Dower House, Brackenston, Strathbogie

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This house, originally called Brackenston, then Strathbogie, then The Dower House finally became engulfed as a part of a hotel.

The first few maps show it’s location.  It does not appear on the 1897 Ordnance Survey map, but does appear on the 1909 edition.

605-1909-TonbridgeRdAbove   1909  showing Brackenston in Tonbridge Road.

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606-1936-TonbridgeRd-01Above  1946  showing Strathbogie

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681-TonbridgeRd-TWBCAbove,   21st century location, embedded into the hotel

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606-1936-TonbridgeRd-02aThe map above clarifies the locations of some of the buildings mentioned in various writings.
There has been a bit of confusion in the interpretation of certain descriptions.
Many thanks to David Doré and Wendy Mew for helping with this information.


Notes assembled 2014 – 2015

 

A few findings from the Kelly’s Directories in Tonbridge –  These four gents occupied ‘Strathbogie’

Henry James Newcombe 1927
Jas. Hy. Newcombe 1934
Frederick Beech 1937
Maj Henry Noel Winter 1938

There were no entries for Strathbogie or Dower House in the years 1940, 1950, 1959
I will let you know the results of pre-1927 searches when I get to other libraries. Each library has only a selection of the whole span.
If the house was used for war activities or was housing military staff it may have been removed from directory listings, and not restored after the war in 1945.

 

The following data pieces together some of the residents of Strathbogie / Brackenston.

Revd R.W. Molesorth,………… The Lodge 1899
Miss Molesworth,……………… Brackenston 1911, 1912, 1913
(Woodside) 1915
Joseph Gurney Fowler,………. Brackenhurst 1915, 1916, 1917
Mrs Fowler,…………………….. Brackenhurst 1919
Mrs Gordon Hamilton,……….. Strathbogie 1922, 1923
Henry James Newcombe,….. Strathbogie 1927
Albert Henry Cavie,………….. Strathbogie Lodge 1929
Jas. Hy Newcombe,………….. Strathbogie 1933, 1934
Frederick Newcombe,………. Brackenhurst, Lower Green Rd 1933, 1934

The last entry suggests F. Newcombe took the old house name with him to Lower Green.

It is assumed that the variation of ‘Brackenhurst’ is a directory listing error, and we are dealing with the same house.

The building seems to have adopted the name ‘Dower House’ during its use as council offices, prior to becoming a hotel.

Clare Norman’s 2014 research notes on the History of the Dower House

Richard Snow has an article awaiting publication in the Pembury Village News.

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Architect Details

Brackenston Plan-800From Architectural Review 1905 – Donated by Edward Gilbert
Please ignore the upper plan of the Yorkshire Penny Bank.      Detail of Brackenston Plan

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Brackenston Pembury 1Above, architect’s model of Brackenston.      Donated by Edward Gilbert

Note the plans and model show the front bay window at the right of the building.
Further pictures on this page will refer to viewing this house as Tonbridge facing, road facing or Pembury facing.
The view above shows the road facing side with the bay window and the Pembury facing side to its right.
The single storey roof projecting from the corner of the house is a clear indicator of the Pembury side.


Edward Gilbert is a local history researcher and lives in Thunder Bay, Canada.  He has family connections with this part of Kent and has his own history web site where he publishes his results:  www.allabouttunbridgewells.com

He is researching The Dower House for an article in progress and we have agreed to share any findings common to his and our records.

Edward Gilbert’s 2016     THE HISTORY OF BRACKENSTON IN PEMBURY

 


Brackenstone-Mallows-1907-ds-800A chromo-lithographic print of 1907 “House at Pembury, Tunbridge Wells.  C.E. Mallows & Grocock, Architects.”
Some features have changed form the model shown above.
Viewed from what is now the hotel car park facing the reception.   Facing Tonbridge.
Spotted on eBay in 2016 by Ed Gilbert and purchased by Tony Nicholls

 


 

Brackenston-PC-03-800Postcard of Brackenston from B. Molesworth –  assumed to be the ‘Miss Molesworth‘  1911-1913
Date of card is uncertain as stamp and postmark were removed.
Spotted on eBay by Ed Gilbert and purchased by Tony Nicholls  Aug 2016

The shape of the roofing suggests this view is from the rear – facing Pembury.

 

Dower House in winter                       Donated by Melvyn Cole

 

 


Dower House 1972-800Dower House and neighbourhood  – Aerial photo c1972       Donated by David Doré.

Taken from the west of Tonbridge Road.  Dower House in top-left of image, noticeable by its distinctive window pattern.
The house in the foreground is The Lodge, and behind that 6a & 6b, the converted stable buildings.   See map 606a.
The modern hotel footprint covers the two car parks to the right of the Dower House back to the industrial shed and vehicles.
These are assumed to be the storage yards and vehicles belonging to the municipal council.

 


 

Brackenston from David Doré on Vimeo.
The video above was made by David Doré to add greater clarity to the articles and information on this page.
Many thanks to David for this wonderful piece of work.
More of David’s Pembury videos are listed on the Localities/A21 page.

 


Below is a selection of photographs taken of the Dower House building (as a part of the hotel) in March 2016

DowerHouse-2016-1

DowerHouse-2016-2

DowerHouse-2016-3

DowerHouse-2016-4
.Doc.Below

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IMPORTANT !!!     This needs your help.  All contributions will be credited.

If you have any further information or corrections please contact me –
Tony Nicholls      email:   history@pembury.org