Exploring Kent's Past

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Monument details

HER Number:TQ 55 SW 119
Type of record:Listed Building
Name:KNOLE HOUSE

Summary

Grade I listed building. Main construction periods 1467 to 1625

Summary from record TQ 55 SW 2 :

Knole is a late 15th century and Jacobean house set in a picturesque Deer Park. Knole was built by Thomas Bouchier and was the seat of Lord Sackville. It was also the birthplace of Vita Sackville-West and the setting for Virginia Woolf’s novel Orlando. The Beatles also filmed the promotional video for "Strawberry Fields Forever" at Knole Park in 1967. These have been widely seen as the first ever pop videos. Knole is also home to a rare collection of Royal Stuart furniture and a number of portraits by the artists Van Dyke, Gainsborough and Reynolds.

Summary from record TQ 55 SW 17 :

Medieval deer park and woodland; C16/C20 walled formal gardens.

Images

Knole House 1   © Ed SalterKnole House 2   © Ed SalterKnole House 3   © Ed SalterKnole House 4   © Ed SalterKnole House 5   © Ed SalterKnole House 6   © Ed SalterKnole House 7   © Ed SalterKnole House 8   © Ed SalterKnole House 9   © Ed SalterKnole House 10   © Ed Salter
Grid Reference:TQ 53968 54190
Map Sheet:TQ55SW
Parish:SEVENOAKS, SEVENOAKS, KENT

Monument Types

  • DEER PARK (DEER PARK, Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • DEER PARK (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • HOUSE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD) + Sci.Date
  • SITE (Medieval to Post Medieval - 1467 AD to 1625 AD)
  • BOWLING GREEN (BOWLING GREEN, Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • DEER PARK (DEER PARK, Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • DEER PARK (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • FORMAL GARDEN (FORMAL GARDEN, Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • GARDEN (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • GARDEN WALL (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • GATE (GATE, Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • GROTTO (GROTTO, Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • HOUSE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD) + Sci.Date
  • ICEHOUSE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • ORNAMENTAL POND (ORNAMENTAL POND, Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • SUMMERHOUSE (SUMMER HOUSE, Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • TERRACE (Ornamental Terrace, Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • TREE AVENUE (TREE AVENUE, Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • WALL (WALL, Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • ORANGERY (Post Medieval to Modern - 1604 AD to 2050 AD) + Sci.Date
Protected Status:Listed Building (I) 1336390: KNOLE

Full description

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The following text is from the original listed building designation:
KNOLE PARK 1. 1614 Knole TQ 55 SW/4/82 14.4.51 I 2. Seat of Lord Sackville. Late Cl5 and Jacobean. Built by Thomas Bouchier, Archbishop of Canterbury. Presented to the National Trust together with 52 acres. References: Country Life vol XXXI Nos 772, 826, 862; vol LXIII Nos l34, 197. "Knole" by V Sackville-West, 1923. Guide:- A Tipping, 1922. H I Triggs, 1901. J A Gotch, 1894, M Jourdain, 1926.
Listing NGR: TQ5396854190

Description from record TQ 55 SW 2 :
[TQ 5395 5420] Knole [NAT] (1) Knole - late 15th century and Jacobean; seat of Lord Sackville, built by Thomas Bouchier, Archbishop of Canterbury; presented to National Trust with 52 acres. (2-3)

Knole, a private residence with park (TQ 55 SW 17) as described above,is in excellent condition. (National Trust Pamphlet) (4)

Knole, Grade I, Knole Park. Seat of Lord Sackville. Late 15th century and Jacobean. The stone garden walls adjoining the house are also listed Grade I (For full description see listing.) (5)

Knole, full description and history. (For outbuildings see TQ 55 SE 31, TQ 55 SW 22, TQ 55 SW 14, 23 and 24.) (6-7)

Additional bibliography. (8-12)

Additional bibliography (not consulted). (13-15)

The Beatles filmed their promotional movie for "Strawberry Fields Forever" at Knole Park in 1967. These have been widely seen as the first ever pop videos.

Knole was the birthplace of Vita Sackville-West and the setting for Virginia Woolf’s novel Orlando

In 2006 a watching brief was carried out in Stone Court and Green Court and a building survey carried out on the elevation of Stone Court and on the roof of The Orangery.

