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Archaeologia Cantiana -  Vol. 88  1973 
pages 156

Excavations at Boxley Abbey  By P. J. Tester, F.S.A. continued

1373 was in the vicinity of the existing Chingley Manor (N.G.R. TQ 693333). This lies geologically in an area of Tunbridge Wells Sand and the stone used for the new cloister at Boxley was therefore sandstone, referred to in the 1373 agreement as Ston of grece, a term interpreted by Salzman as ‘grit-stone’. The provision that the stone was to be carted before the hay harvest implies that the Abbey’s hay wains were used to bring the material the eighteen or more miles from the quarry to Boxley.
   The pulpit in the cloister mentioned in the agreement was for the Collation, a short reading from Cassian’s Collationes Pat rum, held before Compline in the walk of the cloister next to the church, according to Cistercian custom. At an earlier period a lectern for this purpose was commonly placed in the cloister walk facing the abbot’s seat which sometimes had an architectural setting, as at Cleeve, midway along the nave wall.


                      BOXLEY ABBEY IN 1801
   The present owner of Boxley Abbey has kindly made available for our use a plan of the house and grounds drawn by John Smith, ‘House and Land Surveyor’, in 1801. It is 

not suitable for direct reproduction, and Mr. Caiger has redrawn it, together with Smith’s view of the house, for inclusion here as Figs 9 and Fig. 10. This reveals that the existing house (Plate IIIB) is only a surviving remnant of a much larger post-Dissolution establishment covering the site of the monastic west range, although exactly when and in what circumstances the greater part of the house was destroyed is unknown. Tudor chimneys can be seen in the drawing above the roof-line and one of them survives on the south side (Plate IV). The front was transformed in the eighteenth century, and at some time since 1801 the wing projecting westward was shortened to its present extent. Considerable alteration took place on its southeast corner in the 1930s and the internal arrangements today bear little resemblance to those shown by Smith.
   Apart from external treatment, the house in 1801 was substantially that built by the Wyatts after they received the property from Henry VIII in 1540. Significantly, the kitchen was in the position it probably occupied in the monastic period, and it is even possible that the large fireplace shown was a medieval survival. To the north, the walled garden with its fish-pond on the site of the nave is drawn curiously out of shape and there are several other discrepancies revealed by a modern survey which lessen confidence in the strict

Page 156

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