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Hay House, Hythe

Description: Hay House

Grade: II
Date Listed: 23 October 1974
English Heritage Building ID: 175185

OS Grid Reference: TR1568234841
OS Grid Coordinates: 615682, 134841
Latitude/Longitude: 51.0724, 1.0774

Location: 22-23 Sir John Moore Avenue, Hythe CT21 5DF

Locality: Hythe
Local Authority: Shepway District Council
County: Kent
Country: England
Postcode: CT21 5DF

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Listing Text


23-OCT-74 (South side)

(Formerly listed as:

Former Commandant's House, now six flats, built c1804 and altered in the later C19 and C20.

MATERIALS: Painted brick with a brick dentil course, hipped slate roof and six-over-six timber sliding-sash windows.

PLAN: Rectangular in plan; long hip-roofed range to the south, with four perpendicular hipped roofs to the north. Six stacks. Two-storey pitch-roofed out-shut to the north. The principal entrance is to the east, with the garden front to the south.

EXTERIOR: The east elevation is three bays wide; there is a central doorway with semi-circular fanlight and ground and first-floor windows to either side. The original list description describes this elevation as having a porch and doorcase with two engaged Tuscan columns; these do not remain. Four-bay south elevation; ground floor windows are three-light sashes with recessed segmentally-arched heads.

HISTORY: The house was bought in 1809 as a residence for the Commandant of the Royal Staff Corps and Director of the Royal Military Canal, Lt Col John Brown. The house was adjacent to Hythe barracks; built 1808-1810 to provide a new depot for the Royal Staff Corps, which was previously stationed at Chatham.

Lt Col (later Major-General) John Brown (bap.1756 - 1816) was a military engineer and talented watercolour artist. It was he who had, in 1804, conceived the idea of the Royal Military Canal as the principal element of the costal defence of Kent and Sussex against the threat of French invasion. The ease with which boats could land on the coastline between Folkestone and Hastings made it particularly vulnerable, and the canal was to act as a defensive line, containing the enemy on Romney marshes. Under Brown's direction the Royal Staff Corps were responsible for the construction of the canal, which was completed in 1809. As Commandant of the Staff Corps, and Director of the newly-completed canal, Brown took up residence in the house in 1809, and lived there until his death in 1816.

The Royal Staff Corps was disbanded in 1837, and the barracks became home to the School of Musketry from 1853; the Commandant's House became the residence of the Inspector-General of Musketry. The barracks remained in army use until 1969 but have since been demolished. In the late C20 The Commandant's House, also known as Paddock House, became Hay House, and was divided into six flats.

P A L Vine, The Royal Military Canal (1st ed. 1972 and 2nd ed. 2010)
Cpt A J Parsons, A Brief History of The Small Arms School Corps and the Small Arms Wing School of Infantry, Hythe (1953)

Hay House, an early C19 house is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Historic interest: the house is the only surviving part of the Napoleonic period Hythe Barracks complex, which was home to the Royal Staff Corps, who oversaw the construction of the Royal Military Canal; the principal element of the costal defence of Kent and Sussex against the threat of French invasion
* Architectural interest: the house is a handsome example of early C19 domestic architecture.

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.