From the report:
"Archaeology South East were commissioned by the National Trust to undertake an
archaeological watching brief and historical building record during works at Knole
House, Sevenoaks, Kent. The work involved an archaeological watching brief of
ground reduction after the removal of flagstone surfaces at Stone Court and Green
Court. The historic building record comprised a photographic record of the north and
south elevations of Stone Court prior to replacement of stonework and a brief record
of the Orangery roof after removal of the tile cover.
The results of the watching brief at Stone Court revealed part of an extensive water
management system. The system included a large brick built tank or cistern (one of
two cisterns revealed during a sub-surface video survey carried out in 2005) two
man-holes leading to each of the cisterns and two linear drains.
The watching brief at Green Court revealed two linear drainage gulleys, which ran
alongside the north and south edges of the path from east to west. A single east west
linear arrangement of irregular shaped stone blocks, within a probable foundation
cut, was recorded close to the west end of the path. A ceramic lined drain orientated
north south, capped by stone flags, was also recorded below the level of the
pathway.
The historic building record of the north and south elevations of Stone Court showed
that the walls were constructed in hewn and coursed ragstone blocks over a
protruding base plinth. The plinth had galetting to the mortar bedding joints and a
moulded coping stone to the fabric above. The galetting was not continued into the
fabric of the structure above the plinth. Some of the stone utilised in the construction
of the walls had various tool marks, but none were of a uniform nature and are
believed to be for shaping rather than decorative purposes.
Both elevations have two rows of moulded string courses: the first between ground
and first floor and the second above first floor and below the crenellated parapet. The
stone string courses had been cut into to allow the elaborately decorated lead downpipes
to be fixed to the structure. The down-pipes are dated 1605 and were added to
the Court as part of the Great Rebuild carried out by the Sackville family.
The survey of the Orangery roof structure revealed eight full bays and two partial
bays. The partial bays connected the Orangery to the range at the western end and
at the eastern end created a dormer-type construction for a Dutch Gable. There are
three additional Dutch gables to the southern slope of the Orangery.
The oak roof construction is of nine trusses comprising principal rafter pairs jointed at
apex and linked by collar and tie-beam. The north and south roof slopes had a single
in-line row of purlins in bay lengths tennoned into the corresponding principal rafters
of the trusses. Ashlar posts, one to each side of the truss, linked the principal rafter to
the tie-beam and together with the soffit of the collar created a large open area to the
attic which had been finished in lath and plaster. The ceiling between ground and first
floor had been removed in 1823 to make a double height space for the Orangery and
a series of double height windows were placed within the southern elevation with a
matching set of doors in the eastern elevation. The attic floor had remained in situ
and was predominantly constructed of a grid-like arrangement of joists." (21)

Description from record TQ 55 SW 17 :
Knole, the deer park, 446 acres c. 1565 and 928 acres in 1929, was imparked in the 15th century. The fence is partly oak pales while thenorthern boundary wall of coursed stone blocks, running from Seal Hollow Road to Bowpits, is early 19th century. (1)(2) [TQ 5445 5365] Deer Park [NAT] (3) Park Boundary Wall at Knole. Running from Seal Hollow Road to Bowpitscottages, and forming the Northern boundary of the deer park. This wall was built in the early 19th century and is of coursed stone blocks with flint infilling to mortar joints (dry stone in places). (4) Whitaker in 1892 reported Knole Park as having 1000 acres and a natural water supply barely sufficient in dry seasons, 670 fallow deerand 60 red deer. (5) In 1867 the Park had 400 fallow deer and half the 1000 acres were wooded, largely with beech trees. (6) The Deer Park is not mentioned in The Medieval Parks of England. (7) Enclosed 1456. (8) Medieval deer park and woodland of 400ha, with walled gardens of 11ha, C16/C20. Park enlarged by stages from C15 to C19. Golf course to north. Woodland alternating with open parkland and several notable avenues.[Full topographical description] LISTED GRADE I Additional references, not consulted. (a)(b)(c) (9) Additional bibliography. (10)

In 2007 there was a watching brief down on the house as it was being renovated and much of the floorboard cavities, floors, partions and parts of the structure were examined. (22)

A watching brief in 2010 confirmed that no moat deposits were present around Knole House, making it more than lijkely no moat existed around the house. (23)

Dendrochronology dating of the kitchen showed various phases of building and repair. Various timbers, some of which show signs of reuse, cover a period of 1436-1576. (24)

Dendrochronology dating of the East Range west roof gave a date range of 1601-1633. The Retainers' Gallery roof gave a date of 1604/5, as did the Orangery roof. The South Barracks roof gave a date of 1605/6, as did the King's Tower ceiling. The Stone Court roof repair gave a date of 1726/7. The East Range east roof gave a date of 1742/3. (25)


OBLIQUE AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH Types: COUNTRY HOUSE (Photograph). SKE1317.


