Tithe Barn, Maidstone

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Tithe Barn, Maidstone
TypeBarn and stables
Location Maidstone
Coordinates 51°16′17″N0°31′20″E / 51.2713°N 0.5221°E / 51.2713; 0.5221 Coordinates: 51°16′17″N0°31′20″E / 51.2713°N 0.5221°E / 51.2713; 0.5221
OS grid reference TQ 76032 55481
Area Kent
Built14th century
OwnerMaidstone Borough Council
Listed Building – Grade I
Official name: The Tithe Barn
Designated30 Jul 1951
Reference no.1336233
Official name: Tithe barn, Mill Street
Designated5 January 1927
Reference no.1005183
Kent UK location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Location of Tithe Barn, Maidstone in Kent

The Tithe Barn in Maidstone, Kent, is a large two-storey stone building on the east side of Mill Street. It was constructed in the 14th century as a tithe barn for the nearby Archbishop's Palace and was later used as the palace's stables. Construction is attributed to Archbishop Courtenay, who died in 1396. [1] The barn is a Grade I listed building and a scheduled monument. [2] [3] It is home to the Tyrwhitt-Drake Museum of Carriages.

Maidstone the county town of Kent, England

Maidstone is a town in Kent, England, of which it is the county town. Maidstone is historically important and lies 32 miles (51 km) east-south-east of London. The River Medway runs through the centre of the town, linking it with Rochester and the Thames Estuary. Historically, the river carried much of the town's trade as the centre of the agricultural county of Kent, known as the Garden of England. There is evidence of settlement in the area dating back before the Stone Age. The town, part of the borough of Maidstone, had a population of 113,137 in 2011. There has been a shift in the town's economy since the Second World War away from heavy industry towards light industry and services.

Kent County of England

Kent is a county in South East England and one of the home counties. It borders Greater London to the north-west, Surrey to the west and East Sussex to the south-west. The county also shares borders with Essex along the estuary of the River Thames, and with the French department of Pas-de-Calais through the Channel Tunnel. The county town is Maidstone.

Archbishops Palace, Maidstone historic 14th-century and 16th-century building in Maidstone, Kent, England

The Archbishop's Palace is an historic 14th-century and 16th-century building on the east bank of the River Medway in Maidstone, Kent. Originally a home from home for travelling archbishops from Canterbury, the building is today principally used as a venue for wedding services. The former tithe barn for the palace, now serves as the Tyrwhitt-Drake Museum of Carriages.



External stair to jettied upper floor of porch MaidstoneCarriage0167.JPG
External stair to jettied upper floor of porch

The barn is constructed of roughly coursed rag-stone rubble walls in six buttressed bays. The west façade features a projecting two-storey half-timbered porch with stone ground floor construction and brick infilling at first floor level between the timber framing. The building has multiple doorways at both levels on the west façade with many small windows at high level and external stone steps leading up to the first floor of the porch. The tiled roof is of crown post construction and is hipped at both ends with a gable over the porch. [2]

Course (architecture) layer of similar material in a structure, e.g. a row of bricks

A course is a layer of the same unit running horizontally in a wall. It can also be defined as a continuous row of any masonry unit such as bricks, concrete masonry units (CMU), stone, shingles, tiles, etc.

Rag-stone Work done with stones that are quarried in thin pieces

Rag-stone is a name given by some architectural writers to work done with stones that are quarried in thin pieces, such as Horsham Stone, sandstone, Yorkshire stone, and the slate stones, but this is more properly flag or slab work. By rag-stone, or Kentish rag, near London, is meant an excellent material from the neighborhood of Maidstone. It is a very hard limestone of bluish-grey colour, and peculiarly suited for medieval work. It is often laid as uncoursed work, or random work, sometimes as random coursed work and sometimes as regular ashlar. Ragstone, a dull grey stone, is still quarried on an industrial scale close to the Kent Downs AONB. It has traditionally been used within the AONB as a road stone, cobble or sett and a walling block. Although difficult to ‘dress’ with a regular face it has been used as rectangular blocks for the construction of walls and buildings and was very popular for the construction of 19th-century churches. More frequently, owing to the difficult and variable nature of the stone, it is seen as irregular and self-faced irregular blocks in walling. Due to its irregular shape, as with flint, ragstone has been set within brick quoins and bands. ‘Spalls’, fist sized irregular chips of ragstone, have been used to surface paths but modern usage of ragstone is as a general construction aggregate, including fill for gabions and loose or partly binding gravels.

A buttress is an architectural structure built against or projecting from a wall which serves to support or reinforce the wall. Buttresses are fairly common on more ancient buildings, as a means of providing support to act against the lateral (sideways) forces arising out of the roof structures that lack adequate bracing.

