About the house
Kent Fire and Rescue Service headquarters is
called ‘The Godlands’. The house was built in 1895 in the Arts
& Crafts style. It is not open to the public.
The Godlands was built in 1895 for the Green family, who owned
the Lower Tovil and Hayle Mills close by. It stands at the top of
Straw Mill Hill, and takes its name from the field on which it was
built. The road’s name is a clue to the history of the area, where
four paper mills were working by the end of the 17th century,
powered by the Loose stream in the valley below the house.
The house was designed by Herbert and Gertrude Green themselves,
in the Arts and Crafts style. It is built of Kentish ragstone and
rendered brick, with some half-timbering. The stone was quarried on
the site, and the quarry later transformed into a rock garden on a
grand scale. The house stands in about four acres of landscaped
grounds, and some original trees and plants still survive.
In 1941 the house was requisitioned for war-time use by the
National Fire Service, and has remained with the service since.