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Knole Cellars in Stone Court, Sevenoaks, Kent

Forde, Deirdre (2010) Knole Cellars in Stone Court, Sevenoaks, Kent. Project Report. Oxford Archaeological Unit Ltd. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Oxford Archaeology (OA) has been commissioned to undertake a programme of noninterventive archaeological investigation and recording to further understanding of the built structure and historic phasing of the cellar space in Stone Court. Knole is among the great English country houses built on a palatial scale and it has grown in a series of phases largely from the mid-15th to the 18th centuries. The details of this development are still the subject of inquiry and investigation. OA has previously produced an 'Archaeological Survey' of Knole in preparation of the Conservation Management Plan in 2007. The archaeological survey was nonintrusive in nature and essentially comprised a systematic nvestigation of the historic fabric, accessing all areas of the house used directly by the National Trust and those in private occupation of the Sackville-West family. These two works raised some questions and points of interest which would require further investigation in order to have a clearer idea about the origin, historical use and development of the house. The recent programme of additional investigations has been undertaken to inform continuing research on the medieval and early modern house. In the Stone Court cellar the fabric and painted decoration have been re-considered, to amplify some areas not fully explored in the previous Archaeological Survey. This report adds further understanding of the structure and historic significance of the medieval cellars within the historic complex as a whole. A scaled, metric reflective survey of the roof structure was completed and a photographic survey carried out, and a written report was prepared on the results of the project. The main area of the cellar as a space appears to be divided in function between east and west. Besides a later wooden lattice divide, the ceiling structure on the east side is more elaborate than that on the west and has applied mouldings. This would suggest a higher status space with a more formal or recreational purpose. In addition, the south wall of this area of the cellar features partially surviving medieval wall painting of heraldic design suggesting that the space served more than a functional purpose when it was built and was likely to have been a servant's hall for recreational use. Examination of the doors at each end of the cellar suggest that direct access was formerly obtained to the Stone Court.

Item Type:Monograph (Project Report)
Subjects:Geographical Areas > English Counties > Kent
Period > UK Periods > Medieval 1066 - 1540 AD
ID Code:645
Deposited By: Scott
Deposited On:15 Jul 2011 11:20
Last Modified:22 Dec 2011 14:53

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