In The Doghouse

Kennels & Ightham Mote

Dog houses, or kennels, have been in existence for many thousands of years.  In fact dogs, both as pets and as working animals, were widely used in ancient Egypt since before 4000 B.C.   They were also at times revered as messengers of the gods. The earliest known dog houses in historical records were constructed by Egyptian nobles from baked mud in order to provide shelter and safety for their hounds.


Dogs were also an accepted part of other ancient civilisations.  The Chinese, the Greeks and the Romans are known to have held dogs in high esteem, and they were often considered as status symbols in these cultures.

I was prompted to mention this subject when I visited the moated medieval manor house of Ightham Mote (pronounced “item moat”).  The manor and gardens are near the village of Ightham, close to Sevenoaks in Kent, England.  The building and its gardens are owned by the National Trust.

It was there that I came across this small outhouse – the only Grade 1 listed dog kennel in the UK . . .IghthamMoteKennel





The building, constructed in the early 14th Century, has, unusually, retained most of its original features as, through the centuries since then, few changes have been made by its various owners.

There are many features of note both in and around the buildings. One  of these which caught both my eye and my imagination, was this ancient doorway, now surrounded by wild flowers.  My pen and ink wash is below . . .

ightham mote1a