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Outbuilding at the Cranbrook Engineering Works

A Grade II Listed Building in Cranbrook, Kent

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Latitude: 51.0962 / 51°5'46"N

Longitude: 0.5358 / 0°32'8"E

OS Eastings: 577654

OS Northings: 136048

OS Grid: TQ776360

Mapcode National: GBR PTC.B7Q

Mapcode Global: FRA D607.2KC

Entry Name: Outbuilding at the Cranbrook Engineering Works

Listing Date: 28 May 2015

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1426361

Location: Cranbrook, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN17

County: Kent

District: Tunbridge Wells

Civil Parish: Cranbrook & Sissinghurst

Built-Up Area: Cranbrook

Traditional County: Kent

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Kent

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An ancillary building to the White Horse Inn, latterly the Bull Inn (demolished), dating from the late C16-early C17. The C20 garage extension on the north east elevation of the C16 range is not of special interest and is excluded from the listing.


An ancillary building to the White Horse Inn, latterly the Bull Inn (demolished), dating from the late C16-early C17.

MATERIALS: it is primarily built from brick, with sandstone rubble, possibly reused from earlier structures present in the footings.The roof structure is oak and the roof is tiled.

PLAN: the site of the former inn is an open forecourt facing onto the west side of Stone Street. The outbuilding is to the west of this forecourt; it runs roughly west-east along the northern boundary of the site, behind the C20 garage (not listed).

EXTERIOR: the range has been enveloped by later buildings. On the Stone Street elevation only the tile-hung apex of the steeply pitched gable of the building is visible behind the garage. A small section of the south elevation is visible between the assembly hall and the stables. It has an inserted double door on the ground floor and an inserted window above.

INTERIOR: on the ground floor there are substantial floor joists that meet a thick spine beam that is supported by two thick cross beams; these have deep chamfers and stops and are c28cm wide. In the C18 the building was converted to residential use, and floors were divided into three rooms. This is still evident on the first floor, where the two central trusses were infilled with daub, and had stud partitions inserted below; the roof was ceiled beneath the level of the end collars. Divisions on the ground floor have been removed. The location of the original stair, if there was one, is not known; there are fragmentary remains of the C18 stair. The internal walls bear scars of earlier openings: two doorways at ground floor level, one of which was notably wide at c1.8m. These have been blocked and altered and later openings have been inserted. The roof structure incorporates two types of trusses: those at either end of the range are of queen post construction with clasped side purlins, whereas the two central trusses omit the collars and have raking struts and butt jointed purlins. Where the C16 range adjoins the assembly hall a large proportion of the rafters has been removed.


Documentary evidence records that the White Hart Inn was in operation in 1610. In the late C17 it was used as a butcher's shop and possibly a slaughterhouse, and by 1755 had returned to use as a pub, with its name changed to the Bull Inn. It operated as such until it ceased trade in the early C20, and was demolished in the 1930s.

There were a number of ancillary buildings to the rear of the inn ranging in date from the late C16 or early C17 to C20, and these survive in varying states of completeness, having been altered and adapted as the site developed and to suit the changing uses: in the C20 it became a mechanics workshop and later a shop.

The earliest of these buildings is the brick range on the northern boundary of the site, orientated roughly west to east, which originally abutted a rear wing of the former inn, and is thought to date from the late C16 or early C17 and incorporates probable medieval building fabric from an earlier structure on the site. The form of the building and the early use of brick suggests it was used for storage, and mortises on the ground floor suggest the presence of hay racks, hence it may once have served as a stable. In the C18 it was subdivided and possibly used as additional domestic accommodation for the inn. Doorways and fenestration have been altered. In the C19 the rafters on the southern pitch of the roof were modified to adjoin a later assembly hall.

Following the closure of the inn in 1923 the group of buildings were leased and then sold to a mechanic, and for the remainder of the C20 the site was an engineering works. The inn was demolished in 1936 to make way for a garage forecourt. A new, single-storey garage building was added to the front of the site, abutting the gable end of the late C16-early C17 range, and the north corner of the assembly hall. The most recent use of the site was as a shop; this ceased trading at the end of 2014.

Reasons for Listing

The outbuilding to the former inn, originating in the late C16 or early C17, is listed at Grade II, for the following principal reasons:
* Early fabric: late C16-early C17 walls survive with evidence of original openings, and the roof structure has an unusual combination of different trusses and purlins;
* Architectural interest: the building represents an early use of brick in the locality, and is an unusually robust construction for its date;
* Group value: with the adjacent Grade II* listed George Hotel and numerous other listed buildings.

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