<1> Deer Parks of Eng 1892 80-1 (J Whitaker) (OS Card Reference). SKE39703.


<1> OS 6" 1961 (OS Card Reference). SKE48369.


<2> MHLG (1614/11/A May 1949) 34 (OS Card Reference). SKE46930.


<2> Sevenoaks Essays 1931 153-6 (G Ward) (OS Card Reference). SKE49439.


<3> OS 1:10000 1968 (OS Card Reference). SKE48152.


<3> Sevenoaks Essays 1931 153-6 (G Ward) (OS Card Reference). SKE49439.


<4> DOE(HHR) Dist of Sevenoaks RD Kent Jan 1975 33 (OS Card Reference). SKE41037.


<4> F1 ASP 05-AUG-64 (OS Card Reference). SKE41936.


<5> Country Life 31 772 826 862 (OS Card Reference). SKE39427.


<5> Deer Parks and Paddocks of Eng 1892 80-81 (J Whitaker) (OS Card Reference). SKE39702.


<6> Country Life 63 134 197 (OS Card Reference). SKE39449.


<6> Eng Deer Parks 1867 70-71 (EP Shirley) (OS Card Reference). SKE41584.


<7> Knole 1923 (V Sackville-West) (OS Card Reference). SKE45979.


<7> The Md Parks of Eng A Gaz 1983 (L Cantor) (OS Card Reference). SKE50409.


<8> Guides J A Gotch 1894 - H I Triggs 1901 - A Tipping 1922 - M Jourdain 1926 (OS Card Reference). SKE43649.


<8> NT Pamplet Knole Kent 1952 37 (V Sackville West) (OS Card Reference). SKE47719.


<9> DOE (HHR) Dist of Sevenoaks UD Kent Sept 1972 32 (OS Card Reference). SKE40336.


<9> English Heritage Register of Parks and Gardens of special historic interest,Part 24 Kent(May 1987) (OS Card Reference). SKE41622.


<10> Country Life(25 May 1912) 727-787 (OS Card Reference). SKE39477.


<10> The Buildings of England West Kent and the Weald 1980 356-363 (J Newman) (OS Card Reference). SKE50230.


<11> Country Life(1 June 1912) 826-839 (OS Card Reference). SKE39472.


<11> National Trust Guide 1982 129-133 illus (R Fedden and R Joekes) (OS Card Reference). SKE47518.


<12> Arch J 127 1970 13-146 illus (P A Faulkner) (OS Card Reference). SKE36573.


<12> Sackville-West V(1976)Knole(guidebook) (OS Card Reference). SKE49389.


<13> Arch Cant 9 1874 xli (OS Card Reference). SKE36017.


<13> Newman J(1980)The Buildings of England:West Kent and the Weald 363 (OS Card Reference). SKE47541.


<14> Hist of Kings Works 4 2 1982 217-9 (HMSO) (OS Card Reference). SKE44021.


<15> Medieval Britain from the Air 1984 210-211 (C Platt) (OS Card Reference). SKE46860.


<16> Arch Cant 91 1975 1-14 (D I Hill) (OS Card Reference). SKE36026.


<17> A History of the Sackville Family 1930 (J Phillips) (OS Card Reference). SKE32820.


<18> Country Life 31 772 826 862 (OS Card Reference). SKE39427.


<19> Country Life 63 134 197 (OS Card Reference). SKE39449.


<20> Field report for monument TQ 55 SW 2 - August, 1964 (Bibliographic reference). SKE2859.


<21> Archaeology South-East, 2007, AN ARCHAEOLOGICAL WATCHING BRIEF AND HISTORIC BUILDING RECORD DURING WORK AT STONE COURT, GREEN COURT AND THE ORANGERY ROOF, KNOLE, SEVENOAKS, KENT (Unpublished document). SKE15929.


<22> ?, 2007, Report on Archaeological Work during February 2007 (Unpublished document). SKE17116.


<23> Archaeology South-East, 2010, An Archaeological Watching Brief at Knole House in Sevenoaks during Enabling Groundworks for Foul Water Separation Provision (Unpublished document). SKE17118.


<24> Vernacular Architecture Group, ADS Dendrochronology Database, Vol. 39, Pg. 107 (Website). SKE17391.


<25> Vernacular Architecture Group, ADS Dendrochronology Database, Vol. 41, Pg. 104 (Website). SKE17391.

