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Dartford & District Archaeological Group (DDAG)   -    Rediscovering Dartford - Page 36

16. Recording of Old Buildings 
   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 interesting buildings.
   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 Hawley).
   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 construction.
  The first period consisted of a three bay two storey timber framed house set end on to the road probably dating from the late 15th century.
  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


Rose Cottage, Main Road, Sutton-on-Hone, 1997

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