If you log in, you can comment on buildings, submit new photos or update photos that you've already submitted.

Interested in parks, gardens and open spaces? Check our our new sister site, Parks and Spaces.


Eastgate House, Rochester

Description: Eastgate House

Grade: I
Date Listed: 24 October 1950
English Heritage Building ID: 173070

OS Grid Reference: TQ7447368342
OS Grid Coordinates: 574473, 168342
Latitude/Longitude: 51.3873, 0.5061

Location: Eastgate Court, Strood, Medway ME1 1EW

Locality: Rochester
County: Medway
Country: England
Postcode: ME1 1EW

Incorrect location/postcode? Submit a correction!


Listing Text

ROCHESTER HIGH STREET
TQ 7468 SW
(Eastgate)
9/140 Eastgate House
24.10.50
GV I
Formerly a large private town house, now a museum. Substantially
of 1590-1, built by Sir Peter Buck, Clerk of the Acts in the Navy
Board, extended and refurbished in the C17; it is possible that
the house incorporates some earlier work. Main range of brick;
side elevation and rear wings brick and timber framed; some
rubble ragstone. Kent tile roofs. Plan: the removal of internal
partitions in the C19 and the likely demolition of a range to the
E makes reconstruction of the original plan uncertain. Ground
floor hall entered by a porch (S) probably into a through passage
(opposing entries in situ, screen removed); one room to the left
(W) with high status chambers above served by an S stair turret
(which forms an important element in the main front) although
both turret and W rooms appear to belong to a slightly different
building programme to the main range (see change in plinth
details). These rooms are largely timber-framed and the side
elevation (W) with much jettying forms a secondary show front
towards the street. To the right of the hall is another room.
A long set of windows in the rear wall, along with a rubble
plinth, extend beyond the line of the present end (E) wall into
what is now a low lean-to, and this must indicate that the house
originally extended to the E. Until the addition of the C17
stairs (situated to the rear of the former through-passage and
contained within one of 3 separately gabled wings all of the same
date), it is difficult to see how the upper floors of the E and
of the house were adequately served and it is probable that the
now demolished E part of the house contained a second S stair
turret balancing that mentioned above and thereby forming a
roughly symmetrical S front. Exterior: S front: 3 storeys and
attic. Asymmetrical. 2 storeyed porch is flanked by a gabled
bay. The porch has a hipped roof, 1st floor windows to S and E
(2 lights with double-ovolo moulded brick surround, mullion and
transom); pediment over doorway with pilasters on panelled
plinths; stone 4-centred arch has shields in spandrels and large
bar stops set high. Each bay has a tripartite window
arrangement; 2-light windows to each floor connect with a central
3-storeyed projecting bay, polygonal to left, canted to right,
giving continuous glazing across the wings. All windows with
timber mullions, transoms and surrounds; most of the woodwork is
renewed. To the left the polygonal stair turret with single-
light windows under cambered arches, all-brick moulded, moulded
string-courses between floors, and projecting gabled roof. To
the left again, the plain end wall of the street front, plain
brick, but containing a plaque with the herladic device of the
Bucj family and 2-light window under hood mould to ground. High
Street elevation: 3 storeys and attic, all jettied, with 2
gables. Brick end well corbelled and moulded with a decorative
zig-zag vertical strip to 1st floor. Uninterrupted 14 light
ground floor window with king mullion, set high under jetty.
Similar to 1st and 2nd floors but here broken by - at 1st floor -
a 7-light oriel on console brackets and - on 2nd floor - 2 3-
light oriels. These long ranks of windows set very high to each
floor are presumably intended to light the fine plaster ceilings:
see interior. 2-light gable wall windows, decorated
bargeboarding and apex and pendants. To the left the side wall
of the W rear wing considerably later (see masonry joint and
absence of plinth); brick, 2 storeys, with 4-light windows to
each floor (that to the 1st floor slightly projecting). Diamond
leading. String course. rear: 3 gabled wings, half-hipped upper
storeys and attic; 2, 3 and 4-light windows to 1st floor (that
to E wing with large mullions, lighting stairs), 2-light windows
to gable walls. Interior: although considerable amounts of
woodwork, including the porch inner door, are brought from
elsewhere, there is some fine plasterwork, and the stone
fireplaces appear to be in situ. Hall: wall panelling, fire-
surround with pilasters, panelled overmantel with caryatids (not
in situ) and inserted ceiling beams. Doorways with cyma moulded
surrounds and bar stops set high. Right-hand room with ovllo-
moulded ceiling beams; wall panelling, fireplace with stone
surround with pulvinated frieze, and Jacobean overmantel not in
situr. Open well stairs, C17, turned balusters, square-section
newels with finials. 1st floor. Right-hand room with dentil
cornice, some panelling and simple fire surround with fluted
pilasters. Chamber above hall with fine fire surround (not in
situ) with fluted term pilasters and elaborate panelled
overmantel. Wall panelling. Between these two rooms is a
pierced wooden panel designed to distribute borrowed light:
evidence for others exist elsewhere. The most significant
interiors are in the W rooms where good plaster ceilings survive
to all floors. These are single-ribbed with a variety of
geometric patterns (quatrefoils, diamonds, squares etc) with
stylised foliage, and heraldic devices. The heraldry (and a
rebus to 2nd floor) indicate that they date from Buck's time (ie
the 1590s) and as such are a remarkable set of early plasterwork
ceilings. Stone fireplaces with 4-centred arches, dated 1590 and
1591. In the attic is some simple line-drawn patternwork on
plaster (much remains to be exposed). Side purlin roof; the High
Street range is separately roofed.

Note: The single storeyed 3-window range to the rear of Eastgate
House and the 2 storeyed 3-window range with which it connects
(Charles Dickens Centre) are included in this listing for group
value only.


Listing NGR: TQ7447368342

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.