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Description: Douce's Manor
Date Listed: 1 August 1952
English Heritage Building ID: 392437
OS Grid Reference: TQ6774357320
OS Grid Coordinates: 567743, 157320
Latitude/Longitude: 51.2903, 0.4043
Explore more of the area around West Malling, Kent at Explore Britain.
TQ6757 ST LEONARD'S STREET
01/08/52 Douce's Manor
(Formerly Listed as:
ST LEONARD'S STREET
The Manor House)
Former large house at present management training centre,
c1776, by Benjamin Hubble with alterations and extensions
c1802 by Thomas Augustus Dance, with early C20 alterations,
Music Room and Conservatory. Cement rendered over brick with
steeply pitched slate roof with 4 tall cemented stacks with
pseudo-acroteria. 2 storeys and attics. 8 windows to main
part. Tall parapet with 8 sections of balustrading concealing
5 flat-roofed dormers. Wide wooden modillion eaves cornice
surviving from C18 house. First floor windows are 12-pane
sashes in moulded architraves. Ground floor windows are tall
12-pane sashes with sunblind cases, architraves and cornices
on brackets. Central Tuscan portico with 4 columns and cornice
with ball finials at ends. Double door. Plinth. Right side
elevation has a 2-storey 3-light canted bay and a 1-storey
cemented range. Left side extension has 5 sashes. Attached is
a 1-storey brick extension with massive balustrades and tall
chimney with pseudo-acroteria. Front hall has well staircase
with 3 turned balusters to each tread, scrolled tread ends
with lilies, square newels, curved bow to 1st floor and dado
panelling which is probably early C20. Early C19 plastered
ceiling with Vitruvian scroll and 2 early C19 Ionic columns.
Cornice with fasces, paterae and oval rings of wheat ears.
Dining Room front part has early C19 marble fireplace with
central panel with reclining female playing lyre with Cupid
holding music. Adam-style ceiling with plumed cornice, central
oval and corner pendants with ovals containing female figures.
Rear part fireplace has an unusual early C19 fireplace with
central panel depicting Britannia with helmet and trident
pulled by 4 cherubs with helmeted female in corner and 1
cherub playing a lyre. Lounge has a plaster ceiling with deep
relief and panelling of Queen Anne type, all probably early
C20. Iron basket grate with Delft tiles. C20 music room (now
bar) has a barrel-vaulted ceiling of Tudor character and a
decorative Edwardian conservatory leads out of it. Plain
service staircase with stick balusters and column newel above.
C18 winder staircase to cellar which is a Georgian wine cellar
with alcoves for storing bottles with two 3-plank doors. This
is known as 'Twitch Inn' a bar created during the occupation
of the house by the RAF during the Second World War because of
the proximity to Malling Air Station and containing relevant
photographs and mementoes. Until then the house was occupied
by the Douce family. At time of survey the house was the
training headquarters of the Commercial Union Assurance
(Buildings of England: Newman J: West Kent and the Weald:
Listing NGR: TQ6775057329
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.