Section 3: Physical Fabric

The oldest building is the Church of St Mary, parts of which date from the 12th and 13th Centuries. It is built of local materials; flintwork walls with ragstone quoins and facings, with an oak roof structure. Handmade clay roof tiles have replaced the earlier thatching; the oak shingles on the tower roof were replaced by slates in the late 19th century when the architect R. C. Hussey repaired remodelled and extended the old structure, providing a new west porch, north aisle, and vestry.

There are several other key buildings in the village. Eastling Manor, also known as Gregory's was rebuilt early in the 17th Century. It is a three-storey close studded structure, at the corner of The Street and Kettle Hill Road. Close to the Church at the village's northeast edge is Divan Court Farmhouse, which like North Court Farmhouse to the north, has 18th and 19th Century construction superimposed on earlier building. The mediaeval Tong Farmhouse to the south, and the 17th century North Eastling Farmhouse to the north, are both relatively undisturbed. The Old Rectory, at the junction of The Street with Newnham Lane, is a brick structure with slated roof, a reduced survivor of the much larger mid-century building which replaced an earlier rectory on the same site.

The main concentration of the older buildings is along The Street between its junctions with Newnham Lane and Kettle Hill Road. The buildings are mostly the original timber-framed cottages, some dating from the 16th and 17th centuries, now typically with clay tiled roofs and refronted in brickwork from the 18th and 19th Centuries. This group of buildings now forms the core of the Eastling Conservation Area, which was designated in 1973, and extends north to include The Old Rectory, south along Kettle Hill Road, and east to include the Church and Divan Court Farm.

In the 19th century the village was extended southwards to include Prospect Place and, further south, Mill Cottages. These are both brick-built, two storey, short terraces of artisans' cottages. Also in the 19th century a small number of individual houses alongside Newnham Lane were built. In 1881 the new brick-built Eastling School was opened on Kettle Hill Road.

20th century developments include the local authority's post WWII old persons' houses to the south, a short single storey terrace. The Glebe Houses to the north were two storey "Airey" pre-cast concrete panelled family houses with large gardens. They were followed in the mid-1960s by the building of Meeson's Close on the remaining Glebe land north of the original Rectory: single-family bungalows built of brick and timber, with tiled roofs. In the early 1990s the earlier Glebe Houses were demolished and the site redeveloped by the local authority to a higher density, with two-storey family houses of brick, timber, and tiled roofs, with modest private gardens but with a generous shared open space between the houses and the road.

The village is fairly compact, visually varied, and generally attractive apart from a limited number of visual eyesores.

Most buildings in the village are served by electricity, mains water and telephone; broadband has recently been provided. Drainage is either by cesspool or septic tank, although within the last 25 years the local authority has twice proposed, but not built, main drainage schemes. The proposed costs of this project are reflected in the disparity of the results in the surveys published later in the document. Gas is available to buildings along The Street, Otterden Road, and part of Kettle Hill.

Section 4

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St Mary's Church

Tong House, Tong Lane, Eastling



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