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Description: Tongswood, Now St Roman's School, with Garden Terrace
Date Listed: 22 June 1989
English Heritage Building ID: 169802
OS Grid Reference: TQ7780130807
OS Grid Coordinates: 577801, 130807
Latitude/Longitude: 51.0491, 0.5353
Explore more of the area around Hawkhurst, Kent at Explore Britain.
HAWKHURST WATER LANE
TQ 7630-7730 (east side)
17/451 Tongswood, now St
Roman's School, with
House. Mid-late C19, extended 1904-6. Red brick with some diapering in blue
brick, with ashlar details and ornamental tiled roof. Jacobethan style. Main
range of 2 storeys and attic on plinth with string course and moulded brick dog-
tooth cornice to roof with 3 projecting gables, those to centre and to right
shaped with finials, and with 2 gabled dormers to centre stacks ranged left to
right, and large central clock tower, with tiled spire, and 2 tier wooden top-
piece with cornices, leaded spire roof and ogee cupola with weather-vane. Three-
storey bay to left and 2-storey bay to right, both with enriched parapets.
Eight-window bay front, with sashed stone mullioned windows, mullioned and
transomed on ground floor. Central panelled doors in C16 style Classical porch in
projecting ground floor with banded attached columns, pediment with achievement,
and keyed arch. Ballroom extension to right, with the details of the main range
carried over, with semi-dormer to left, and central shaped gable, with canted bay
on ground floor, with pierced balustrade and full-height mullioned and transomed
window. Identical bay window to right return, with 2 shaped gables and central
segmentally-headed gable with arms cartouche. Garden elevation with shaped
pilastered gables, semi-dormer and 2 central dormers, bow windows on ground floor,
Ionic columned canted bay to ballroom with half-glazed doors and fanlights. Two
storey service wing to left of main front, with built-out ground floor; with
moulded stacks, 4-bay front with gabled wing to left. Garden terraces to right
return and to rear, with red brick walls, with regular buttress piers, with stone
capping, reached by stone steps to right of main front, with pierced stone
balustrade. Interior: the earlier main range richly panelled, with 4-centred
arched doorways, especially to entrance hall, with openwell stair with landing,
with ramped handrail on iron-twist balusters. Sugar-barley twist balusters to
rear stair. Dining room with wainscotting, columned overmantel (present
library). Plaster ceilings throughout. Ballroom and adjacent en-suite bedrooms
finished in rich late C17 Classical style; the ballroom with pilaster and free-
standing columned corners, and supporting cross-beamed ceiling with central
roundel, with stepped main entry to house, the whole enriched (fluted columns,
scaled pulvinated frieze, enriched beams). The ceiling painted after the Italian
manner, as are those in the en-suite bedrooms and bathroom, and bar-room, also
with enriched door surrounds, marble fireplaces, cornices etc. The main house
built for William Cotterill before 1874; the ballroom added for William Gunther
1904-6 and built by J T Davis, builders of Hwkhurst. Gunther made his fortune
from Argentinian beef products and drinks, and from 1902 to 1931 lived here, a
general benefactor to the parish. Anciently the seat of the Dunks, the last of
whom, Sir Thomas, founded the almshouses bearing his name in Highgate, Hawkhurst.
Subsequently the property of Jeremiah Curteis of Rye, one of the leaders in mid
C18 of the Hawkhurst Gang, probably the most notorious smuggling gang of the time.
Listing NGR: TQ7780130807
This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.