British Listed Buildings

History in Structure

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

We need to upgrade the server that this website runs on. Can you spare a quid to help?.

The Friars, Main Block, Aylesford

Description: The Friars, Main Block

Grade: I
Date Listed: 25 August 1959
English Heritage Building ID: 179202

OS Grid Reference: TQ7239658860
OS Grid Coordinates: 572396, 158860
Latitude/Longitude: 51.3028, 0.4717

Location: Boxley, Kent ME20 7HT

Locality: Aylesford
Local Authority: Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council
County: Kent
Country: England
Postcode: ME20 7HT

Incorrect location/postcode? Submit a correction!

Explore more of the area around Aylesford, Kent at Explore Britain.

Listing Text

TQ 7258
(east side)
The Friars, main block


Carmelite Priory, later house, now returned to use as Carmelite Priory. Founded
1241 with C13 church rebuilt from 1348 (demolished after reformation); Cl5 and
C16 conventual buildings altered in late C17, rebuilt after fire in 1930, and
substantial additions after Carmelite return in 1949. Refectory Cloister block:
Later C15, rebuilt on 1st floor and above in mid C20. Coursed dressed stone
with plain tiled roofs. South and west walks of cloister alone survive.
2 storeys with attic only in north wing. Gable parapet on south range to east.
5 hipped dormers facing east on north wing. 6 bays to south and 5 bays to west,
with stepped buttresses between bays, the cloister extending 5 bays to either
side of the angle of the blocks, the sixth bay of the south range with a
narrower arch opening out into further projecting cloister of mid C20 date.
2-light mullion and traceried windows on 1st floor. Hollow chamfered arches to
cloister below with central cloister entrance in west arm with 2 moulded round-
arched entrances to block behind at right end of west arm and entrances to block
behind south arm in central recess, which has floor-joist of refectory above
supported on tall, moulded octagonal wooden post. Triple stone hollow-chamfered
mullioned window with moulded lintel behind, and similar one at right with
pointed arch. Wide arched recess with high cill to left. Domestic block: Dated
1677 and 1678, on rainwater heads. Added by Sir Joseph Banks during remodelling
of that date. Random rubble stone with tiled roofs. East side Gable end of
block. 2 storeys and attics; 2 bays, 2-light stone mullioned windows in attic,
large C20 wooden casements on 1st floor, and 3-light hollow-chamfered stone
mullioned windows on ground floor. North side: Roof hipped at right, gabled to
left with gable parapets and kneelers, and stepped down from left in centre.
Left-hand block: End stacks and 4 gabled and bargeboarded later C19 dormers.
2 storeys and attic; regular 4-bay front. Large C20 casement windows with
upper-hung top-lights and gauged stone heads. Right-hand block: 2 C17 dormers,
that to left segment-headed, that to right pedimented. 2 storeys and attics;
irregular fenestration of 4 lights on 1st floor, that to right of centre a
6-light transom and mullion window. Large hollow-chamfered depressed arch on
ground floor to left, now blocked, with inset C20 round-arched entrance and
boarded door, flanked by 2 small leaded windows. 1 storey hipped projecting C20
extension to right with round-arched entrance and boarded door flanked by leaded
casements. The end wall of this block is not square but at an oblique angle in
line with the outer wall of the north-eastern block of the Curia Courtyard
behind. 2 storeys; irregular fenestration of 2 windows on 1st floor and 1 on
ground floor. Curia: Interior of Courtyard: This stands to the west of the
cloister ranges, and apart from the guest-house in the south-range of C15 date,
dates from the C16, restored in the mid C20. Square in plan for north, west and
south sides, with splayed eastern wing attached to rear of cloister and domestic
blocks at north end. North-east wing: Random rubble stone with some brick and
some ashlar window dressings. Plain tiled roof. 2 storeys and attics with
central side stack corbelled out from first floor, brick above and stone below.
3 gabled bargeboarded dormers. Irregular fenestration of 3 windows on 1st floor
and 4 on ground floor, the three to left on the ground floor stone-mullioned and
restored; 1 unrestored stone-mullioned window on 1st floor to right. Round-
arched doorways to left and right, that to right flanked by pair of smaller
windows and set in blocked hollow-chamfered depressed arch matching that to the
