The Society was pleased to welcome back Mr Richard Filmer to
talk about “Traditional Kentish Building Materials” on 19th October.
With illustrations, Mr Filmer was able to describe many houses
in a wide area of Kent, many going back to fourteenth century.
There were timber framed – not always oak, some were constructed
in chestnut. Although Kentish rag stone was frequently used and
Rochester Castle and Knole were good examples, as was The Tower
of London, and the use of flint and kentrag were quite common
in Kent, examples of sandstone – around Tonbridge Wells was another
often used material.
There were examples of chalk, from the north and south downs,
making attractive building blocks near Rye and the beautiful vaulted
ceiling constructed in chalk.
Mr Filmer explained that it takes 100,000 years to produce 1
cm of chalk.
Another aside in his fascinating talk was that, since 1906,
you will be breaking the law if you bring back pebbles from the
The house shown, built entirely of pebbles, pre-dated this time.
Shingles – chestnut and oak – cost more than tiles to use and
not a lot of people knew that mathematical tiles were also taxed
As Mr Filmer has written extensively on the subject of Kentish
craftsmen, there were plenty of examples of men at work on rural
crafts, many of the tools the same as used in medieval times.