KENT ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY  -- RESEARCH   Studying and sharing Kent's past      Homepage

Archaeologia Cantiana -  Vol. 17  1878  page 43
SCOTNEY CASTLE By Edward Hussey

In 1887 a new house was erected on higher ground according to the plans of Mr. Anthony Salvin, the able restorer of Alnwick Castle, Brancepeth, and many other ancient buildings, and a great part of the Jacobean portion of the old mansion was taken down. Some curious discoveries then came to light.* A secret passage was found, in the thickness of one of the internal walls, divided into two parts by a strong oak door with iron bolts. In 1887, in making some alterations, in that part of the old house which remains habitable, a secret small room, entered by a sliding panel, was discovered under the stairs, which probably formed the hiding-place of Father Blount and his companion in their first concealment.
   When the moat was emptied in 1837, a portion of chain-armour found near the gateway was evidently a relic of some early assailant of the castle; numerous wine bottles of peculiar shape, likewise found then in the moat, were said to be German Hock bottles, and one had a seal on the glass with the crest and coronet of a Duke of Beaufort, surrounded by the garter. These bottles, by the oxidation of the lead contained in the glass, or other causes, are covered by a film of various colours, similar to, but more brilliant than the specimens of Roman glass so common in museums. It may also be noted that pieces of the iron work used in the old building, on being tested by the village blacksmith, were found to be considerably tougher and stronger than ordinary iron, being probably smelted with wood at the neighbouring furnaces, possibly at the Gloucester Furnace in Lamberhurst, where the iron railing for St. Paul's Cathedral was afterwards cast.
   Lamberhurst Church is within the county of Kent; and in its south chancel or chapel, which appertains to the owners of Scotney Castle, there is an archway on the north side, adjoining the altar, the base of which is about two feet below the present pavement. This probably is a remnant of the building mentioned in the Sussex Archaeological Collections, vol. ii., p. 144, where it is related that King Edward I., on Sunday, June 21, 1299, in his journey through this district, " made an oblation of 7s in his chapel at Lamberhurst for the good news he had heard from France." He also went from Goudhurst to Lamberhurst on Tuesday, June 29, 1305.
   * Beneath the floor of a hiding-place, which was entered by a trap door, in the oak floor of the upper gallery, the situation of -which is shewn in the accompanying plate, were found a printed proclamation "by the Lord Protector" (Oliver Cromwell), "Declaring his Highness pleasure and command for putting in execution the Laws Statutes and Ordinances made against Jesuits and Priests, and for the speedy conviction of Popish Recusants," and some other papers of little interest.

Previous Page       Back to Page listings       Next page      

For details about the advantages of membership of the Kent Archaeological Society   click here

Back the Contents page   Back to Arch. Cant. List   Back to Publications On-line  Back to Research Page  Back to Homepage

Kent Archaeological Society is a registered charity number 223382
Kent Archaeological Society January 2012

This website is constructed by enthusiastic amateurs. Any errors noticed by other researchers will be to gratefully received so
 that we can amend our pages to give as accurate a record as possible. Please send details too research@kentarchaeology.org.uk