The Ancient House or Priest House, High Street West Malling

Posted on Jun 18, 2018

The Ancient House List Entry Summary This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest. Name: THE ANCIENT HOUSE List entry Number: 1292809 Location 65 AND 67, HIGH STREET – THE ANCIENT HOUSE, HIGH STREET The building may lie within the boundary of more than one authority. County: Kent District: Tonbridge and Malling District Type: District Authority Parish: West Malling Grade: I Date first listed: 01-Aug-1952 Date of most recent amendment: 14-Oct-1996 Legacy System Information The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system. Legacy System: LBS UID: 392348 Asset Groupings This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information. Details TQ 6957 WEST MALLING HIGH STREET 3/16 Numbers 65, 67 and The Ancient House 1.8.52 GV I Shops and storeroom, possibly originally priest’s house to nunnery, other building in monastic ownership or merchant’s house, later inn and jail. The Ancient House is circa 1160-80, with some possible 14th Century alterations, reroofed circa 1460 and refenestrated in early 19th Century. Nos 65 and 67 are 15th Century. Number 67 was rebuilt in the 17th Century but with link block to the Ancient House probably 16th Century, refenestrated in mid-19th Century. The Ancient House was originally a chamber block above undercroft with external staircase no longer extant and possibly part of a larger structure. Built of ragstone stone rubble and some tufa blocks with roughly quoined corners. Tiled roof and one 19th Century brick chimneystack. Two storeys. North front has 2 19th Century inserted casements with brick dressings. Ground floor has a 14th or 15th Century blocked pointed arched doorcase to ground floor left which led to the undercroft and a low positioned medieval blocked rectangular stone window opening. There is also a later doorcase with 20th Century door and 19th Century inserted plank door and adjoining casement. The East wall has part of a low semi-circular tufa arch remaining, indicating external staircase. Lack of evidence for windows on west end wall suggests there may have an earlier hall on the site of current 16th Century link block. Interior first floor chamber contains two windows of c1160-80 with chevron arches and scallop caps to first floor, a 15th Century stone chimneypiece with wooden bressumer and intact 15th Century sans-purlin roof with 3 tall chamfered crownposts with four headbraces. The crownposts are similar in type to Old Gilwyns Chiddingstone, dated to c1460. Evidence from a former inhabitant suggests there may be an undercroft with wooden access trap. Front part of numbers 65 and 67 is timber framed, refronted in stucco with old tiled roof with central brick chimneystack. Two storeys and attics. Number 65 has 2 casements to first floor and a 19th Century shopfront. Number...

Read More »

The Startled Saint

Posted on Jun 17, 2018

The Startled Saint, St Leonards Street, West Malling The Startled Saint used to be the local pub for the airmen stationed at nearby RAF West Malling during and after the second World War. The original Landlady, Alice Baker, claimed it was opened on the day WWII started in 1939. The Pub’s most famous client was Wing Commander Guy Gibson (centre) who led the famous Dam Busters Raid in 1941. Unfortunately, due to it’s remoteness from West Malling, it closed in the late 80’s early 90’s and is now a private dwelling. The pub sign, above, a copy of which still adorns the front of the house, depicts St Leonard being ‘buzzed’ by several Spitfires. Images collected from various unknown locations if it is yours let me know and I will add a...

Read More »