From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Owletts - geograph.org.uk - 323261.jpg
National Trust property, but not open regularly as it is still lived in
Coordinates Coordinates: 51°23′35″N 0°23′31″E / 51.393°N 0.392°E / 51.393; 0.392
OS grid reference TQ 665 687
Built 1683/4
Built for Bonham Hayes (farmer)
Architect Bonham Hayes
Governing body The National Trust
Type Grade II*
Designated 27 August 1952
Reference No. 1049097
Owletts is located in Kent
Owletts location in Kent

Owletts, Kent, is a country house 1.3 kilometres (0.8 mi) to the northwest of the village of Cobham, Kent, England.

It is designated by English Heritage as a Grade II* listed building.[1][2]


The house was originally built for Bonham and Elizabeth Hayes, successful farmers in the Cobham area. The red-brick Kentish Yeoman's house is two storeys high, with dormer windows. The house interiors were completed in 1684, including the ornate Carolean plasterwork and timber staircase hall.[3]

The house passed in 1894 to the Edmeades family of Nurstead (also in the parish of Gravesend), then by marriage to the Baker family.[1] In 1862 the renowned architect Sir Herbert Baker was born in the family home. In 1925 he added two projections and a wing on the north-west corner of the house.[1]

The family filled the house with specially commissioned or collected furniture.[3]

The house has a garden partly designed by Gertrude Jekyll, who was introduced to Baker by Edwin Lutyens (her friend) when he was working during 1887 in Bakers and Harold Peto's office in London.[4]

Within the gardens is a bird bath formed from Corinthian capitals salvaged from the old Bank of England building in London, when Sir Herbert rebuilt of the Bank (between 1925 and 1939).[5]

Baker died on 4 February 1946 at the age of 83.[6] He left Owletts to the National Trust.

The National Trust then let it out, but it is open to the public several days a year. The current tenants are David and Bella Baker and family; he is the great-grandson and heir of Sir Herbert Baker.

The house closed in 2011 for a £1 million refit, in which time the collection of in the 900 objects and 1,400 books, was carefully packed and stored off-site.[7] The collection was then unpacker and returned to normal after completion. It then opened for the first time in 2 years on Sunday the 7th April, 2013.[8]


  1. ^ a b c "Owletts, Cobham". www.britishlistedbuildings.co.uk. Retrieved 11 December 2013. 
  2. ^ "OWLETTS, THE STREET". english-heritage.org.uk. Retrieved 12 December 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "Owletts". www.britainexpress.com. Retrieved 12 December 2013. 
  4. ^ "BAKER, Sir Herbert John". www.artefacts.co.za. Retrieved 12 December 2013. 
  5. ^ "Buildings and Architects". www.bankofengland.co.uk. Retrieved 12 December 2013. 
  6. ^ "Herbert Baker". The Round Table: The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs 36 (142): 107–108. 1942. Retrieved 8 December 2013. 
  7. ^ "Returning the historic collection at Owletts". www.nationaltrust.org.uk. Retrieved 12 December 2011. 
  8. ^ Dubuis, Anna (14 January 2013). "Sir Herbert Baker’s Cobham house Owletts to reopen". The Reporter (Gravesend). 

External links[edit]