between them. Both appear to have been stone
houses,12 that is, with walls of
flint and chalk lump, with stone dressings, and both may have been
built before 1200.
In Cogan House these walls survive right up to
wall-plate, or roof-level, only the front wall being missing. They
are of considerable thickness, measuring 2 ft. 4 in., or 80 cm.
through. On the first floor rear may be observed two recesses,
some 3 ft. wide, which may have been external windows before the
great hall was added by William Cokyn at the rear. This hall,
which was 36 ft. wide (10-92 m.), was obviously intended to be
something larger than an ordinary town house of the time.
The original stone house was probably of the
first-floor hall-type with an undercroft at street level. This
last could be then easily converted for use as buttery, pantry,
etc., by inserting four of the new type pointed doorways leading
into the rear hall. The one through which one still enters the
house must have been originally the entrance doorway, and a
corresponding opening at the far end was presumably the stairs
door. In the centre are twin doorways, now blocked, doubtless for
buttery and pantry.
The Aisled Hall (Figs. 1, 3, 4, 5)
The hall was aisled, that is, it had free-standing
posts as in a barn, and four of these posts still survive, though
three of them are now encased. The fourth is inside a cupboard on
the left of the great Tudor fireplace in the kitchen, and bears
simple mouldings (Fig. 5, B, Q). The surviving section of the hall
is one bay of 18 ft. (5-48 m.), and the Tudor wing, which is in
width another 18 ft., presumably occupies the missing second bay.
The roof is in part intact and undisturbed. It is
heavily soot-coated, and with long cross-bracing and archaic
'notched lap joints', both 'secret' and plain (Pig. 5, B, D), and
may be ascribed with confidence to the period of Cokyn's Hospital.
Some Occupants of the House after 1230
Cokyn's Hospital ceased to be used as such about the
year 1230, when it passed again into private hands. The records of
Christchurch and of the city 13
provide many intriguing glimpses into the lives of people who
dwelt in this ancient place, and Dorothy Gardiner, the historian,
who actually lived there for some years after the Second
Cokyn's own house, on the east side of the hospital, is described
at the time of its
sale to William Samuel as, '. . . the whole tenement with all the
edifices of wood and
stone . . .'. Somner, op. cit., 61-62.
13 A former
solicitor of Canterbury, Alderman 0. R. Bunco, spent many years
copying the city
records, which work is now a treasured possession of the city
library. Extracts of this
appeared in the Kentish Gazette (16 September, 1800, if.)
and subsequently in Ancient
Canterbury, Records of Alderman Bunce.