- Christina Kleanthous Papademetriou
Keepers Lodge – Canterbury Road, Denton with Wootton, Kent, CT4 6QZ
- Information and Background
- Purpose of the study – Listed Buildings
- Legislative Background
- Significant Findings
- Significant Issues
- Historical Background and Heritage
2.0 Historical Context, Aesthetic Context, Communal Context
- Description of Buildings Important Figures and Decorative
- Interior Description and Characteristics
- Exterior Description and Characteristics
- The Proposal – Implications and The Justifications
- Description of the Proposal
- Implication of the Proposal
- Justification of the Proposal
- Methodology for Grand Application
- Details for achieving the project architecturally – Design Details and Planning
6.0 Appendix, Drawings and Illustrations
1.1 Information and Background
Keeper’s Lodge, Denton with Wootton
Keeper’s Lodge for Denton Court
First Listed on:
28th of May in 1987
English Heritage Building ID:
OS Grid Reference:
OS Grid Coordinates:
A260, Wootton, Kent CT4 6QZ
Area / Zone:
Denton with Wootton
Dover District Council
List entry Number:
The building is a Mid-19th (1842) Century Building, combining characteristics from three different architectural styles, mainly a Victorian designed building (1837-1901) with decorative characteristics from the Gothic Revival (1840-1880) and the Italianate Style (1840-1885). It is used as the Keepers Lodge, originally property of Denton Court and its gardens. The Jettying design is what is mostly seen in its exterior and interior with a painted cement rendering with an applied frame and tiled roof. It has an identical for the time T-shaped plan in a characteristic Old English style Decoration of the time. It is an one story building with an extended attic as well. It is built on a plinth supporting base with central stack and 2 gabled dormers. Decorative three light oriels are located to the left side of the building’s interior and trilateral oriels located to the right side on the ground floor. The main door is a half- glazed arched door and its surrounded by a gabled porch. 
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Keepers Lodge is located halfway among Canterbury and Folkestone, lies in a valley surrounded by the Denton Woods Park that runs from North to South and the hills that rise to both East and West, on the rear right side of A260 road exposed to the extremely busy main road which connects Canterbury to Folkestone, which runs through the Denton Woods and the Centre of the villages Wootton, Denton and Selstead and the fast traffic makes a dangerous environment for the property, especially with no fence or any other kind of protection available. The property is located in between the three villages, just 2km outside Selstead, 3km outside Wootton and 5km outside Denton, where horses and sheep can be seen feeding on the slopes of the village park and woods. It is an Outstanding Natural Beauty Listed Area and any property or figure in the whole village is closely controlled. It is yet unknown of who designed the building originally, and further down to its existence.
The legal owners of the building are the owners of Denton Court. The present owner of the Court is George and Francisca Gosling. Although owning the Keepers lodge as well, it has been out for sale since 1995, without managing to sell the property just yet.
Currently the building is still used as a residence, but without a permanent tenant, which puts the property at risk, as its structure and skin (window frames, paint, roofing), started collapsing and showing a significant damage that needs taking care off. Unfortunately, there is no pending application or interest in preserving the property at the moment, neither for specific elements of it nor the whole property in general.
1.2 Purpose of the study – Listed Buildings
- This Listed Building Consent Report is a heritage and design statement, which has been prepared in regards with the stage of the property currently with no intention of preserve or restore the property, and the fact that a further damage will affect its character and appearance as a building of special architectural and historic interest. In addition, this report also mentions the concern in regards with the conservation and restoration of important figures of the building, which are in a risk stage, such us the roof, the windows and the significantly important satyr-corbels. Both its interior and exterior are prime example of early Victorian Architecture, and to refurbish elements of the entire building, is of high importance.
- The property is a Grade II* listed building, located towards Denton Historic Village, a village listed as an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and any building is tightly controlled and listed as a historic building of important heritage characteristics. As a Grade II* Listed building, makes the property a particularly important building of more than just special interest, only 5.5% of listed buildings are Grade II*, but also, and more important, is that it is among the small percentage of 0.2% of the listed buildings listed although built after 1842. This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest and categorized as a National Park Property and Entity as well.
