Owletts House, Kent

Record ID:  MNA162676 / MNA162676
Record type:  Building
Protected Status: Listed Building: Grade II*, Listed Building: Grade II
NT Property:  Owletts; London and South East
Civil Parish:  Cobham; Gravesham; Kent
Grid Reference:  TQ 6650 6873
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Summary

A well-built 17th century Kentish yeomans house. A low brick parapet was added in the mid 18th century. The building was extended in the mid 19th century and further altered in the early 20th century by Sir Herbert Baker. The building passed to the National Trust in the late 1930s.

Identification Images (1)

View of Owletts © National Trust
View of Owletts © National Trust

Monument Types

  • FARMHOUSE (Late 17th C to Early 20th C - 1683 AD to 1920 AD)

Description

Walling Materials:
Red brick, some stone detailing.
Roofing Materials:
Hand made red clay tiles
Flooring Materials:
Stone and brick basement and ground, timber floors first and second

Description:
A well built square double pile house built by Bonham Hayes, wealthy Kent yeoman farmer. Has a symmetrical seven bay front with central porch (added later) and two original projecting closet turrets at the outer sides of the front elevation. A low brick parapet running around the building and concealing the hipped roof and dormers was added in the mid 18th century. Inside the building has four principal rooms, one in each corner with centrally placed original stair case with very fine moulded plaster ceiling and two centrally placed brick stacks. The principal rooms contain several original features as well as high quality later alterations carried out with sensitivity to the original character. The building was extended to the north west, also in red brick, in the mid 19th century to provide additional accommodation for children and servants. In the early 20th century it was inherited by the renowned architect Sir Herbert Baker who made a number of alterations to the building including extending it to the north and north east. He also approached Gertrude Jekyll to assist in laying out the garden to the east. The building, and some associated cottages passed to the National Trust in the late 1930s.

Architectural/Historic Significance:
The house is a fine example of a Kentish yeomans house built in a fashionable style for that period and typical of the late 17th century countryside. It is also associated with the renowned architect Sir Herbert Baker who was born here and made a number of alterations to the house in a sympathetic manner and bequeathed it to the National Trust on his death.

Landscape Significance:
The house sits within a garden context that has not changed substantially since at least the 18th century. Gertrude Jekyll was asked to assist in the early 20th century with laying out parts of the garden.
The main building is listed Grade II*, the Well house is listed Grade I.

For further context to this site, see also the Desk Based Assessment of Jeskyn's Farm to the north west. Nicola Bannister notes that these two settlements have long historical associations.

References

  • <1> SNA64240 - Vernacular Building Survey: CgMs Consulting. 2009. Owletts House Interpretive Historic Building Assessment and Statement of Significance.

  • <2> SNA64241 - Unpublished document: Nicola R Bannister. 2005. Jeskyns Farm, Cobham Archive Assessment Overview.

Designations

Other Statuses and References

None Recorded

Associated Events

  • ENA5862 - Field Survey, Owletts House Interpretive Historic Building Assessment and Statement of Significance

Associated Finds

None Recorded

Related Records

None Recorded