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Description: Spring House
Date Listed: 20 October 1954
English Heritage Building ID: 179623
OS Grid Reference: TQ5665747240
OS Grid Coordinates: 556657, 147240
Latitude/Longitude: 51.2029, 0.2410
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HILDENBOROUGH POWDER MILL LANE (west side)
TQ 54 NE
5/190 Spring House (formerly listed
20.10.54 as Meopham Bank Cottages)
House. Circa late C15/early C16 origins, remodelled and partly rebuilt in the
circa early C17, some late C20 alterations. Framed construction, the ground
floor partly underbuilt and nogged with brick, the rear elevation of the main
block tile-hung to the first floor. Framed wing on a ragstone rubble plinth,
underbuilt in brick and tile-hung to the first floor; peg-tile roof;' brick
Plan and Development: The house faces east and is set back from the road.
The main block, which has a rear outshut, is 3 bays with a crosswing at the
south end. It began as a late medieval 3-room and cross passage house, higher
end to the north, with an open hall and storeyed ends, the higher end jettied
on the north. The hall was floored in the circa early C17 with an axial stack
inserted in the cross passage with back-to-back fireplaces heating the old
hall and the new crosswing, which replaced the medieval lower end. The
crosswing, with a C17 oriel window to the east and an unheated service room to
the west, may have functioned as a parlour wing with the old hall re-used as
the kitchen although the moulded fireplace lintel to the inserted stack in the
hall suggests a superior status. The position of the C17 entrance is unclear
as the inserted stack blocks the old passage and does not appear to leave
enough room for a lobby e:.trance. The present entrance is through a passage
created by dismantling the crosswing fireplace in the late C20. The house was
divided into 2 cottages by 1952 (old list description) but is now one house.
Exterior: 2 storey main block; south wing 2-storeys and attic. Asymmetrical
1:1 window front, the east end of the crosswing to the left with one window
only to the main block. The larger, left hand bay of the main block preserves
exposed tension braces of large scantling. The main block roof is hipped and
gabletted at the right end, the crosswing roof is half-hipped to the front;
axial stack with staggered shafts with moulded cornices. Original early C17
oriel windows to he ground and first floor of the crosswing, coved out with
ovolo-moulded oak mullions, 5-light to the ground floor, 4-light to the first
floor with a 2-light attic window. The crosswing also preserves C17 windows
on the left return: 2 3-light ovolo-moulded mullioned windows to the east (the
first floor window blocked externally) and a first floor 3-light window with
chamfered mullions to the west. The main block has 2 3-light casements to the
centre bay, the ground floor window probably C18. C20 tile-hung lean-to
porch. The right hand bay of the main block preserves its ground floor
framing and the underbuilt jetty is visible on the right return. The roof is
carried down as a catslide to the rear outshut; late C20 conservatory additon
to the rear.
Interior: Rich in early carpentry. Exposed ceiling beams and joists to the
ground floor rooms. The joists to the north end cell are late medieval but
have mostly been re-set with trimmers for 2 former staircases. The centre
ground floor room has C17 joists, some removed, and a partly-blocked C17
fireplace with one moulded stone jamb exposed and a moulded oak lintel. The
crosswing is separately framed from the main block beyond a ceiling beam with
redundant mortises for the joists of the late medieval service end. The
crosswing sill on the south side is a re-used timber. The partition between
the 2 rooms has been removed but the C17 doorframes to its former paired doors
on the north side survive. A probably C18 dog-leg stair with a shaped finial
to the newel post rises in the outshut to the rear of the axial stack, the
balustrade in a rustic Chinese Chippendale style is probably early C19. On
the first floor the steep oak stair to the attic is C17, the bottom step a
solid timber baulk. Part of the frame of the medieval doorway survives.
Roof: The late medieval common rafter roof survives over the main range with
a rough wattle and daub partition to the apex between the medieval open hall
and storeyed north end. The roof, on jowled wall posts, is heavily sooted
over the hall and the partition is sooted on the hall side. The rafter
couples have halved collars and are not of massive scantling. One of the
rafter couples close to the inserted stack has a single mortise for a brace on
the soffit, this may be associated with smoke escape before the stack was
built. The crosswing has a clasped purlin roof with re-used rafters.
A complex evolved house with an interesting medieval roof.
Listing NGR: TQ5665747240
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.