The nature of the property, its style and its decorative detailing, which incorporates a number of distinct elements with different features, and the extent of the proposed works have driven the purpose of this document. A full list, illustrations and drawings of each figure and decorative to follow in the next chapters.
1.3 Legislative Background
In the first years of peace after 1825 something like a cultural revolution happened, which changed the form and content of cultural production in England. This social and economic change, trigged by the French Revolution, released the Picturesque and Romanticism as a status in the design field and of course in the way the world perceived communities and how they wanted them to look like. The Victorian Idea was the one who rejected the cold and proud neo-medievalism of the early Gothic Revival, and instead, it was the one promoting heritage consciousness and the notion of providing and building houses with a national identity and characteristics that will last in time and are derived from national perceptions and alikes, hence Henry III preferences in design as a reference. 
All Districts in England take the above very seriously and try to protect as much as possible any heritage of importance, especially if they are an outstanding architectural or historic building of national interest, or if they have an important material in use. The legislation laws in Dover District states that a delicate amendment or extension to allow the continued use or new use of a listed building is acceptable and allowed, in order to safeguard the special character of a listed building, but after of course the appropriate building consent application is issued and approved for any interior, exterior changes, or demolition of any part of it.
For Keepers Lodge of Denton Court, until today, the only previous applications for alterations submitted was one, requesting: A) A proposal for the construction of 2 dormers and structural repairs incorporating wall buttresses and wall ties. The application was submitted by Mr. G Gostling on the 26th of August 1988, and permission was granted by the case officer Tim Flisher on the 19th of October 1988. B) Two further Proposal Appeals were made requesting Tidying of Roadside Fencing and to reduce and clean one Lime Tree in a Conservation Area, but the only information available state that the appeals are on a “Decided2 State without any further information available for the public.
1.4 Significant Findings
Anyone who would like to know and get a first insight of how the original Victorian Jettying Style Buildings look like in England’s Architectural Heritage, could look in examples such as the Keepers Lodge of Denton Court and the whole Denton Historic Village as well, and perceive the details and characteristics relatively easily.  Jettying as a distinguishing characteristic of many historic buildings is mostly seen in buildings build between 15th– 16th century and 18th-19th century, for timber framed buildings. The distinguishing heavy appearance had an impressive influence in the appearance of the historic centers of England, in places such as Kent, Chester, York and Shrewsbury.  Although a house of small dimensions, and not expected to last until today, its original design and method of construction remains visible today, making it a prime example of reference for its purpose. 
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This specific style used in Keepers Lodge in Denton, and seen in several buildings of its time, is the identical box-framed type house, an innovative high quality method of its construction, building type. Its characteristics include a hall running, from ground to roof, through the center of the house. The house is jettyed all round with huge wooden supports reinforced in the attic over the central hall. This strong late medieval and early Tudor home is shielded by a hipped, tiled roof, and was built by yeomen, matching the plan of the main Denton Court house. Buildings located in the south-east of England and Kent more specifically, even relatively small housing and farms, carry upon them, the idea to build houses of comfort, security and craftsmanship.  This box-frame style, allowed the house to be up to three full height floors and to provide an easy construction of wings. Its name -box-frame- was derived from the fact that the core vertical supports are detained in place by its horizontal beams.
1.5 Significant Issues
The property is currently not occupied by any tenant, which puts the property at risk, as it has no one to preserve the property’s significant characteristics and take care of any damages cause by time or weather, cause to the property. Because of this issue, the Dover District has no intention of preserving Keepers lodge, or take care of the damages caused on the roof, window frames and on the port decorative figures, because there are no applications submitted, or anyone showing interest of care for the Lodge’s stage.
2.0 Historical Background and Heritage
The beautiful Victorian Structure lies to the South of the Denton village and cannot be seen from the village itself, but rather from the road towards the village. The Denton Court and its Keepers Lodge are a very antique-decorated style buildings and were a significant of importance and style properties since 1086 for the Denton Court, and since the start of its construction for the Keepers lodge.
The owners and tenants of the properties were important figures of history since the start of its construction such us, Odo, Bishop of Baieux, King Edward as tenant and Ralph de Curbespin as sub-tenant. When the Bishop fell into degradation, all his properties and belongings were taken away by the crown, and that’s when the Denton Court and the entire land was given to Gilbert Magimot but with all lands been under the Kings ownership.
