Ancient Monuments

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Lock-up, Lenham

A Scheduled Monument in Lenham, Kent

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Latitude: 51.2377 / 51°14'15"N

Longitude: 0.7185 / 0°43'6"E

OS Eastings: 589864.269815

OS Northings: 152239.085355

OS Grid: TQ898522

Mapcode National: GBR QT6.8H1

Mapcode Global: VHKK5.D4PZ

Entry Name: Lock-up, Lenham

Scheduled Date: 1 July 1975

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1005138

English Heritage Legacy ID: KE 152

County: Kent

Civil Parish: Lenham

Built-Up Area: Lenham

Traditional County: Kent

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Kent


The mortuary and lock-up, 10m north-east of No.2 Faversham Road.

Source: Historic England


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 16 March 2015. This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

The monument includes an early 18th century mortuary, later used as a lock-up, situated on the west side of Faversham Road in Lenham. It is orientated at a right-angle to the road with the north wall continuing as the rear ground-floor wall of a row of almshouses.

The mortuary is a single storey building constructed of coursed stone with a plain tile roof. It is set on a moulded plinth and has a stone band about 1m above the ground. Facing the street is a recessed door with a semi-circular stone head springing from fluted impost bands. The outer arch is of rusticated with large keystones breaking into the base of a triangular pediment above. The pediment is surmounted by a squat stone cross. There are wooden double doors in the south-wall.

The building originally served as a mortuary, associated with a workhouse on the site, which has since been demolished. It was later used as the village lock-up but is now in use as a store.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

A mortuary is a building or room used for holding, viewing or identifying dead bodies prior to burial or cremation. The early 18th century example at Lenham was attached to a workhouse. It was a secure and well-sited at the centre of Lenham and would have been easily adapted to its later use as a lock-up. Lock-ups, also known as round houses, blind houses and clinks, are temporary holding places for offenders being brought before the magistrate. Sometimes a cell was located in or under a public building, but most lock-ups were purpose built, usually small square, rectangular, octagonal or occasionally circular stone buildings. Most were windowless with one or two ventilation grilles, often set under the eaves or into the single door. The earliest recorded lock-up dates from the 13th century, and most fell out of use when police stations with their own holding facilities were established.

Despite some later alterations, the mortuary and lock-up, 10m north-east of No.2 Faversham Road survives well. It retains architectural details such as the arched doorway, triangular pediment and stone cross.

Source: Historic England


NMR TQ85SE120. PastScape 418107

Source: Historic England

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