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Description: Pigeon Hoo
Date Listed: 8 May 1950
English Heritage Building ID: 179792
OS Grid Reference: TQ9084933576
OS Grid Coordinates: 590849, 133576
Latitude/Longitude: 51.0698, 0.7227
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633/6/137 PRESTON LANE
08-MAY-1950 (West side)
House, formerly farmhouse.
DATE: Late medieval, probably C15, and possibly early C15, with north stair turret and catslide extensions to north and east added in the mid C17 together with the insertion of a chimneystack and floors to the former open hall. In the C19 the south front was partially refronted, a south porch added and some internal alterations carried out. C20 single storey additions.
MATERIALS: The original part is timberframed on a stone plinth, partially refronted in brick in English bond to the ground floor, with a three storey timberframed stair tower to the north with brick nogging and steeply pitched tiled roof with off central tall ribbed brick chimneystack.
PLAN: Originally this was an open hall house of Wealden type with two unequal sized central open hall bays and projecting first floor end bays, with service end to west and solar end to east. This was adapted to form a lobby entrance house by inserting a chimneystack into the smaller western bay of the open hall, ceiling over the open hall both at first floor level and above to form garrets, adding a three storey stair tower to the north to access the upper floors and adding outshots to north and east.
EXTERIOR: the south or entrance front has wide "Kentish" framing visible on the ground floor of the eastern part and first floor of the recessed centre with curved corbel supporting the massive central truss, with plastered infill. The western bay ground floor has been underbuilt in brick in English bond and the projecting first floors of the end bays have been clad in weatherboarding. Irregular windows include C19 casement windows with leaded lights, three windows in the upper floor of the recessed centre of smaller dimensions with a two storey C20 square bay of traditional type inserted in the centre of the eastern former open hall bay and a 16-pane sash window to the ground floor western bay. C19 brick porch with hipped tiled roof and ribbed plank door. The west side has framing visible with diagonal braces to first floor and brick ground floor, substantially concealed by C20 bay. Small first floor mullioned window with leaded lights. Other windows are C20 of traditional type, including gabled dormer, three-light casements to lower floors and C20 glazed door flanked by sidelights. The principal feature of the north or rear elevation is the three storey stair turret, almost in line with the chimneystack, which is timber framed with brick infill, including some herringbone brick infill, and has a small casement window to each floor. There are two gabled dormers and the catslide roof extends either side of the staircase tower to a brick ground floor with two three-light casement windows to the east. There is a C20 ledged door to the east of the stair tower. The east side has a gabled dormer with three-light casement and the catslide extension is obscured by a one storey C20 brick extension in stretcher bond brickwork. This 1930s addition, a large bay window to the west, cloakroom addition to the north-west and housekeeper's accomodation and offices to the east are not of special interest.
INTERIOR: The western ground floor room, originally the service end, has exposed floor joists of square section. In the C17 this room became a parlour and has a brick fireplace with wooden bressumer. The central room comprised the original open hall with the chimney inserted into the much smaller western bay. The large open fireplace retains a wooden bressumer with mid C19 brackets and shelf. The C17 spine beam is roll-moulded with a quirk and runout stop. The south wall retains a blocked C17 wooden mullioned window. There are early C19 built-in drawers to form a dresser. The eastern room has exposed floor joists of square section and a small blocked mullioned window in the south wall. The north outshot has the original rear wall, timberframed on stone plinth and brick paved floor. The balustrading and square newelpost to the lower part is a C20 replacement. The first floor has exposed timberframing including the central truss with massive elbowed arched braces and jowled posts. The western bedroom has a C17 spine beam with two inch chamfer with lamb's tongue stop with quirk and a brick fireplace with wooden bressumer. The eastern room retains an unglazed window opening, blocked when the C17 east outshot was added. The staircase between first floor and attics has original treads, square newel post and rails to landing and hipped roof structure with clasped purlins and pegged rafters. There is a crownpost roof with central approximately six feet high chamfered octagonal crownpost with tongued stops and roll-moulding to the chamfers and three head braces to the collar (four before the partition was inserted). Part of the tie beam to the north was removed in order to insert a plank door into the western attic room. The other two crownposts are of square section, each having a curved head brace to the collar. A few rafters are visible adjoining the staircase tower but are otherwise covered over. The roof is reported to consist of common rafter trusses joined with a scarfed lap joint at the apex.
HISTORY: The house may originally have been served by a wharf on a branch of the nearby channel now called the Tenterden Sewer as was the case with the nearby Small Hythe to the south of Tenterden. It is built of Kentish framing, with widely spaced studs and curved braces in contrast to close-studding which, according to the RCHME volumes, based on many dendro-dated examples, started to be used for wall frames about 1460. However, by no means all the houses built in or after the late C15 had any close-studded walls.
STATEMENT OF IMPORTANCE: A timberframed late medieval former open hall house of Wealden type with unusually massive elbowed braces to central truss and tall crownposts, the central one with chamfered octagonal crownpost with tongue stops and roll moulding to the chamfers, adapted into a lobby entrance house in the C17 by inserting a chimneystack into the smaller hall bay, ceiling over the open hall bays and adding a three storey staircase tower. Further features of interest include original C17 mullioned windows to the staircase tower and some blocked mullioned windows, staircase, and fireplaces.
Sarah Pearson "The Mediaeval houses of Kent". Pps 156-159. HMSO. 1994.
P S Barnwell and A T Adams "The House Within". Pps 74-75,80-83 and 114-117. HMSO. 1994.
Richard Garnier "Pigeon Hoo" Unpublished architectural description and analysis. May 2005.
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.