north of the block. East wing: Random rubble stone with some red brick dres-
sings and some ashlar dressings. Plain tiled roof. 2 storeys and attics only
to left. 6 hipped dormers and parapeted gable cross-wing to right, at end of
refectory block behind. The rendered south-west corner of the taller C17
domestic block can be seen projecting behind the roof at the angle of north-east
and east wings. Projecting 2-storey extension at angle of blocks. 5 buttresses,
2 flanking gable to right, with 1 lower buttress in centre and 2 to left.
Irregular fenestration of 6 windows on 1st floor, that to extreme right a tall
triple-mullioned traceried window lighting the west end of the refectory. 2
mullioned windows 2nd and 3rd from right. 6-window ground floor, with 2 extra
very small windows. 2 large later C17 cross windows to left of centre with
carved bracket keystones in stone. At right end of block C20 additions exten-
ding to angle with hall (not listed). South (hall) wing: Random rubble stone
with rendered 1st floor to right. Right-hand block projects, flanked by gabled
projecting stair towers, to left and right of water-gate, that to right actually
a part of the west wing. Hall (to left): Recessed with plain tiled roof. 3
dormers and end stack to right in gable parapet, partly masked behind stair-
turret. 2 storeys and attic; irregular fenestration of 4 windows on both
floors, mostly mullioned with casements. Those second from left on both floors
pointed with trefoil heads. 2 pointed-arched door-surrounds, both heavily-
moulded, to entrances to left and right of centre. Block to right: Entrance to
stair-tower in angle of recess. Stair-tower with one window on both floors at
different levels reflecting stair behind. 2 storeys and attic with 2 gabled and
barge-boarded dormers to right. 2 windows on 1st floor and 1 to left on ground
floor, all with lattice casements. Arch with moulded arched bressummer through
block to right. West wing: Random rubble with ashlar dressings on ground floor,
rendered above. Plain tiled roof. 2 storeys and attics; 5 gabled dormers, all
with C20 moulded barge-boards. Rendered and gabled 2-storey projecting and
battered stair-tower at extreme left. Irregular fenestration of 6 windows on
the first floor and 7 windows on the ground floor, all lattice casements. 4
boarded and ribbed doors in depressed pointed-arched and moulded surrounds, to
right of centre and to right, to left and at extreme left. North-west wing:
Random rubble with ashlar quoins and window dressings. Plain tiled roof. 2
storeys and attic. 6 timbered and gabled dormers with C20 moulded barge-boards.
Irregular fenestration of 6 windows on 1st floor and 7 windows on ground floor;
lattice casements, on ground and 1st floors, in ovolo-moulded mullioned sur-
rounds. Large arch at extreme left. 4 boarded and ribbed doors, to left of
centre and to left, to right and almost at right-hand end. Exterior of Court-
yard: South (river) front: Hall projecting to right, random rubble stone with
plain tiled roof. 3 modern mullioned windows, 1 on each floor in west end.
Recessed wing to left, random rubble with ashlar dressings on ground floor,
rendered and jettied above. Plain tiled roof. 2 storeys and attics. 2 gabled
dormers. Irregular fenestration of 6 windows on 1st floor, 5 windows on ground
floor. Wide central chamfered and pointed archway, originally the watergate.
West front: Random rubble on ground floor, rendered above. Plain tiled hipped
roof with lower C20 extension to left. 2 storeys and attic, 1½ storeys to left.
7 gabled dormers with 3 semi-dormers on lower left extension. Irregular fenes-
tration of 12 windows on 1st floor, and 16 windows on ground floor, all lattice
casements, some C20 mullioned windows, with pointed arched window with cusped
head at right-hand end. Shallow chamfered-arched doorway at right end leading
to river. North-west front: Random rubble with ashlar dressings. Plain tiled
roof. 2 storeys and attic; 6 stepped buttresses regularly deployed between
windows except one missing at right-hand end. 4 gabled dormers. Irregular
fenestration of 6 windows on 1st floor and 6 windows on ground floor, lattice
casements some in chamfered mullioned surrounds, and that to extreme right on
ground floor in round-arched surround set deep within straight-pointed arched
frame. Projecting C20 1 1/2-storey wing to right (not listed).

Listing NGR: TQ7235358828

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.