Throughout the following years between 1087 to 1792, the land and any building currently build in it, changed several hands, until it ended up in 1792 to Sir Samuel Egerton Brydges who refurbished, repaired and added additions to the mansion of Denton Court, such us for example new gardens around the house. As the first private owner of both the Denton Court, Sir Samuel Egerton Brydges introduced the idea of building the keepers lodge for the Denton Court in 1792, but came into existence much later on, in 1842 by other members of the family, who wished to complete the plans Sir. Brydges had for the property. As the most important owner of the property, Sir Samuel Egerton Brydges, an English author and genealogist, member of Parliament for Maidstone from 1812 to 1818. He was a founding member of the Roxburghe Club, a publishing club of well-off bibliophiles. He was announced as a Knight Grand Commander of the Equestrian, Secular, and Chapterial Order of St. Joachim in 1807 and was made a baronet on 27 December 1814, few years before dying in 1839. 
After 1810, the whole property carried on being under the Brydges family but it had different families as temporary tenants. William Willats bought both properties and its gardens in 1867 and retouched and rebuild anything that needed restoration in both properties, without modifying the original architecture in which they were build. The gables located on the west side were restored and new structure was added. The central façade though, was changed to face south as an alternative to the west that used to face, so that when passing in front of it from the highway you only see the west side of the building. When William Willats passed away, he left his property to his son, and it was since then passed from to the next generations of the family, until todays owners the brother and sister George and Francisca Gosling. 
There are several stories said for the small Lodge house, such us that there is blood marked on the stairs, and it’s still visible, where previous owners during WW1, two brothers, one killed the other on the stairs. A story that was never confirmed, but always draws the curiosity of several visitors of the area. Also, another interesting fact for the property is that one of the visiting residences was the poet Gray, were he restored the lodge to an exceptional state when he was living there with additions such us new adjoining grounds. Lastly, a more recent representation of the building, at its current stage, was featured in TV in Treasure Hunt where there was a clue buried within the lodge. A further search of 500m around the property was done by using the Heritage Gateway Website and no further information about the property or the listing was found when it comes to its historic background. 
The visible South – facade, the entrance and the gardens of the property form a significant part of the street scene. As the first property to be seen before entering the historic village of Denton, it provides us with a first insight of the architecture and the characteristics of every building, located in the village, beforehand. The common features of the buildings design, offered in advance by the street, in terms of construction method, material, style, roofing, windows and framing. Away from the property, as soon as you enter Denton, the picture is more varied. Although all buildings are derived from the same architectural era, you see a variety of different roofing materials, wood colors, window styles, some buildings are well preserved and some others not, which makes the village an interesting case study. Nevertheless, is still a beautiful combination of Victorian architecture, old and more recent build.
Dover District Council focuses on the appearance and preservation of the properties within its Conservation and Heritage Area, as its ethics believe in contributing to the sense of treating a city / town / village as a historic monument and keeping it attractive for locals and tourists as well. The Council issued a Historic Map covering Denton, with Denton Court and Keepers Lodge visible, hand-drawn, in 1896 by the cartographers of the Ordnance Survey.
- Description of Buildings Important Figures and Decorative
3.1 Interior Description and Characteristics
The Interior of the lodge can be described as extremely traditional for its style with significant characteristics; with a skirting board half-way up on the walls and a picture frame around the ceiling, featuring engraved animal, bird or floral prints on the wooden frame. The floor is a mid-toned polished floorboard with a large patterned carpet in the middle of the floor leaving the polished floorboard t be seen only as a border and only. In general, the colors within the rooms are soft, subdued tones, nothing too bright or intense. Delicate gray, lavender and light natural teal color, which give a warmer feeling inside. The pro-hall, living room and the kitchen are full with accessories, soft furnishings and decorations such as framed photographs and pictures, floral vases and souvenirs, carved mahogany, walnut and oak furniture, quite significant for Victorian architecture. Last but not least, the big fireplace in the living room attracts every visitor’s eye when walking inside, especially because of his outstating engraved from nature scenes wooden frame of the fireplace.
