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Home / Kent / Upper Ansdore Guest House


Upper Ansdore Guest House
Canterbury, Kent



Upper Ansdore was probably a first floor hall house dating from the late medieval period circa 1380. In rural areas this form of house was favoured for defence purposes. Generally they are not large. The ground floor was probably used as store rooms or as a subsidiary living accommodation. Above the first floor is a hall of two bays, originally open to the roof with a single bay solar adjoining, which was always sealed, providing an attic. Two hundred years later in the 16th century, a chimney was built in what was called the screen's passage. This chimney built of Tudor bricks is large on today's standard but it allowed two fireplaces on the first floor, and two on the ground floor so that all rooms could be heated. Also note the bread oven to the side of the fireplace. One fireplace has stone supporting pillars with an oak lintel, which is moulded in the Tudor Arch or the Four Centred Arch. A Newel stair was built at the side of the chimney in place of the early ladder type, originally used for defence reasons. The roof constructed in Oak (cleft) is a full hipped roof of the Tie beam and Collar beam style roof, common in the South East. The walls, originally, constructed of Oak timber framing with Wattle and Daub infilling, have been bricked round in the early 18th century when bricks were more readily available and in fashion. Brickwork is laid in the Flemish Bond, and extends only to the first floor with the original timber framing (as above) covered with hanging tiles. At this time there was also an extension to the rear bringing the line of the roof down to within five feet from the ground level. This type of roof is sometimes called an Outshot or Catslide roof. This addition very often housed small animals - pigs, poultry etc. A minimum stay of two nights for bank holiday weekends is required. The house stands between two old railways, which were used less when the new road between Petham and Waltham was built in the mid 18th century. These roads are now only public footpaths leading to the church in Waltham and the village itself.

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Duckpit Lane, Petham



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