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The Tabernacle, the Mote Cricket Club

A Grade II Listed Building in Shepway North, Kent

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.2678 / 51°16'4"N

Longitude: 0.5365 / 0°32'11"E

OS Eastings: 577049

OS Northings: 155129

OS Grid: TQ770551

Mapcode National: GBR PR7.JGM

Mapcode Global: VHJMF.8D0F

Entry Name: The Tabernacle, the Mote Cricket Club

Listing Date: 27 November 2013

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1416462

Location: Maidstone, Kent, ME15

County: Kent

District: Maidstone

Electoral Ward/Division: Shepway North

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Maidstone

Traditional County: Kent

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Kent

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Summary

A private cricket pavilion built by 1908 for Lord Bearsted, owner of Mote Park, in Vernacular Revival style.

Description

MATERIALS: eclectic timber-framing with ogee-bracing to the base and vertical studs above with brick infill, laid horizontally, vertically and diagonally, and a timber verandah. Tiled roof with end gablets and a brick chimneystack to the rear.

PLAN: T-shaped plan with large front room behind verandah and smaller heated rear room.

EXTERIOR: front or south-east side has a wooden verandah with a glazed top supported on six turned columns with attached turned balustrades. Behind are two wooden mullioned and transomed windows and a central half-glazed double door with leaded and coloured lights to the transomes and fielded panels at the base. The north-west and south-east ends each have a wooden gablet with a trefoil-shaped cutout to provide ventilation. The front part of each side has one casement each and there are further windows in the set back T-wing. Windows on the south-east side have curved ornamentation at the top and the T-wing windows are smaller and have frosted glass. The south-west or rear side has a simple central doorcase.

INTERIOR: the large front room has a wooden boarded ceiling with two quatrefoil-shaped cutouts for ventilation. A smaller rear room has a fireplace with a bracketed shelf.

History

The Tabernacle was a private cricket and entertainment pavilion built for the first Lord Bearsted (1853-1927) and officially opened in 1910. This building first appears on the 1908 25 inch Ordnance Survey map with its current footprint.

Born Marcus Samuel, Lord Bearsted's family business was dealing in ornamental sea shells. He founded an oil transportation business which he named 'Shell' after the family business and he was the first chairman of Shell. He owned and lived on the adjoining Mote Park estate from 1895 until his death in 1927.

In 1929 the second Lord Bearsted gifted the cricket ground with The Tabernacle and the larger cricket pavilion to the Mote Cricket Club and the rest of Mote Park, including the mansion, was sold to Maidstone Borough Council.

The building was restored between 2011-13 to be used as a centre of excellence for youth sport.

Reasons for Listing

The Tabernacle at the Mote Cricket Club, a private cricket pavilion built by 1908 for Lord Bearsted, owner of Mote Park, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural interest: it is a Vernacular Revival style cricket pavilion built of structural timber-framing of eclectic type with varied brick infill and ornamental joinery details;
* Date: pre-1914 cricket pavilions such as this are rare nationally;
* Degree of intactness: has been recently restored to its original condition;
* Rarity: private as opposed to club cricket pavilions are exceptionally rare;
* Historical associations: the first Lord Bearsted is a figure of national importance for founding Shell oil company as well as local importance as the owner of the Mote estate and as a benefactor to local cricket.

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