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The Ordnance Storekeeper’s House + The Command House Chatham Kent


The Command House, right at the water’s edge and nestled below the tower of St Mary’s Church high on the hill behind, commands long distance views across the River Medway on the approach from Rochester to Chatham. Following a half a million pounds restoration by Stonegate Group, the largest pub company in the UK, it has flung open its eight raised panel triglyph frieze and modillion corniced fluted Doric pilastered door to customers. A bar and restaurant fill the piano nobile and spill out onto the garden stretching across to the river.

Built in the opening decades of the 18th century as The Ordnance Storekeeper’s House for Chatham Gun Wharf and later used as officers’ housing, The Command House is a fine example of the Queen Anne style. The symmetrical river facing façade is a parapeted two storeys over raised basement in height and five bays with single bay flanking lower wings in length. The red brick elevations have stone dressings.

But it is the side elevation overlooking the carpark which has the most interesting feature. An open lunette. It is set in the colossal chimneystack rising over the valley between the double piles of the roof. Sir John Vanbrugh was master of the lunette, void and chimneystack. He brings his sense of drama to all three in Kings Weston House, Bristol. The architect of The Command House is not recorded but clearly had a strong command of the classical architectural language.

8 replies on “The Ordnance Storekeeper’s House + The Command House Chatham Kent”

Kings Weston is also being restored and can be hired for group events and weddings. I recently stayed there for a friend’s 60th and it was very insightful to take in Vanbrugh’s work at leisure. Sheila

Sure it was the Admiral’s House when I was the Historic Buildings Inspector c1982, during the Falklands War no less. Fascinating site

Oh that’s interesting to hear. Amazing site and quite an unexpected discovery for a sunny Saturday morn headed the opposite direction. There isn’t really much to see inside (at least on the piano nobile public areas) but simply decorated which works well. Splendid views.

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