A History of YALDING, Kent, England

This 13th century thatched house has spent much of its life as part of charity land. On the Tithe Map it is within an area termed School Fields, belonging to the Yalding Free School, which was the Cleaves Grammar School, situated at the top of the High Street. The tenant in that Tithe Map year of 1841 was Thomas White.
The building date of no later than 1290 is determined by the number of over-lapping joints that were used without any keying. The upper floor is of interest, where it projects only at the short ends, which mainly face north and south. An outer plinth of ragstone is its foundation, with the centre being plain earth.
This fine example of a yeoman hall house, was originally a large hall, with small top rooms at these north and south ends, where at one end the master and his lady would have slept and at the other the servants. Smoke holes were situated on either end of the roof, with the fire lit straight on the floor somewhere in the middle of the hall area. The walls would have been wattle and cow dung, and in certain places such walls still exist. Some original window frames still remain and are slotted for shutters, as glass for windows in houses was not usual until a much later date.
In the 17th century it is thought that dwelling was occupied by a Royalist family, as well hidden in the interior were some Cavalier shoe buckles. Some interesting points of the structure are that the cruck comprises virtually an arched brace mainly from one piece of oak, that the ceiling beams are located on the wall plates on supporting tongues, and the introduction of a chimney and full upper storey with dormer window probably in the early 16th century.
At some period, maybe 18th century, a substantial fire destroyed most of the south wing as far as the chimney, and is thought to have remained in this condition until it was purchased for £ 410, and restored, by Colonel Borton of Cheveney in 1913, at which time the thatched porch was added. The original well still exists close to the house, and is in fact listed as a source of emergency water supply.
The Colonel outside his restored property, and Burnt Oak as it is today.