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The Elms, 42 High Street

A Grade II Listed Building in Minster, Kent

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.3335 / 51°20'0"N

Longitude: 1.315 / 1°18'54"E

OS Eastings: 631017

OS Northings: 164594

OS Grid: TR310645

Mapcode National: GBR X0G.99L

Mapcode Global: VHLGC.RR24

Entry Name: The Elms, 42 High Street

Location: Minster, Thanet, Kent, CT12

County: Kent

District: Thanet

Parish: Minster

Traditional County: Kent

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Kent

Listing Date: 7 October 1986

Last Amended: 10 November 2016

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

English Heritage Legacy ID: 419697

Source ID: 1223821

Summary

An early-C18 house, possibly of earlier origins which was re-fronted and extended in the early-C19 with C20 additions. (The mid-C20 now integral garage to the rear of the property is excluded from the listing).

Description

An early C18 2-storey house with cellar and attic, possibly of earlier origin, which has been re-modelled and extended in the early C19, with later additions.

MATERIALS: the building which has evidence of early-C18 timber-framing internally has been re-fronted in the early C19 with brown brick, laid in a stretcher bond and recently re-pointed. The bonding is inconsistent with other elevations of the house which comprise of Flemish bond on the early-C19 extension and red brick laid in an English bond on the mid-C18 extension to the rear. The hipped roof is tiled and the stacks to the rear left and right are of brick. There is a decorative brick cornice below the eaves, most apparent on the early-C19 rear and side elevations.

PLAN: the C18 building originally comprised an L-shape plan which included a central entrance hall with stair at the NE rear and two polite rooms on the ground floor to the front with a dining room (with separate roof and now with a cut-off central stack), a cellar and a single-storey service range (kitchen and cold store or scullery) to the rear. A 2-storey 2-room wing was added to the W of the building in the early C19.

EXTERIOR: the early-C19 re-fronted facade is symmetrical in three bays and two storeys and attics, with the added left hand bay set back slightly. It has a stepped encaustic tiled entrance and early-C20 timbered-gabled porch at its centre with a glazed and panelled double door. There is a blind integral arched fanlight with wooden glazing bars and batwing pattern above the ceiling height of the lower porch. A decorative ironwork porch of early to mid-C19 character with anthemion cresting and filigree panels to the rear of the building may be reused from, or is at least similar in style to, the original front entrance. The fenestration of the facade is symmetrical in form and comprises two early to mid-C19 6-over-6 pane sash windows at ground floor level, both with flat arches and three early to mid-C19 6-over-6 pane sash windows at first floor level. There are two equally positioned C20 flat-roof casement dormers projecting through the hipped roof of the facade. To the rear, W elevation, there are early to mid-C19 sash windows of varying sizes at ground and first floor levels, and as described above, a decorative ironwork porch. The rear room and N elevation of the scullery have 12-over-12 pane sashes, with the bedroom above the scullery lit by a 6-over-6 pane sash. The kitchen window on the northern elevation is wider and slides horizontally. There is a projecting first floor early-C20 extension lit by two casement windows at the rear NW corner of the house. At the rear western corner of the house at first floor level there was formerly external access to the yard, with only a hinged door now visible.

INTERIOR: the main central hall has a closed string C18 staircase to the rear NE corner with square newels, turned balusters with half balusters against newels and a moulded rail. The stair has been altered on the first floor. Within the hall on the ground floor there is C18 dado panelling under a moulded cornice. The room to the right (N) has pitch pine dado panels, moulded architraves and a pitch pine 6-panelled door. The window has sash boxes with vertical sliding shutters; there is a moulded cornice and boxed-in ceiling beam. The fireplace is marble with a re-built brick lining. The central room has a similar window and sash box with vertical sliding shutters. The fireplace has a grained marble surround with a round cast-iron grate. There is a small cupboard to the right of the fireplace which has been partially blocked, and the room has a possibly C18 panelled door. The 1820s drawing room to the left (S) has one original sash with a moulded architrave, an original ornate ceiling cornice with repeated rose emblems, chevron and bead mouldings, and a marble fireplace (possibly introduced). It has panelled doors and simple door furniture comprising of round or oval knobs. The room to the rear, perhaps a housekeeper's room, now used as a study, has tall built-in cupboards flanking the chimneybreast. The room to the rear of the central stack, used as a dining-room, has a boxed-in transverse beam and large inglenook fireplace with a timber bressumer. There is a deep well in the room to the rear (NW) which is now the kitchen. The scullery to the N of the dining room includes stone slab and tile flooring. A projecting bracket suggests an overhanging roof perhaps offering protection to a passage into the yard. The cellar has an C18 door with nailed hinges and brick steps. There are elements of substantial timber-framing evident in the cross wall. A vaulted tunnel in brick leads to a vaulted coal cellar. Within the hall, the internal partition wall is timber-framed, with evidence of wattle and daub infill visible behind a panel on the stairway.

Features of note on the first floor include an C18 doorcase to the room to the front right (N). The main, 1820s bedroom has a C19 fireplace surround. There is an internal partition wall to the central room and fibreboard over the hall stair-wall covering evidence of wattle and daub. There is a projecting WC lined in wood matchboard panelling with a patterned ceramic WC bowl. The internal bathroom rear wall is partially exposed revealing standard size brick and timber lacing. The roof is of three main phases of construction. The rear slope of the front range comprises staggered purlins, while the front slope comprises butt purlins, cut away for three dormers. The attic space has some wide floorboards surviving and is reached by a newel staircase, possibly of C18. The rear range has a clasped purlin roof with trusses numbered from S to N in Roman numerals. Some are blank and not consecutively ordered which indicates that some may have been re-assembled when later alterations and extensions were made.