Tyrwhitt-Drake Museum of Carriages

Queen Victoria's state landeau Queen Victoria's state landeau.jpg
Queen Victoria's state landeau

The Tyrwhitt-Drake Museum of Carriages was established by Mayor of Maidstone Sir Garrard Tyrwhitt-Drake who amassed the collection of horse-drawn vehicles in the first part of the 20th century. Concerned about the effect higher costs and lower incomes were having on the carriage owning classes, leading to thousands of examples being broken up every year, he determined to preserve a selection of, preferably coach-built, non-mechanically propelled vehicles. [1] The museum opened in 1946 and was the first carriage museum in Britain. Among its collection of 60 vehicles are sedan chairs, a hansom cab and Queen Victoria's state landau. [4] In addition to the main exhibits there is a collection of model coaches ranging from children's toys to a scale model of Oliver Cromwell's coach. [1]

Garrard Tyrwhitt-Drake Businessman, Author, Zoo keeper

Sir (Hugh) Garrard Tyrwhitt-Drake was a businessman, zoo owner and author. Between 1915 and 1950, he was twelve times the Mayor of Maidstone, Kent and was High Sheriff of Kent in 1956–57.

Horse-drawn vehicle vehicle pulled by horse; mechanized piece of equipment pulled by one horse or by a team of horses

A horse-drawn vehicle is a mechanized piece of equipment pulled by one horse or by a team of horses. These vehicles typically had two or four wheels and were used to carry passengers and/or a load. They were once common worldwide, but they have mostly been replaced by automobiles and other forms of self-propelled transport.

Hansom cab Two wheeled closed horse-drawn carriage with bench for two passengers, at the backside seperate elevated seat for driver, for commercial transport of persons

The hansom cab is a kind of horse-drawn carriage designed and patented in 1834 by Joseph Hansom, an architect from York. The vehicle was developed and tested by Hansom in Hinckley, Leicestershire, England. Originally called the Hansom safety cab, it was designed to combine speed with safety, with a low centre of gravity for safe cornering. Hansom's original design was modified by John Chapman and several others to improve its practicability, but retained Hansom's name.

The Museum is open from May to September each year on Wednesdays to Sundays and bank holidays. [4]

A bank holiday is a national public holiday in the United Kingdom. These are set by the UK parliament in statute law. The term bank holiday is commonly used interchangeably with other public holidays such as Good Friday and Christmas Day, which are held by convention. The term refers to all public holidays in the United Kingdom be they set out in statute, declared by royal proclamation or common law.

See also

All Saints Church, Maidstone Church in Kent, England

All Saints is a parish church in Maidstone, Kent. It is a Grade I listed building, and has been described as the grandest Perpendicular style church in Kent,

College of All Saints, Maidstone Grade I listed architectural structure in the United Kingdom

The College of All Saints was an ecclesiastical college in Maidstone, Kent, England, founded in 1395 by Archbishop Courtenay. It was part of the establishment of the nearby Archbishop's Palace, but was closed in 1546. The College church was the neighbouring Church of All Saints. Following its closure, the College estate was sold. The buildings and land passed through the ownership of three aristocratic families, being farmed until the late 19th century. A number of the College's buildings survive and all are listed buildings. Additionally, the whole site of the College is protected as a scheduled monument.

There are 42 Grade I listed buildings in Maidstone. The Borough of Maidstone is a local government district in the English county of Kent. The district covers a largely rural area of 152 square miles (394 km2) between the North Downs and the Weald with the town of Maidstone, the county town of Kent, in the north-west. The district has a population of approximately 166,400 in 2016.

Related Research Articles

Carriage Generally horse-drawn means of transport

A carriage is a wheeled vehicle for people, usually horse-drawn; litters (palanquins) and sedan chairs are excluded, since they are wheelless vehicles. The carriage is especially designed for private passenger use, though some are also used to transport goods. A public passenger vehicle would not usually be called a carriage – terms for such include stagecoach, charabanc and omnibus. It may be light, smart and fast or heavy, large and comfortable or luxurious. Carriages normally have suspension using leaf springs, elliptical springs or leather strapping. Working vehicles such as the (four-wheeled) wagon and (two-wheeled) cart share important parts of the history of the carriage, as does too the fast (two-wheeled) chariot.

Petit Palais museum in Paris, France

The Petit Palais is an art museum in the 8th arrondissement of Paris, France.

Calcot Manor

Calcot Manor is a historic building in Calcot, three and a half miles west of Tetbury on A 4135 in Gloucestershire, England, near the junction of roads A46 and A4135. The original building was established in approximately 1300 AD by Henry of Kingswood as a tithe barn annex of Kingswood Abbey. The estate was expanded to include a 16th-century manor house and other buildings. Structures added from the Late Middle Ages to the mid-17th century include a chapel, granary, stables and other buildings. The buildings are all constructed from limestone; which are locally quarried stones that are typically flat and easily stacked for drystone wall purposes.

