OA Library

Harecombe Manor, Crowborough, East Sussex

Forde, Deirdre (2022) Harecombe Manor, Crowborough, East Sussex. [Client Report] (Unpublished)

[thumbnail of CRHARE22_Report.pdf] PDF

Download (14MB)


Oxford Archaeology (OA) was commissioned by Carless + Adams, on behalf of
Harecombe Manor Limited, to carry out a programme of historic buildings investigation
and recording at Harecombe Manor in Crowborough, East Sussex, prior to its proposed
Harecombe Manor was built in 1903 by the banker John Kirkwood in the Arts and Crafts
style. It was used as an auxiliary hospital during the First World War, and it was
subsequently used as a nursing home until its closure in 2016. It is not listed but it has
been identified as a designated heritage asset by Wealden District Council. It is proposed
that the former care home is demolished for the purposes of redeveloping the site and
constructing a new and updated care home that meets the staff and residents’ needs.
Harecombe Manor is an example of the Arts and Crafts architectural style that was
popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and is sometimes referred to as
Vernacular Eclecticism. It is a combination of the ‘Tudorbethan’ style, a form of Tudor
Revival architecture, sometimes referred to as ‘Stockbroker Tudor’ and Edwardian
styles. The irregular and eclectic composition of Tudorbethan elements are a pastiche of
16th and 17th timber frame buildings, particular on the north façade, the most public
face of the building. The south and east facing elevations that overlook the terraced
gardens and the countryside are more Edwardian in style but nonetheless irregular in
composition. These elevations have been somewhat impacted by the addition of
modern elements such as the large UPVC conservatory and extensive replacing of
windows with UPVC lights.
There was an attempt to build the modern west extension in the same style as the manor
house, using materials such as hanging tiles and concrete blocks moulded to look like
stones, but it is unsympathetic to the original architecture and impacts the building
The interior retains some of its historic character in larger, high‐status rooms where
original joinery and stucco work survives but much of it has been altered over time due
to its change in use as a care home.
The manor house sits in close proximity to the road but retains its privacy because of the
high boundary wall around it and the slope that it is built into. The gradient of the site
descends north‐east to south‐west away from South View Road and the site is almost
triangular in plan. Consequently, the orientations of the various wings of the house and
the gardens are irregular. They seem to form organically around the boundaries and the
slope of the hillside.
Harecombe Manor would have been typical of an Arts and Crafts manor house of the
period, but it is less inspiring than other existing examples both due to the lack of quality
fabric and the extensive alterations over time. Many of the changes have been
damaging to its historic character and heritage value. Nonetheless, it is a visually
striking house at first glance and the property itself retains a quality of retreat and
privacy, with splendid views.

Item Type: Client Report
Subjects: Geographical Areas > English Counties > East Sussex
Period > UK Periods > Modern 1901 - present
Divisions: Oxford Archaeology South > Fieldwork
Depositing User: Scott
Date Deposited: 05 Sep 2023 13:35
Last Modified: 05 Sep 2023 13:35
URI: http://eprints.oxfordarchaeology.com/id/eprint/7216

Actions (login required)

View Item
View Item