Yeoman’s Hall

Originally this served as Mr and Mrs Lloyd’s bedroom and it was illustrated as such in the article on Great Dixter published by Country Life in 1913. A high bed built up on a panelled dais, copied after a 16th-century example in the Palazzo Davanzati, Florence, stood against the far wall. Since the last war, the room has served as a summer sitting room.

As built at Benenden, this house was occupied by a yeoman farmer and was therefore far less grand than Great Dixter, although built upon similar lines. The central room served as a hall, with subsidiary rooms at each end. The hall never boasted a screen, but the master sat at the top end, where the crenellated beam that crosses the hall was returned two feet into the room to provide shelter from the draughts through the neighbouring doorway. Again there would have been a central hearth; the present fireplace is by Lutyens.

In the course of dismantling the building, some of the original upright window bars were uncovered. The windows on the left were sealed with oak boards, as they back onto the Lutyens additions, while those on the right were glazed.