|16. Recording of Old
Archaeology does not only deal
with what lies under the soil. A very important part of the Groupís
work is to identify and record the fast disappearing number of older
Before the advent of large-scale brick manufacture the
great majority of buildings, commercial, agricultural and residential,
were of timber-framed construction. By studying the methods and details
of various joints etc. it is possible to ascertain when the buildings
were constructed.Normally, the larger and more important buildings
tended to be built of stone and later from the Tudor period also of
brick, and because these materials are more durable these buildings tend
to survive. Churches and Manor Houses have quite naturally always
excited the attention of earlier historians and normally records and
sketch drawings are quite frequently to be found.
Comparatively little recording has been done in the past of
the more humble buildings which, as time passes, become fewer and fewer.
Along with our other priorities we have always attempted to
record these older buildings especially when there is a real threat to
their existence, whether this be from road widening or as often happens
neglect and decay.
During the period that we have been in existence we have
seen the disappearance of several well known old buildings including Rose
Cottage (a jettied building at Sutton-at-Hone),
Homefield House (also at Sutton-at-
Hone), the Mill House at Hawley and most recently the Doctorsí Surgery
in Lowfield Street, Dartford (the site of Horsmanís Place).
Fortunately several more timber framed houses still exist
and some are lovingly looked after (such as Barn End Farm, Wilmington).
Our interest lies not only in the readily identifiable but
also in the remnants of buildings sometimes much adapted and assimilated
into a larger later structure, (as was the case at the Mill House
We were particularly grateful to the owner of Homefield
House for his permission to record this building before and during
demolition and we noted with surprise three distinct periods of
The first period consisted of a three bay two storey
timber framed house set end on to the road probably dating from the late
The second period comprised late 16th century domestic
additions to the south utilising second-hand Tudor bricks and beams from
a much grander building.
The third period consisted of a larger addition to the
north with a brick built ground floor and supporting six further rooms
built into the queen-post supported roof space.
This latter building appeared to be at least partially
constructed for commercial/agricultural purposes as it incorporated a
first floor loading bay and a large brick oven