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Smeeds Farm

A Grade II Listed Building in Monks Horton, Kent

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.1181 / 51°7'5"N

Longitude: 1.0236 / 1°1'24"E

OS Eastings: 611704

OS Northings: 139773

OS Grid: TR117397

Mapcode National: GBR TZY.TWD

Mapcode Global: VHKKX.P5H5

Entry Name: Smeeds Farm

Listing Date: 15 May 1986

Last Amended: 30 April 2014

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1338843

English Heritage Legacy ID: 175610

Location: Monks Horton, Shepway, Kent, TN25

County: Kent

District: Shepway

Civil Parish: Monks Horton

Traditional County: Kent

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Kent

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Summary

An open-hall house, probably late C15, altered in the late C16, re-fronted in the late C18 or early C19 and refurbished in the 1930s and subsequently.

Description

Former farmhouse, now house. A probable late C15 hall house altered in the late C16, re-fronted in the late C18 or early C19 and refurbished in the 1930s and subsequently. The C20 north kitchen extension and south conservatory are not of special interest.

MATERIALS: originally timber-framed but the wall framing is no longer visible following re-fronting in brickwork, mainly in English garden wall bond or Flemish bond, which is now mainly concealed under roughcast render. Half-hipped roof covered with C20 tiles with a C20 off-central moulded brick chimneystack.

PLAN: only the hall and service end of the late medieval open hall house survive. The hall is 4.4m long by 5.8m wide, probably single bay, with a service end of the same width and 4.5m long, originally divided into a buttery and pantry. The open hall was ceiled over, probably in the late C16, to provide a chamber above, and a chimney was inserted within the cross passage, transforming the plan to a lobby entrance one. Between the late C18 and early C19 the wall frame was rebuilt in brick and a single-storey lean-to was built on the east side. The north or high end was rebuilt in brick in the C19 and a south kitchen extension was added in the second half of the C20, on the footprint of an earlier extension shown on the 1873 map.

EXTERIOR: the west or entrance front, which under the roughcast is mainly of English garden wall bond brickwork but with C20 brick underpinning, has two hipped dormers, two tripartite C20 casement windows and a C20 porch with a hipped tiled roof and a C20 double glazed door behind. There is a vertical iron tie between the north and the penultimate bay. The north end has a C20 casement and an attached C20 glazed extension. The east side has some exposed brickwork, mainly in Flemish bond but with some random bond to the penticed lean-to at the north end. There is a large C20 hipped dormer and two Velux lights to the roof. Below are two C20 casement windows and a wide C20 double door. The south end of the original building is now almost entirely obscured by the later C20 brick kitchen extension.

INTERIOR: the room immediately south of the porch, the former service end of the hall house, retains the original floor joists, aligned north-south, with carpenters' numerals. Mortices on the soffit of the central joists show that the room was originally divided. The joists were trimmed against the east wall, showing the original position of the stairs. To the north of the porch the ground floor of the former hall, the high end and part of the rear lean-to, have been combined to form a single space. The former hall retains the later C16 inserted floor with a chamfered spine beam with lambs tongue stops and nine original floor joists with the same details. Probably in the 1930s a stone chimneypiece of reused stone, including some Caen stone, was inserted in the position of the C16 inserted chimney. Several reused architectural fragments, including a C12 scalloped capital, a billeted stringcourse, window mullions and column fragments, have been incorporated within the chimneypiece and may possibly have come from the nearby Monks Horton Priory. The plainly chamfered oak lintel may have formed part of the late C16 inserted chimney. The rear outshut has an early C19 ledge and plank door. Beside the C20 staircase the hall's low end wall retains the truncated low end beam and similarly truncated tie beam above, both with stave grooves for a partition. Only one corner post is visible on the upper floor. The bathroom in the room over the service bay has C18 ceiling beams. There is a further ledge and plank door and between the north bedroom and the adjoining bedroom is a partition containing a crown strut with wide curved down braces. In the roof space the collar and fragments of the front and rear rafter survive above this, with traces of soot blackening. Otherwise the roof structure has been almost entirely rebuilt in the late C20 in softwood, except for an oak rafter and collar fragment towards the south end, possibly C17 in date, and some reused timbers in the south hip, probably assembled in the C18.

History

The existing building originated in the late C15 as a hall house.

It is not shown on Mudge's map of 1801, but this is likely to be a mistake given the dating of the house from its fabric.

The 1840 Tithe Award Schedule of 29 January 1840 mentions a house and garden in the ownership of Mount Morris occupied by Henry Smeed, which is assessed at one shilling and five pence.

The building appears on the First Edition Ordnance Survey map of 1873 with almost the same profile as the present day map, but now the south-eastern corner extends further out and a small north-eastern projection shown on this map and the subsequent editions is no longer present. A barn is also shown to the south-west. The 1898 map shows a further farm building to the south-east. The Third Edition map of 1907 shows an additional farm building added to the south. No change is registered on the Fourth Edition map of 1940. None of the pre-war editions name the building.

Smeeds Farm underwent restoration, probably in the 1930s, which included replacement of the chimneystack. Refurbishing throughout the C20, included underpinning, replacement of the existing kitchen at the south end, and most of the roof in softwood.

Reasons for Listing

Smeeds Farm, a late C15 timber-framed hall house, adapted into a lobby entrance house in the late C16, re-fronted in brickwork in the early C19 and refurbished in the C20 is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Date: dates from the late C15;
* Regional and local characteristics: timber-framed open halls later adapted into lobby entrance houses are characteristic locally and in the region. Although modest in scale and details it is an example of a house belonging to the lower ranks of society which have often not survived;
* Plan form: the original open hall house plan is readable from joists in the service bay with evidence for the central partition between buttery and pantry, and stairs on the east side; also a surviving crown strut retaining soot blackening. The lobby entrance plan is shown by the inserted ceiling into the open hall and lobby entrance;
* Fittings, fixtures and decoration: includes late C16 ceiling with chamfers and lambs tongue stops, early C19 ledged doors and a stone fireplace assembled in the early C20 which incorporates medieval fragments;
* Proportion of survival of fabric: the C15 wall frame is likely to survive although only one corner post is visible. The C15 service bay ceiling and the C16 inserted ceiling to the hall survive together with a truncated low end beam and tie beam at the low end of the hall and the crown strut truss at the high end. This comprises a significant proportion of pre-1700 fabric.

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