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© Mr Patrick Hutton

IoE Number: 178646
Photographer: Mr Patrick Hutton
Date Photographed: 28 July 2002
Date listed: 08 May 1950
Date of last amendment: 08 May 1950
Grade I

The Images of England website consists of images of listed buildings based on the statutory list as it was in 2001 and does not incorporate subsequent amendments to the list. For the statutory list and information on the current listed status of individual buildings please go to The National Heritage List for England.

Tonbridge Castle1732TQ 5946 NW 3/18.5.50.TQ 5846 NE 4/1

Tonbridge Castle 1. 1732 TQ 5946 NW 3/1 8.5.50. TQ 5846 NE 4/1 I 2. The property and offices of Tonbridge Urban District Council. Of the Norman Motte and Bailey the mound, surmounted by a few stones and containing the well, now mostly filled up. This is surrounded by the moat on the north and west sides which connects with the river Medway on the south. Of the C13 curtain wall surrounding the Keep, there survive a portion immediately to the east connecting the mound of the Keep with the Gateway, a small section to the south east of the Council Offices and a long portion on the south fronting the Medway of which the top has been made into a walk in the grounds of the Castle on account of the difference in levels to the north and south of this. Between the first section of the curtain wall mentioned above and the Council Offices is the Gate-house, built in 1230-1260. This is of sandstone ashlar and consists of a large square building with a wide carriage arch through it with 4 circular towers at its angles. High pointed arch with its head recessed in 6 grooves. Within this a lower and less pointed arch with similar head but above the latter a wall almost blocking the space between the heads of the inner and outer arches but leaving a small gap for the lowering of the portcullis with groove below. 3 square holes in the soffit of the inner arch for dropping hot liquid. Embattled parapet above building. Loop lights in flanking towers, and on ground floor of west outer tower an oblique shoot to the dungeons. Within the archway pointed doorways lead to the staircases. The rooms on first floor and hall above this occupy the whole area of the building. The floors have disappeared but the fireplaces remain. On the inner side the gateway is similar but the 2 arches are smaller with another portcullis groove between them and 3 square holes in the soffit of the outer arch. On the first floor above the arch are 3 trefoil-headed lights and on the second floor 2 larger larger pointed windows with the remains of cusping of the tracery. Loop lights in the towers, as on the outer side. To the east of the Gate-house is an L-shaped house built in 1793 and now the Council Offices. Ashlar, the stone taken from various portions of the Castle. The main front faces south. 6 windows. 3 dormers. Windows with segmental heads. Glazing bars missing in the lower half of them. Hipped dormers containing casement windows of 2 pointed lights each. Parapet. Tiled roof. On ground floor immediately adjoining the Gate-house is a large curved bay with parapet over containing 3 large windows; the centre one now converted into a door. This room is the Council Chamber. At the east end is a ground floor addition, probably a conservatory originally, made in the thickness of a further portion of the Castle walls with a parapet over. This ends in rough masonry which was part of the Castle walls. Iris addition has large sash windows with pointed heads, the lower part of one converted into a door. To the east again is part of the rampart. The interior of the building is C19 Gothic. Traces of the fosse of tile Castle can be seen between Stafford Road and High Street. It then followed the course of Bordyke, and remains are visible between this and East Street, now dividing the gardens of the Vicarage and the Cedars, and south of East Street at the south east comer of the garden of Lyons.

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