Tonford Manor, Thanington Without

Has been described as a Certain Fortified Manor House

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains

NameTonford Manor, Thanington Without
Alternative NamesTuniford; Toniford; Tunford
Historic CountryKent
Modern AuthorityKent
1974 AuthorityKent
Civil ParishThanington Without

The remains of a fortified C15 house which bad 4 round towers built by Sir Thomas Browne Comptroller and treasurer to King Henry VI. The licence to crenellate was granted in 1449. This now has later timber-framed and C18 additions. The oldest portion of the exterior is the north front. Two storeys, built of stone rubble, flints and red brick. Hipped tiled roof. Casement windows. One window of 3 cinquefoil-headed lights with stone mullions now restored and having 6 mullions and one similar window of 2 lights with the mullions missing. At the north-west angle is a semi-circular baston, probably one of the 4 round towers, with a red brick stringcourse and a diaper pattern of brick. At the north-east angle are the remains of a similar bastion. Garderobes in these towers. The original building extended further west and there are remains of the continuation of the north wall with part of 2 similar bastions to the west with diaper patterned brickwork. Three double mullioned windows. Behind the north front the house is timber-framed but its west and south fronts have been refaced with red brick in the C18. Two storeys and attic. Hipped tiled roof with 2 dormers facing south and one dormer facing west. Stringcourse. Six sashes 2 dormers facing south 5 sashes with glazing bars intact and one dormer facing west. Modern gabled porch. The interior contains a roof of chestnut with 3 harmerbeam trusses and moulded purlins and some Tudor brick and stone fireplaces. Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon once spent 3 days here. The south-west side has a C15 gatehouse built of flint with a stone arch. (Listed Building Report)

TONIFORD, usually called Tunford, is a manor, situated within the borough of its own name, near the western bounds of this parish, and on that side of the river Stour next to Harbledowne

It was in early times both the property and residence of a family, who took their name from it, and bore for their arms, Gules, on a cross, argent, three fleurs de lis, sable. John de Toniford was possessed of it in the latter end of king Henry III.'s reign, and was a good benefactor to the hospital of Harbledowne. And his descendant, John de Toniford, resided here in king Edward III.'s reign, at the latter end of which he alienated it to Sir Thomas Fogge, whose son, of the same name, resided here, and died possessed of it anno 9 Henry IV. and was buried in the cathedral of Canterbury. From this family it afterwards passed into that of Browne, of Beechworth-castle, and in the 27th year of Henry VI. Sir Thomas Browne, of that place, comptroller and treasurer of the king's houshold, obtained a grant of liberty to embattle and impark, and to have free warren, &c. within this manor, among others. One of his descendants sold it to Colepeper, who again passed it away to Vane, from which name it was sold, in king Charles I.'s reign, to Capt. Thomas Collins, of Sittingborne, afterwards of Brightling, in Sussex, whose arms were Gules, on a bend, or, three martlets azure, within a bordure, ermine. In whose descendants it continued down to Mr. Henry Collins, of Chichester, who died possessed of it in king George II.'s reign, after whose death, it came to Thomas Lucksford, esq. of Chichester, whose widow Mrs. Hannah Lucksford dying in 1794, it came by devise at her decease, to William Wills, esq. of Ulcombe, who is the present possessor of it. (Hasted)

Not scheduled

This is a Grade 2* listed building protected by law

Historic England Scheduled Monument Number
Historic England Listed Building number(s)
Images Of England
Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceTR124570
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Photograph by Sandy Sandford. All rights reservedView full Sized Image

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  • Emery, Anthony, 2006, Greater Medieval Houses of England and Wales Vol. 3 Southern England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) p. 413-4, 440
  • Salter, Mike, 2000, The Castles of Kent (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 79
  • Guy, John, 1980, Kent Castles (Meresborough Books)
  • Gould, I. Chalkley, 1908, in Page, Wm (ed), VCH Kent Vol. 1 p. 428 online copy
  • Hasted, Edward, 1800 (2edn), The history and topographical survey of the county of Kent Vol. 9 p. 21-7 online transcription


  • Coulson, Charles, 2007-8, 'On Crenellating, in Kent and Beyond - A Retrospection' Castle Studies Group Journal Vol. 21 p. 189-201 esp p. 199-200
  • Coulson, Charles, 1993 Aug, 'Specimens of Freedom to Crenellate by Licence' Fortress: The castles and fortifications quarterly Vol. 18 p. 3-15 (reprinted in Liddiard, Robert (ed), 2016, Late Medieval Castles (Boydell Press) p. 221-240)
  • Tatton Brown, T., 1977, 'Investigations and Excavations during the Year' Archaeologia Cantiana Vol. 93 p. 222 online copy

Primary Sources

  • Maxwell Lyte, H.C. (ed), 1927, Calendar of Charter Rolls 5 Henry VI - 8 Henry VIII, AD 1427-1516, with an appendix, 1215-1288 Vol. 6. (HMSO) p. 102 online copy