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Temple Manor

Location

Kent Map

OS Ref: TQ 732 685

Last Visited: 2012

Temple Manor

Temple Manor

Some people are said to haunt buildings after their death, Temple Manor, on the other hand, haunts an industrial estate long after its own death.

Cut off from its river frontage by a railway embankment, surrounded on the other three sides by nondescript modern industrial sheds, and enclosed by high security fencing, this gem of a building dates back in part to 1240.

Western Extension

Western Extension

The oldest part, the central stone-built section, consists of an undercroft and a first floor hall reached by an outside staircase. In the centre of the upstairs room is an enormous 17th century fireplace and chimney, dividing the space in two.

On the eastern and western ends are brick built extensions which also date from the from the 17th century. The large bay window in the upper floor of the eastern extension has been incorporated into the hall, but the lower floor and the western extension can only be entered from outside.

This is because there was once a timber framed wing attached to the north side tieing all three sections together. This wing was considered beyond repair and was replaced by an external staircase when the building came into public ownership after the Second World War.

Temple Manor

Temple Manor

Originally built by the Knights Templar as a court, it would have been home a Lay Reeve who would have administered the surrounding estate.

After the suppression of the Templars and a brief spell in the hands of the Knights Hospitallers, in 1342 King Edward III gave it to the Countess of Pembroke who in turn passed it to the nuns of Denny. They held it until the Dissolution of the Monasteries

The Hall

The Hall

From then on it had a succession of owners, until it was bought by Isaac Blake, the sitting tenant, after the Civil War. The Blakes, who actually lived in the house, added the two brick built wings and the fireplace.

From then on it was lived in by a succession of minor gentry until the 1930s, when it became derelict, and the estate was bought by Rochester City Council for industrial development.