This single-storey gatehouse was part of the King Tenison Estate. It dates to c. 1800. It is in a rustic “fairytale” style emulating an ancient hermitage. The building is constructed of what is termed “river-worn” stone – local limestone with a very eroded-looking surface, full of cracks and fissures due to the action of centuries of water flowing over it.
Each stone was carefully chosen by the masons to maximise the illusion of the decayed nature and therefore the antiquity of the building. This should not deceive us today as the structure itself is largely very sound and not at all decayed. The boundaries between what was man-made and what was natural may have been deliberately blurred originally to make the building appear to grow out of the landscape.
This highly irregular structure has roughly pointed arched openings. The open front area leads to two rooms behind, in which are the remains of fireplaces.
The building may have been used as accommodation for someone working on the estate, such as a Gatekeeper.