Headstone Manor and Museum

The Harrow Museum, known as the Headstone Manor & Museum, is the local history museum for the London Borough of Harrow in northwest London, England.

Carr House (Bretherton, Lancashire, England)

Carr House is a 17th-century house within the Bank Hall Estate, half-way between the villages of Tarleton and Much Hoole at the extreme north-west of the village of Bretherton, Lancashire, England. The building faces south to the Bretherton road, from which it stands back some distance, and has a foreyard inclosed on the west side by farm buildings.

Rivington Hall Barn Rivington, Chorley, Lancashire, BL6

Rivington Hall Barn adjoins Rivington Hall in Rivington, Lancashire, near Chorley and Bolton. The Tithe barn foundation stones support a medieval cruck construction and possibly date to the between the 9th and 15th centuries. The structure was restored, altered and enlarged in 1905 by Jonathan Simpson for Lord Leverhulme. It is a Grade II Listed building.

The Gateway, Nantwich Grade II listed building in Nantwich, Cheshire, UK

The Gateway, or 60–62 Welsh Row, is a Late Georgian former stable entrance in Nantwich, Cheshire, England, dating from the early 19th century. It is located on the north side of Welsh Row, on the junction with Red Lion Lane. It is listed at grade II. Nikolaus Pevsner describes The Gateway as "handsome".

Boughton Monchelsea Place Grade I listed English country house in the United Kingdom

Boughton Monchelsea Place, previously Boughton Court, is a 16th-century country house in Boughton Monchelsea, Kent, England. The first part of the house was built by Robert Rudston circa 1567–75 on the site of an earlier manor house. It has been modified a number of times during its history achieving its present form in 1819. It has been a home to a number of members of parliament for Maidstone or for Kent, including Sir Francis Barnham, Sir Robert Barnham (1646–85) Sir Barnham Rider (1698–1728) and Thomas Rider (1805–47).

Boxley Abbey Barn Grade I listed architectural structure in the United Kingdom

Boxley Abbey Barn is a large medieval barn in Boxley, Kent. It is a remnant of the buildings of the mostly demolished Boxley Abbey.

Scheduled monuments in Maidstone Wikimedia list article

There are 27 scheduled monuments in Maidstone, Kent, England. In the United Kingdom, a scheduled monument is an archaeological site or historic building of "national importance" that has been given protection against unauthorised change by being placed on a list by the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport; Historic England takes the leading role in identifying such sites. Scheduled monuments are defined in the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 and the National Heritage Act 1983. They are also referred to as scheduled ancient monuments. There are about 20,000 scheduled monument entries on the list and more than one site can be included in a single entry. While a scheduled monument can also be recognised as a listed building, Historic England considers listed building status as a better way of protecting buildings than scheduled monument status. If a monument is considered by Historic England to "no longer merit scheduling" it can be removed from the schedule.

King Johns Palace, Southampton Grade I listed building in Southampton, United Kingdom

King John's Palace is a ruined Norman merchant's house in Southampton, England. Incorrectly believed for a period to have been used by King John, resulting in its modern name, the west wall of the house was converted to form part of the city's defensive walls in the early 14th century and its archways contain what may be Britain's earliest surviving gunports. The structure now forms part of the Tudor House Museum in the city and is a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

Langford and Lydia McMichael Sutherland Farmstead United States historic place

The Langford and Lydia McMichael Sutherland Farmstead is a farm located at 797 Textile Road in Pittsfield Charter Township, Michigan. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2006. It is now the Sutherland-Wilson Farm Historic Site.

Lansdowne Park, Goulburn

Lansdowne Park is a heritage-listed homestead at Bungonia Road, Goulburn, Goulburn Mulwaree Council, New South Wales, Australia. It was built from 1822 to 1825. It is also known as Lansdowne. It was added to the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 2 April 1999.

Todenham village and civil parish in Cotswold, Gloucestershire, England

Todenham is a village and civil parish in the Cotswold district of Gloucestershire, England. The village is significant for its Grade I listed 14th-century parish church.


  1. 1 2 3 The Tyrwhitt-Drake Museum of Carriages. Corporation of Maidstone.
  2. 1 2 Historic England. "Archbishop's Stables, Carriage Museum, The Tithe Barn (1336233)". National Heritage List for England . Retrieved 18 June 2011.
  3. Historic England. "Tithe Barn, Mill Street (1005183)". National Heritage List for England . Retrieved 18 June 2011.
  4. 1 2 "Maidstone Carriage Museum". Maidstone Borough Council. 2017. Retrieved 15 October 2017.