Horton Kirby Court Lodge

Has been described as a Possible Fortified Manor House

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains

NameHorton Kirby Court Lodge
Alternative Names
Historic CountryKent
Modern AuthorityKent
1974 AuthorityKent
Civil ParishHorton Kirby And South Darenth

This was originally Horton Castle and the majority of the site lies to the south of the existing house. The main portion of the south end dates from the C18. Two storeys faced with rough plaster. Hipped tiled roof. Three sashes with glazing bars intact. C19 porch. The portion to the north of this, now the centre portion is probably older. Two storeys faced with plaster. Tiled roof. Two casement windows. At the north end is a C19 addition of one storey and 2 windows in painted brick with a slate roof and sash windows without glazing bars. The house was considerably altered by Mr George Smith the surveyor who also altered the church tower. (Listed Building Report)

The old Castle or Court Lodge, metamorphosed into the present indifferent farmhouse by Mr George Smith, was some 80 feet square and entirely encompassed by a moat connected with the Darenth River. The outer walls were 4 feet thick. The principal rooms towards the river have long been destroyed. The present brick bridge of one arch replaces a drawbridge attached to the gatehouse (Cresy). The plan shows what appears to be a moated manor-house. Main portion, south end 18th century, 2 storeys faced with rough plaster, hipped tiled roof. Portion to N of this probably older. 19th century addition at N end. To the S of the house is the site of the Castle of which nothing survives above ground, unless any remains are incorporated in the interior of the house (At TQ 56176860 - 'A' Dovecot). Ornamental C18th round building, flint-faced, with buff brick dressings. Nearly conical tiled roof with sqaure wood structure, bird's entrance, with hipped tiled roof (MHLG Schedule Dartford HLG 3541 1952). The S and E walls of the 18th century part of the house, are of exceptional thickness and undoubtedly incorporate remains of the original building. There are stone quoins at the SE corner up to the eaves

Mr W.R.Rogers, the owner, stated that foundations were encountered during the construction of a tennis court on the W side of the house. An old print of the early 19th century in his possession shows the gatehouse and brick bridge over a water-filled moat on the E side. Gatehouse and bridge are gone, but the moat can be traced on this side and around the NE corner, but it is not surveyable. The dovecot is as described. The buildings are in good condition (F1 ASP 15-JUL-60). (PastScape)

Gatehouse Comments

Rejected as castle by King who writes 'modest moated area'.

- Philip Davis

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 ReferenceTQ561685
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

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Calculate Print


  • Salter, Mike, 2000, The Castles of Kent (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 48
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 238 (reject)
  • < >Tester, Peter, 1981, 'The Court Lodge at Horton Kirby' in A. Detsicas (ed), Collectanea Historica: Essays in Memory of Stuart Rigold (Kent Archaeological Society) p. 163-173 < >
  • Newman, John, 1976, Buildings of England: West Kent and the Weald (Harmondsworth) p. 336
  • Harvey, Alfred, 1911, Castles and Walled Towns of England (London: Methuen and Co)
  • Hasted, Edward, 1797 (2edn), The history and topographical survey of the county of Kent Vol. 2 p. 494- online transcription


  • 1932, Transactions of the Dartford and District Antiquarian Society Vol. 2 p. 17-37
  • Sparvel-Bayly, J.A., 1887, The Antiquary Vol. 15 p. 61-2 online copy


  • Sevenoaks District Council, December 2003, Horton Kirby Conservation Area Appraisal p. 8 online copy
  • Cresy, E., 1857, Horton Kirby (MS notes in Dartford Borough Library) (significant parts and sketch reproduced in Tester 1981)