3.2 Exterior Description and Characteristics
The exterior design links the building with the rest of the village, although distant, as during Victorian period homes typically looked very similar because they were designed to be linked together. An outstanding, well-known for its architectural style period, jettied gable, and the frame covering the whole structure of the building, is decorated with satyr-corbels, along with perforated barge-board and patterned frame. Lastly, a decorative outstanding detail of the building, is the embellished canted bay located on the ground floor, the sash windows, the slate roof and its white colored brick which adds to its exterior a more interesting aesthetic to visitors.
- The Proposal – Implications and The Justifications
4.1 Description of the Proposal
It is hard not to love Victorian buildings because of their characteristic ornate architecture, their elegant proportions and sophisticated detailing. It is well known that they were built to be admired, and they’ve rise the test of time, too. Having all these in mind, firstly the lodge needs a proper re-touch. A proper care needs to be taken into consideration for the special Victorian roofing of the property and its engraved ending detailing, its beautiful port decorative characteristics, stair, windows and wall engravings and also a proper preservation of the outstanding for its time-and age satyr-corbels. Preserving a home that is 175 years old entails substantial work, and working with the best contractors and products specialized on this manner. 
As the property is not owned or occupied by any tenant, a public use is what I believe will give to the property the appropriate value and use, and most importantly represent the important heritage and architectural style it represents. The Lodge, as mentioned before, is located in the middle of a National Park, near two historic villages, commonly visited by tourists interested in English heritage, professional historians or even cyclists passing by the park, my suggested use of the building would be a small Tea-Library Room.
4.2 Justification of the Proposal
Tearooms in England are usually small restaurants where non-alcoholic drinks and light meals are served, usually in buildings where they have a specific character, internally and externally, and with significant aesthetics and dignified atmosphere. Tea is a significant feature of the British culture and it has been for centuries one of the world’s utmost tea consumers and flavor inventors. Thinking of the buildings location, neither a pub or a different type of shop would the users of the area or people passing by would use or need.
The suggestion of combining the Tea Room with walls full of books to give it the use of a library as well, derived from the buildings past, as a dedication to its first owner, Sir Samuel Egerton Brydges, who was an author and a bibliophile. This combination describes perfectly the English Culture; enjoying a cup of tea, in a Victorian Architecture building, in the middle of a national park, while reading a book.
Although the external style of a building may be its most attractive and noticeable aspect and its public face, its interior is even more vital in the building’s history and heritage identity. Exactly because of its interior, this property would be ideal for this use and to be a prime example of its use and its architectural style. 
4.3 Implication of the Proposal
The current stage of the property does not support the proposal of being turned into tea-room library which needs an approved kitchen supported-facility, a second fire exit,
and an additional support structure to be added on the walls, in order to support the extra weight of the books that will be placed on the walls.
From the Heritage Lottery Fund website, we found out that Eating and drinking businesses are between 71% to 79% more likely to be found in a listed building than in a non-listed, in towns, mainly due to the fact that an attractive interior and an important heritage identity aesthetically environment, brings more customers and visitors to the building, especially if it’s a non-museum or retail shop one. Which means that those difficulties and implications are not hard to overcome, as long as the appropriate measures and consideration is taken. 
4.4 Methodology for Grants and Funds Application
Rather than leave such a beautiful piece of architecture to collapse, this proposal would be highly beneficial to the community of Denton due to rising the use of the area and provide a development to the area, which is expected to increase the visitor numbers. Because this project is a small-scale one, finding the appropriate funding organisation to support the proposed project, will not be difficult to find, and a trust that can afford it.
In this specific case, funding becomes a matter of public fundraising from locals, donations from book and writers’ associations, private financing or small grants. One of the most obvious additional funding source for this is the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). The HLF is the public organisation responsible for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, who are responsible for monuments and listed buildings conservation. From an appropriate study of the HLF and whom they fund, it appears that the above proposal fits their conditions for funding: According to the HLF there are a few grants that Keepers Lodge – Tea and Library House could apply for, but because the application process is quite complex, the decision on funds is not an easy one to get or granted. But because of being an important source of funding for heritage projects, the budget available according to the HLF per year for these projects is £375million. Surely the lodge can be considered at-risk and under used, and because of Denton being a Historic village and an area of economic deprivation, is an advantage for the application process for funding this project. The application process has two rounds:
- On Round one the application is submitted were it has to clearly demonstrate the feasibility of the scheme suggested and also to demonstrate how the redevelopment of the building will contribute to the development of both, the area and to the heritage of England.
