Aylesford in old picture postcards

Aylesford in old picture postcards

:   James H. Sephton
:   Aylesford
:   Kent
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-2243-6
:   80
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

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Fragmenten uit het boek 'Aylesford in old picture postcards'

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59. The ballroom was approached by an enclosed and panelled corridor, at the entrance to which was a great double doorway, similar to that in the ballroom. Three bedrooms with 16th century oak panelling opened off from this corridor. By 1685 the renovations by Sir John Banks on land, mansion, house and park, had cost U5,891. Few houses in England at that time offered such good examples in harmony of the work of several successive generations.

60. Throughout most of the 19th century, the mansion house of the Friars, comprising the former south and west wings of the medieval cloister, was rented by the Earls of Aylesford to various successive tenants. A frequent visitor to Aylesford, Sir Arthur Evans (1851-1941), came in 1886 to excavate the recently discovered Belgic cemetery in the sandpit. During his excavations, he probably stayed at the Friars. The property was, for a time, occupied by Colonel C1aude Lowther, Member of Parliament, who considered the possibility of restoring the fabric, Instead, he transferred his activities to Herstmonceaux Castle.

61. An important Freehold Residenttal Property known as the Friars, Aylesford, originally an old Carmelite Priory, ft is approached by carriage drive, with a fine old tower gateway forming lodge. The accommodation comprises entrance hall, music room 44 feet by 25 feet, four reception rooms, 16 bed and dressing rooms, three bathrooms etc., stabling for nine horses, coachman's and grooms' rooms, cottage; beautiful grounds; capital farm of about 200 acres; farm house and buildtngs: Also two other residences with grounds known as The Cedars and Wiekham Lodge. Also a fine sand pit and 84 acres of woodland, extending in all to about 446 acres. The whole property, with the exception of the Residence and about 35 acres, and the woodland, is let, and produces rental of 1l,020 per annum. HARRODS (Ltd.) will Sell the above PROPERTY by Auction, at an early date. The Times, Monday 24 June 1907.

62. Midway between the village and the Friars, at No. 103 High Street, is a large white house called "The Cedars'. During the 18th and 19th centuries, the Friars was owned by successive Earls of Aylesford. The Cedars became the Dower House. When the third Earl died in 1777, bis widow Charlotte lived here until her death in 1805. Her restored funeral hatchment, displaying her armorial bearings, is on the north wall of the northem chancel of Aylesford's parish church. In 1919 the Ccdars was purchased by Sir William, later Lord Rootes, who sub let to various tenants. At this time, nine gardeners tended the grounds. In 1925 the property was purchased by Mr. Roberts, who remained in possession until1950.

63. The Friars became the home of Mr. and Mrs. Copley de Lisle Hewitt and her mother Mrs. Arixene Southgate Woolsey. The central seated figure in our picture, taken on Sunday 5 July 1926, portrays Lord Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell of GilweIl (1857-1941), the founder of the Boy Scout and Girl Guide movements. Seated on the right is Mr. Copley de Lisle Hewitt (1871-1941). Seated on the left is Mr. A.J. Tassell, and standing is Mr. H.E. Spencer. Lord Baden-Powell visited the Friars at the end of the fifth Scout Marathon, and presented Mr. Copley Hewitt with the badge of the Silver Wolf, the highest award in scouting. Mr. Copley Hewitt was High Sheriff of Kent in 1929 and Assistant County Commissioner for Scouts. The grounds of the Friars and Pilgrims Hall becarne a centre for scout and guide activities.

64. During the dark hours of 30 June 1930, the mansion house at the Friars caught fire, The owners, Mr. and Mrs. Copley de Lisle Hewitt, and her mother, Mrs. Arixene Southgate Woolsey, were, as was another thirteen people, asleep in the building at the time. One of the sleep ers was disturbed by the presence of smoke. Fire was discovered near the main staircase by one of the staff, who alerted the sleepers by running through the house ringing a bell. Mr. and Mrs. Copley de Lisle Hewitt's seven-year old adopted son, Kimmie, rushed through the smoke and up the burning staircase to arouse his nurse and younger sister Rosemary. Mr. Charles Wellman, the stud groom, dashed into the burning building to rescue Mrs. Woolsey from her endangered bedroom.

65. Some residents of Aylesford ean remember visiting the scene of desolation, and seeing the eightysix year oid figure of Mrs. Woolsey sitting in despair near the outer gatehouse, contemplating the disaster which had befallen her home. The servants, and many valiant volunteers from the village, carried the valuable silver and paintings from the buming building into the outer gatehouse for temporary storage. A large quantity of valuable antique fumiture, a number of art treasures, and a rare collection of Venetian glass were destroyed.

66. Everyone escaped to safety without injury, The building was soon a mass of flames which rose to a height of fifty feet. The fire brigades from Maidstone and Chatham were soon on the scene. Supporting fire tenders came from the nearby Aylesford Paper Mills, in an unsuccessful bid to save the building. The mansion house, comprising the former south and west wings of the medieval cloister, was completely gutted. Only the thick masonry walls and chimney stacks survived. The northern wing, including the medieval inner gatehouse, escaped the ravages of the conflagration. The outer gatehouse, and the extensive court yard of office buildings remained intact.

67. Most of Sir John Banks' interior innovations of 1677-78 were destroyed. The stone frame of the former medieval great west window of the refectory on the first floor of the west range, hidden behind later brickwork, was one feature revealed by the fire. Some of John Sedley's early wood panelling in the rooms over the inner gatehouse survived.

68. Along the southern foot of the chaJk escarpment of the North Downs, known locally as Blue BeU Hill, is a continuous band of gault clay. This is often wet and impervious, At the interface between the chaJk and the gault clay occur natural springs, At Great Culand Farm, near Eccles, weU water was raised by means of a tread wheel. This 17th century tread wheel in oak and pine was still in use at the turn of this century. This wheel was removed in 1955. It is now under shelter at the rear of Maidstone Museum.

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