leybourne grange | reporters, residents and removers

The Leybourne Grange estate comprised of twenty seven separate 1930s villas, housing a total of 1,200 patients. There were kitchens, school, laundry and boiler house - some of which we’d already found. But it was the Grade II listed Manor House (which later became the Administration Block) which interested everyone; and it looked like we were finally on the right track.

This superb house comprised part of the walled garden. Its decoration was clearly Victorian; two-coloured brickwork, arched windows dressed with stone; large gables. Even though it was probably quite a lowly house (perhaps a lodge, gate keeper or groundman’s cottage), it was in direct contrast to the institutionalised 1930s architecture we’d been familiar with.

Now unloved and derelict, it had suffered far more than the mass produced, quick build of the rest of the Grange. I hope it’s listed and will be restored.

The clock tower I’d spied from the M20 was now starting to beckon. Unable to get into the house, and tempted by greater curiosities, we pushed on.