My latest blog for Country Life features the story of Postern Heath on the outskirts of Tonbridge. The Grade II listed house features exposed timbers and a large brick fireplace, dating back to the 17th century, although possibly earlier. However, the house was refronted in the early 1700s with the beautiful Queen Anne facade that we see today.
The house sits within an area that was formerly parkland attached to Tonbridge Castle. A survey in 1521 clearly shows the entire area attached to the castle, which at that time was owned by Edward Stafford, Duke of Buckingham. By 1542, the land had passed to Sir Ralph Vane, but who was later executed at Tower Hill in 1552. Queen Mary I then granted the estate to Sir Thomas Vane.
The relevant documents for Postern Heath in the 17th and 18th centuries are difficult to decipher so it’s unclear of the exact transfer of property during this time. However, it appears that by the 1670s the area was in the hands of Thomas Weller, who had also acquired Tonbridge Castle by this time. In fact, Thomas Weller is most rememberd for his involvement in a skirmish near Tonbridge Castle during the Civil War in 1643. But, it is also believed that Thomas Weller was responsible for the first construction of Postern Heath.
By the mid 18th century, it appears that Postern Heath was owned by John Eldridge, and then by 1780, James Eldridge West. Throughout the 19th century Postern Heath, then known as Postern Farm, continued as a farm house and even into the 20th century was still the home of a farmer and his family.
In the early 1960s Postern Heath was acquired by Mrs Heinz, wife of Jack Heinz of the world-famous Heinz Company. She began work in modernising the house, but by 1965 she had sold the house and it became the home of John Farrington, a retired mining engineer.
For more of the story of Postern Heath you can read the complete history here – The history of Postern Heath – Tonbridge
For more details regarding the sale of Postern Heath visit our website at – Postern Heath