The gatehouse, representing the main formal entrance to the house via Green Court, stands centrally within the west elevation. It is rectangular in plan with four turrets; fairly low, standing 15m to the top of its crenellated parapet, the corner turrets extending a further 2.4m. It is of two storeys above a four-centred entrance archway, the spandrels of which carry the arms of Sackville and Cranford to north and south respectively, these being added after 1645 (Phase 4C), when Charles Sackville was created Baron Cranfield. The south-eastern angle turret houses a newel stair, accessed from the exterior at ground floor level and providing access between the floor levels of the tower and of the south-west range. The upper floor levels each comprise a single chamber with access to the four corner turrets via narrow, angled doorways with four-centred heads and broach-stopped plain chamfers. Fenestration comprises two-light windows with four-centred heads in the east and west walls. Fireplaces of plain, four-centred from with hollow chamfers are located slightly off-centre within the north (1st floor) and south (2nd floor) walls. The sloping, leaded roof has been recently renewed (Phase 7B) in steel and softwood with herring-bone strutting, and drains from east to west.
Identification Images (1)
- GATEHOUSE (Medieval to Late 17th C - 1066 AD to 1700 AD)
The gatehouse consists of four levels, including the roof, with four small corner turrets, the south east turret containing a stone spiral stair that connects all the levels. Ground floor level consists of an arched gateway, on the north side is a small room acting as the Porters Lodge (The Poke). The first floor level was historically used for storage and living quarters, and was known as Mr Mason’s Room. Above this is an almost identical room, again used largely for storage, previously known as the Prints Room. These spaces were also occupied during the 20th century by Eddy Sackville-West and are now presented with his collections in the rooms. The lead covered roof is accessed via the stair turret, and has one additional room, now used to house services, located in the north western turret.
A watching brief in the Poke in 2001 by Canterbury Archaeological Trust during refurbishment works revealed earlier features within the space, including wall partitions, an older fireplace in the south wall, a brick drain and a gravel layer which may represent an earlier courtyard surface. From beneath the floorboards of the Poke a number of artefacts were discovered including a bone hair comb, buttons and clothes pins.
Graffiti survey in 2014 by MJC Associates (as part of the 'Inspired by Knole' project) recorded a medieval mason's mark in the stair turret and 20th century inscriptions including builders' graffiti, a charcoal drawing of someone taking a dog for a walk and runic / astrological markings.
The spaces and roof are now showrooms, open to visitors.
- SNA64037 - National Trust Report: Oxford Archaeology. 2007. Knole, Sevenoaks, Kent: An Archaeological Survey.
- SNA64038 - Conservation Plan: Oxford Archaeology. 2007. Knole, Kent: Conservation Management Plan Vol. 1. 1.
- SNA64039 - Conservation Plan: Oxford Archaeology. 2007. Knole, Kent: Conservation Management Plan Vol. 2. 2.
- SNA68947 - National Trust Report: MJC Associates. 2014. Graffiti Survey of the Outer Wicket (Gatehouse Tower), Knole, Kent.
- SNA69122 - National Trust Report: Canterbury Archaeological Trust. 2001. The NE Range of Green Court, Knole, Sevenoaks, Kent: Historic Building Record and Watching Brief.
- SNA69705 - National Trust Report: Museum of London Archaeology. 2015. Building survey of Under-Floor Archaeology at Knole, Kent.
- SNA69717 - Photographs - set of: MJC Associates. 2014. Graffiti survey photo records: Outer Wicket, Knole.
- SNA69720 - National Trust Report: Museum of London Archaeology. 2019. Building Survey of Showrooms and New Spaces at Knole, Kent.
Other Statuses and References
- ENA5636 - Field Survey, An Archaeological Survey: Knole, Sevenoaks, Kent
- ENA9962 - Field Survey, Graffiti Survey of the Outer Wicket (Gatehouse Tower), Knole, Kent
- ENA10145 - Non Archaeological Intervention, The NE Range of Green Court, Knole, Sevenoaks, Kent: Historic Building Record and Watching Brief
- ENA10658 - Non Archaeological Intervention, Building Survey and Investigation of Under-Floor Archaeology at Knole, Kent