first floors; plaster decorated half-hipped gable above. Quarter octagonal bay at end of hall to left in recess to half-timbered music room with central partice-roofed bay. Various later additions at entrance right. Interior: Ribbed entrance hall ceiling. Main hall ceiling, ribbed with incised plaster-decorated panels. Large inglenook-type fireplace with windows flanking. Music Room with gallery and ribbed bay window. Delft-tiled fireplace. Studio- wing: exposed timber-frame with notch-jowled posts and queen truss roof. The Wilsley Hotel is listed II* as one of the earliest examples of the vernacular/ Queen Anne revival of which Shaw was later to be the principal exponent. Particularly interesting is the survival of the decoration in the cove at the rear, especially the Japanese-influenced peacock with 'eyes' of green bottle- bottoms, and the inscription 'UNLESS THE LORD BUILD THE HOUSE THEY LABOUR IN VAIN THAT BUILD IT'. J E Horsley, RA, was a prominant member of the Cranbrook School of painters.

Listing NGR: TQ7789337022


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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

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 23 Aug 2002
Reference: IOE01/08546/25
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Geoffrey Farrow. Source Historic England Archive
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