- Round two consists of the development of the project and the period were the project is supposed to and follow the proposed and agreed plan.
There is also another more specific option to for collecting funds for the regeneration of such a project by committees such us; ‘The Educational Grants Directory’, ‘The Grants Register’, ‘A Guide to Grants for Individuals in Need’, ‘The Youth Funding Guide’ and the ‘Directory of Grant Making Trusts’; All the above are Private Library and Community Trusts which fund projects that provide or improve community spaces, cultural facilities and places for outdoor recreation, or grants of between £300 and £10,000 for community running projects in the UK that allows people to take part in arts, sports, heritage or literature, or promote education, the environment or health in the local community. Although the proposed redevelopment of the Keeper’s lodge will more certainly cost more than £10,000, a request and application to more than one of the above Trusts will be necessary.
The most important key feature in grants and funds applications to any organisation is a strong management of the application plan. Although big organisations such as HLF, offer advisory and mentoring services, in smaller ones, this might not be an option and the decision on wherever the application will be approved or not would be relied to the applicants’ clear illustration of everything important and necessary into its application. Financial data need to be provided, new architectural plans need to be comprehensively discussed with clear drawings in place for the organisation and obtaining of the works, and also a full detailing of all expenditure planned to be spend on the whole project as well.
4.5 Details for achieving the project architecturally – Design Details and Planning
- Outdoor Dining and associated outdoor waiting area
- Main entry and fire exit
- Services, utility infrastructure and storage area
- Pedestrian-vehicular circulation system and parking
- Exterior Retouch
- Because the setback from the street is evident, and the Lodge is surrounded by a very big open space the addition/creation of a backyard – outdoor dining space is suggested, along with a small bar on the backyard as well, which can be used as reception as well for summer use of the outdoor area. A Shading for the outdoor dining should be integrated with the main structure.
- A small reception area will be added by the main entrance within the pro-hall for greeting the guests and visitors, and also, as the kitchen has two windows, one of them till be turned into a fire exit for safety purposes and also straight access to the outdoor backyard as well.
- Service area and storage area should be added as part of the design requirements, and it is suggested that an extension is added at the back of the kitchen, hidden from public eye, in order not to interfere with the beauty of the structure itself.
- The introduction of an appropriate parking is required for a logical and safe vehicular and pedestrian circulation pattern throughout the site that minimizes conflicts.
- The external walls – roof and windows needs replacing, because of their age they started falling down and their damages is visible and dangerous for public use.
- Modification of the single used kitchen to an equipped integrated kitchen
- Architectural cladding treatment and ventilation system
- Bathroom alterations – requirements
- Transformation of living room walls to bookshelves from floor to ceiling for library purposes
- New refrigerator space and introduction will be needed because of the change to the use of the kitchen to cooking for a lot of people, along with keeping inside drinks etc. The working tops should be increased from 25cm that are currently to 50cm as stated by law, and replaced to stainless-steel material for health and safety requirements.
- As the building is under danger because of not been treated properly, before opening the building to the public, a proper treatment to its cladding and also windows should be replaced for better ventilation and safety purposes. No need of introduction of new ones is needed.
- The bathroom is located next to a medium size storage area, which both can be merged in order to create a bigger in size bathroom. Although requirements state that two bathrooms are required, because of the buildings size and use it is not necessary as long as the current one is upon the standards for male, female and disable access.
- The interior design of the building is beautiful as it stands so its dominant existing character will be kept and preserved. The introduction of the bookshelves will be done with the appropriate material which is oak wood to match the rest of the building and give the feeling of an old library and the aesthetics will be perfectly represented.
 Historic England Website – Listing of Keepers Lodge, Denton
KEEPER’S LODGE, Denton with Wootton – 1070010| Historic England, accessed December 18, 2016
 Mandler. P., The Fall and Rise of the Stately Home, (New Haven and London, 1997)
 Brittain-Catlin, T., The English Parsonage in the Early Nineteenth Century, (In Association with English Heritage – Reading 2008)
 Mandler. P., The Fall and Rise of the Stately Home, (New Haven and London, 1997)
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