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Monument details

HER Number:TR 05 NW 93
Type of record:Listed Building


Grade I listed building. Main construction periods 1632 to 1912. Country house constructed in circa 1652 and rebuilt in 1912 following destruction by fire 1910. The main front is a replica of the original house.

Grid Reference:TR 0203 5606
Map Sheet:TR05NW

Monument Types

  • HOUSE (Post Medieval to Modern - 1632 AD to 2050 AD)
Protected Status:Listed Building (I) 1363416: LEES COURT

Full description

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Description from record TR 05 NW 6:
[TR 02015606] Lees Court [NR] (1) Lees Court, Sheldwich, was rebuilt in 1912 after the original house, designed by Inigo Jones and built in 1652, was burnt down in 1910. The main front is an exact replica of the original. (2) Lees Court: the foundations and much of the walls of the principal block, where the fire was centred, belong to the original house. House and various out-buildings are in good condition. (3) [TR 02015606] Lees Court [NR] (restored) [NAT] (4) Dairy and estate offices (now flats), Grade II, Lees Court. Circa 1790. By Sir John Soane. House (now flats), Grade I, Lees Court. Completed c. 1652 for Sir George Sondes, rebuilt 1912. (For full descriptions see list). (5,6)

The following text is from the original listed building designation:
1/97 Lees Court 27.8.52 GV I
House, now flats. Completed c.1652 for Sir George Sondes, rebuilt 1912. Reconstruction by Edward Hoare and Montague Wheeler. Brick, rendered, with pilaster bases and capitals and doorcase of ashlar. Slated roof. Built, following a pre C17 plan around a courtyard. Two storeys, of 13 bays separated by giant Ionic pilasters, with moulded bases, and large swags between volutes of capitals. Entablature with enriched cornice brackets to large overhanging eaves and hipped roof with 8 stacks ranged on ridge and to rear. Regular fenestration of 13 glazing bar sashes on each floor, without surrounds or mouldings. The centre 4 on ground floor are raised slightly. Central half-glazed door with moulded stone surround, and scrolled pediment, enriched, enclosing central cartouche. Right return: constructed 1912 by Hoare as new entrance frontin Baroque style. Large Doric portico in 2 stages, with large Venetian window to left. Rear courtyard, reconstructed 1912, domestic in character. Interior: entirely rebuilt 1912, and since converted to flats. Entrance hall with internal arcaded porch, and Doric screens to rear of hall and Ionic screen (now infilled) at head of stairs. Heavy wooden staircase on Imperial plan, with pendant newels and pierced balustrades with heraldic heasts. Central hall, behind front entrance, with ceiling reproducing C17 design, but lowered, with cross-beams and large central oval, all enriched. The amount of structural reconstruction is difficult to assess, but the front facade seems to be original, certainly the bases of the pilasters have molten lead on them fron the fire of 1911 which destroyed the house. Interiors and roof certainly rebuilt. Attributed to Inigo Jones (Hasted) or John Webb (C. Hussey, 1922). The use of a giant order, the impurity of proportion and the Ionic capitals, the irregularity of planning suggest neither of these architects. Hussey compared interiors of original with Thorpe Hall, Northants; c.1653-6. The swagged capitals are alsoused internally there and externallyat Lindsey House, Lincoln's Inn Fields, London, c.1640, both buildings associated with Peter Mills bricklayer and architect in the City of London. He also built the central block at Cobham Hall, with giant pilasters, and similar doorcase (See B.0.E. Kent I, 233). Sir George Sondes's connections were with the City of London, marrying the daughter of a Lord Mayor. The peculiar form of roof appears to be a compromise for the original intention of a balustraded roof with higher pitched hip. (See Badeslade's engraving in Harris's History of Kent, 1719). The gardens laid out 1908 onwards by Thomas Mawson, and illustrated in "The Art and Craft of Garden Making" (See Country Life, August 12th and August 19th 1922; See also B.O.E. Kent II 1983, 370-1). Listing NGR: TR0167955885 Formerly TR 05 NW 6 (9)

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

<2> MHLG (240A/11/A Nov 1960) 83 (OS Card Reference). SKE47027.

<3> F1 ASP 24-MAY-63 (OS Card Reference). SKE42266.

<4> Information - Lord Sondes' Estate Manger's Secretary and Head Gardener (OS Card Reference). SKE44451.

<5> OS 1:10000 1972 (OS Card Reference). SKE48157.

<6> DOE (HHR) Swale Boro Kent Nov 1986 28-39 (OS Card Reference). SKE40638.

<7> The Buildings of England (ed N Pevsner) NE and E Kent 1983 370-1 (J Newman) (OS Card Reference). SKE50170.

<8> Field report for monument TR 05 NW 6 - May, 1963 (Bibliographic reference). SKE5201.

<9> English Heritage, List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest (Map). SKE16160.

Sources and further reading

Cross-ref. Source description
<1>OS Card Reference: OS 6" 1961.
<2>OS Card Reference: MHLG (240A/11/A Nov 1960) 83.
<3>OS Card Reference: F1 ASP 24-MAY-63.
<4>OS Card Reference: Information - Lord Sondes' Estate Manger's Secretary and Head Gardener.
<5>OS Card Reference: OS 1:10000 1972.
<6>OS Card Reference: DOE (HHR) Swale Boro Kent Nov 1986 28-39.
<7>OS Card Reference: The Buildings of England (ed N Pevsner) NE and E Kent 1983 370-1 (J Newman).
<8>Bibliographic reference: Field report for monument TR 05 NW 6 - May, 1963.
<9>XYMap: English Heritage. List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. [Mapped feature: #33942 Listed building, ]