Sources and further reading

Cross-ref. Source description
---Photograph: OBLIQUE AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH Types: COUNTRY HOUSE. 5354/18/14. Black and White. Negative.
<1>OS Card Reference: Deer Parks of Eng 1892 80-1 (J Whitaker).
<1>OS Card Reference: OS 6" 1961.
<2>OS Card Reference: MHLG (1614/11/A May 1949) 34.
<2>OS Card Reference: Sevenoaks Essays 1931 153-6 (G Ward).
<3>OS Card Reference: OS 1:10000 1968.
<3>OS Card Reference: Sevenoaks Essays 1931 153-6 (G Ward).
<4>OS Card Reference: DOE(HHR) Dist of Sevenoaks RD Kent Jan 1975 33.
<4>OS Card Reference: F1 ASP 05-AUG-64.
<5>OS Card Reference: Country Life 31 772 826 862.
<5>OS Card Reference: Deer Parks and Paddocks of Eng 1892 80-81 (J Whitaker).
<6>OS Card Reference: Country Life 63 134 197.
<6>OS Card Reference: Eng Deer Parks 1867 70-71 (EP Shirley).
<7>OS Card Reference: Knole 1923 (V Sackville-West).
<7>OS Card Reference: The Md Parks of Eng A Gaz 1983 (L Cantor).
<8>OS Card Reference: Guides J A Gotch 1894 - H I Triggs 1901 - A Tipping 1922 - M Jourdain 1926.
<8>OS Card Reference: NT Pamplet Knole Kent 1952 37 (V Sackville West).
<9>OS Card Reference: DOE (HHR) Dist of Sevenoaks UD Kent Sept 1972 32.
<9>OS Card Reference: English Heritage Register of Parks and Gardens of special historic interest,Part 24 Kent(May 1987).
<10>OS Card Reference: Country Life(25 May 1912) 727-787.
<10>OS Card Reference: The Buildings of England West Kent and the Weald 1980 356-363 (J Newman).
<11>OS Card Reference: Country Life(1 June 1912) 826-839.
<11>OS Card Reference: National Trust Guide 1982 129-133 illus (R Fedden and R Joekes).
<12>OS Card Reference: Arch J 127 1970 13-146 illus (P A Faulkner).
<12>OS Card Reference: Sackville-West V(1976)Knole(guidebook).
<13>OS Card Reference: Arch Cant 9 1874 xli.
<13>OS Card Reference: Newman J(1980)The Buildings of England:West Kent and the Weald 363.
<14>OS Card Reference: Hist of Kings Works 4 2 1982 217-9 (HMSO).
<15>OS Card Reference: Medieval Britain from the Air 1984 210-211 (C Platt).
<16>OS Card Reference: Arch Cant 91 1975 1-14 (D I Hill).
<17>OS Card Reference: A History of the Sackville Family 1930 (J Phillips).
<18>OS Card Reference: Country Life 31 772 826 862.
<19>OS Card Reference: Country Life 63 134 197.
<20>Bibliographic reference: Field report for monument TQ 55 SW 2 - August, 1964.
<21>Unpublished document: Archaeology South-East. 2007. AN ARCHAEOLOGICAL WATCHING BRIEF AND HISTORIC BUILDING RECORD DURING WORK AT STONE COURT, GREEN COURT AND THE ORANGERY ROOF, KNOLE, SEVENOAKS, KENT.
<22>Unpublished document: ?. 2007. Report on Archaeological Work during February 2007.
<23>Unpublished document: Archaeology South-East. 2010. An Archaeological Watching Brief at Knole House in Sevenoaks during Enabling Groundworks for Foul Water Separation Provision.
<24>Website: Vernacular Architecture Group. ADS Dendrochronology Database. Vol. 39, Pg. 107.
<25>Website: Vernacular Architecture Group. ADS Dendrochronology Database. Vol. 41, Pg. 104.

Related records

TQ 55 SW 138Parent of: GARDENER'S COTTAGE AND WALLS, KITCHEN GARDEN (Listed Building)
TQ 55 SW 67Parent of: MAIN LODGE ENTRANCE (Listed Building)
TQ 55 SW 281Parent of: Old Laundry, Knole House, Knole, Sevenoaks (Building)
TQ 55 NW 187Parent of: PLYMOUTH LODGE, ENTRANCE GATEWAY AND SCREEN WALLS (Listed Building)
TQ 55 SW 136Parent of: THE BIRD HOUSE (Listed Building)
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