Pursuant to s.1(5A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 ('the Act') it is declared that the late-C20 integral garage attached to the rear of the property is not of special interest and is not included in the listing, as indicated on the attached map.


History

The house known as The Elms, at 42 High Street, Minster-in-Thanet, Kent, dates to the early C18 and comprises at least three main phases of construction and re-modelling: 1720, 1760 and 1820. This was apparent during an inspection of the roof of the property which revealed the 1820s extension is wrapped around the earlier section of roof. A historic report on the house commissioned by the owner suggests there may be elements towards the rear of the building which could possibly pre-date 1720. The main section of the house dates to the early to mid-C18, when it was formed of a central hall with access to two main reception rooms at the front, a staircase leading to first floor level, probably with a kitchen (now dining-room) and service range to the rear, and with a cellar and fully occupied attic floor. The house was re-fronted in 1820 and extended with a two-storey wing at the W to include a drawing room with a smaller room to the rear, now used as a study. The probably contemporary C19 ironwork porch at the rear of the house may have been moved from the front of the house when the front porch was replaced with the current porch in the early C20. This was also when additional toilet accommodation was added to the rear and the basement extended. There is evidence of re-roofing in the mid to late C20 and the present owner has constructed an integral garage to the rear of the property with access from the kitchen. Historically, as evident on the 1st edition OS map c1800 and later OS map of 1872 described below, there was a stable yard with outbuildings and the property was surrounded by an orchard. An inspection of the historic fabric reveals elements of substantial timber-framing within the cross walls to the cellar and evidence of timber-framing with wattle and daub infill, behind an internal partition wall on the stairway.

The property is well-documented, confirming the house was owned by the Collard family as part of their estate. Ambrose Collard who was born in 1766 and his wife Martha whom he married in 1797 are named as the former owners on an Abstract of the Title dated 1818 bequeathing Henry Gascoyne Esq to a freehold house and premises known as 'Elm House'. The house was then in the ownership of the Chase family from 1860 and passed to John Richard Chase who purchased 'The Elms' at an auction in 1882, when the house was advertised as a 'Gentleman's Residence with Charming Pleasure Grounds in all of two acres'. John Richard Chase was a farmer and grocer who had a shop in Church Street, Minster. He was also a relative of Julia who became its owner when he died in 1914. Julia married Elijah Bates who worked with Chase in his grocer shop and Elijah and Julia are noted in the Isle of Thanet Kelly's Directory of 1929 and 1936 as the owners. Elijah died in 1951 and Julia in 1958. Their eldest son Gilbert Bates' name is included on panel 20 of the Tower Hill Memorial in London commemorating men and women of the Merchant Navy Fleets who died during both World Wars; and on the war memorial at St Mary's Church, Minster. The house remained in the family until 1996 when it was sold by John and Paul Bates, grandsons of Elijah Bates, to its current owners at the time of the inspection (2016).

The building is present on historic maps including Andrews, Dury and Herbert’s map of Minster, 1769 and further detail is included on Hasted’s map of Minster, of 1800. A property in the location of 'The Elms' with surrounding orchards is present on an Ordnance Surveyor’s field drawing for 1st Edition OS, c1800 and is shown clearly on the 1st Edition OS map of Minster of 1872 and the later OS maps of 1873, 1896 and 1907. A Kent County Council assessment of Minster provides further detail on the early plan and development of the former market-town whose economy was predominantly in agriculture by the beginning of the post-medieval period. It states 'the parish once contained a considerable number of farms carved out of the great agricultural estate of St Augustine’s abbey'. In 1723 the parish of Minster-in-Thanet was reputed to have more large farms than any other Kentish parish. By the beginning of the C18 the principal crops were wheat, barley and beans, whilst hop-gardens had also become established. Sheep were grazed on the slopes above the town and dairy cows in the pastures of the marsh below. Market gardening became popular during the C19, and vegetables, fruit orchards and soft fruit were grown in profusion. By the late C20 there had been a decline in sheep and dairy herds, although beef farming remained lucrative. Modern drainage systems encouraged arable farming to spread onto the marshes (EH/KCC, 2004, 13). The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 10, of 1800, records that by 1774 in Minster, 'there were found to be in this parish one hundred and forty-nine houses, and six hundred and ninety-six inhabitants; of the houses, sixteen were farm-houses, and one hundred and thirty three were inhabited by tradesmen, labourers, and widows' (www.british-history.ac.uk/survey-kent/vol10/pp 264-294). The Elms is not mentioned in The Buildings of England: North East and East Kent (2002) however the book does include further background on the history and architecture of Minster including St Mary's Church, Minster Abbey and a few residential properties which are either slightly earlier or contemporary with The Elms (Newman, J, 2002, 393-396).

Reasons for Listing

The Elms, 42 High Street, Minster-in-Thanet, an early C18 house, possibly of earlier origins, extended and re-fronted in the early C19, with later additions, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Architectural interest: as an early C18 timber-framed building re-modelled in the early C19 with 'polite' architectural detailing of the period, a legible intact plan-form, surviving original fabric and good quality fixtures and fittings;

* Historic interest: as a well-documented building present on early C19 historic maps of Minster-in-Thanet with ancillary buildings, orchards and a history of ownership from the mid-C18;

* Interiors: good quality decorative features reveal a high level of craftsmanship and include an C18 closed string staircase, C18 and C19 fireplaces with marble surrounds, early C19 sash boxes, decorative plasterwork and a C19 patterned ceramic WC bowl;

* Group value: the house stands at the core of the historic village, in proximity with other listed buildings including Old Oak Cottage (National Heritage List for England: 1223819, Grade II) and Hawthorne Lodge (NHLE: 1224293, Grade II) on the east side of the High Street.

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