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© Dr Ray Hawkins

IoE Number: 438601
Photographer: Dr Ray Hawkins
Date Photographed: 04 August 2002
Date listed: 20 October 1954
Date of last amendment: 20 October 1954
Grade II*

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TQ 53 37 SPELDHURST BIRD-IN-HAND STREET, OLD GROOMBRIDGE 16/458 Court Lodge 20.10.54 GV II* House, incorporating the retainers wing from a medieval courtyard house, Unimore Manor in Sussex. Medieval wing is mid/late C15. It was dismantled transported and carefully re-erected here in 1912 with some new building in similar style. The project was organised by the local artist Lawson Wood and supervised by his architect J.D. Clarke and the historian J.E. Ray. Medieval section is timber-framed on new brick footings, extensions in the same style although the ground floor level of the rear block of 1912 is English bond red brick. Brick and stone rubble stacks with brick chimneyshafts. Peg-tile roof. Plan: L-plan house built across the hillslope. Long main block faces south. It has a 4-room plan with a carriageway through left (west) of centre. Room to left of the carriageway has a projecting gable-end stack and a flight of external steps alongside it to the first floor (both built in 1912). Room right of the carriageway has the main stair in a turret projecting to rear. Stair turret built from spare old timbers. The late C17 stair here was probably not from the old house. The original stair rose inside the room. The next room has an axial stack with an old probably C17 fireplace rebuilt here. A smaller room at the end and a service crosswing projecting to rear. The crosswing is entirely from 1912, 3 rooms with a carriageway through. The first floor of the medieval range has an original corridor along the back with a series of small rooms off it. 2 storeys. Exterior: The centre 7 bays of the front is the medieval section. It is close studded front and back and continuously jettied front and back. 7- window front includes a shallow 4-light oriel over the carriageway, and ground floor canted bay right of centre. The windows and casements are good Arts and Crafts Movement workmanship particularly those on the first floor which have patterned panes of leaded glass and good ferraments. Carriage doorway is a large oak Tudor arch with carved quatrefoils in the spandrels (similar rear archway). Main roof is gable-ended to right and hipped to left. Rear elevation in the same style. Originally there was a series of Tudor arch doorways but now only one remains close to the return of the rear block. There was originally a continuous range of first floor windows to the corridor but this is now blocked. Old oak doorways off the carriageway. Tudor arch doorway to right (east) containing ancient plank door and doorway to left (west) contains C17 door with studded panelled coverstrips. 1912 rear block in similar style but uses more gables and these are usually jettied. Interior: The medieval range is very well-preserved and of high quality construction. The 1912 work is good Arts and Crafts Movement work. Moreover the house is situated at the top end of Old Groombridge village which as a whole, with Groombridge Place (q.v.) makes up one of the best-preserved and most attractive conservation areas in South East England. Sources David and Barbara Martin. Udimore Court Lodge (1987). Report by The Rape of Hastings Architecturl Survey. It includes measured plans and elevations as well as a detailed description of the historic fabric.

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