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Gatehouse, Lower Brockhampton

SMR Number
: 939
Grid Reference
: SO 6874 5597

Stands on line of SW arm of moat, SW part of house (7157). Square, timber frame, 2 storeys, latter part of C15. Framing exposed inside and out. Upper storeys project on curved brackets. Gables have barge boards carved with running foliage. N & S walls have open archways with hollow chamfered jambs and 4 centred heads. Similar arch within gatehouse fitted with door with cross battens, strap hinges and wicket. Staircase in E side of building has moulded grip handrail and flat shaped and pierced balusters of early C17 and forming a balustrade at top. Roof has central tie beam with curved bracers, queen posts set diagonally and collar. (1)
Eleven samples were dendrochronologically dated. Samples were taken from the roof and first floor, including elements of the central truss. A single purlin, first floor wall plate and one of the posts to which the central truss was joined were sampled and five samples from beams from the ground-floor ceiling/first floor floor. Only one sample could not be dated. Dates for felling were AD 1542/3 and AD1543/4. This date is close to that of the c AD 1530-40 suggested by recent stylistic analysis of the carved spiral shafts flanking the arches. (2)
An archaeological evaluation of the area between the manor house and the gatehouse in advance of the construction of a new path involved the excavation of two trial trenches. Trench 1 revealed the presence of a lightly-gravelled path immediately below the turf layer. This overlay a very well-compacted layer of smashed stone roof tiles which may have been the make-up for an earlier path or area of hard standing immediately in front of the present door of the manor house. This in turn overlay a layer of silty clay which contained a small quantity of medieval and Tudor pottery and possible building stone. The western end of the trench contained a plastic foul water pipe which presumably led from a former down-pipe for guttering on the south façade of the house, in order to take roof water to the moat. Trench 2 contained the lightly-gravelled path deposit which overlay a thin layer of broken ceramic roof tile. These deposits were cut into a loam-rich dark earth which comprised the top fill of a linear cut. The cut was aligned roughly east-west and may represent an earlier edge of the moat or robbed-out wall for an earlier building at this location. It is suggested that the gravel path was probably constructed in the 1960s and that the stone make-up within Trench 1 relates to the re-roofing of the house in the late 19th century. (6)
The gatehouse was once thought to be of late fifteenth century date, but is now dated both stylistically and through dendro-chronology to the period 1545-50. (7)

Monument Type(s)

  1. GATEHOUSE (16th Century - 1501 AD to 1600 AD)

Associated Files

Sources and Further Reading

Associated events

Protected status

  1. Scheduled Monument 67: Chapel and gatehouse

Associated Historic Landscape Character Records

  1. HHE142 - Small Compass Enclosure of the Landscape - Estate Division