Architectural Detail - 28 Shillington Road

The western half of the house comprises of a one and a half storey height former open hall. There is a 20th century fireplace to the gable wall and the ground floor room has been partitioned into two. Much of the ground floor timberwork that is retained is the result of 19th and 20th Century renovations which make dating the flooring in of the hall difficult. On the first floor there are a large number of exposed timbers which have remained in situ. The front wall appears to consist of a number of plain vertical studs whilst the truss is exposed in the gable end wall showing the widely spaced and narrow timbers of a modest building.

The remains of the original timberwork to the eastern wall of the hall are partially retained within a cupboard, whilst the remainder have been removed at a later date. There is a clear space between this truss and that of the cross wing, confirming that the cross wing is of a later date than the hall. The rear wall is braced at the abutment of the cross wing with the wall plate continuing beyond the position of the original truss post.

This suggests that either substantial alterations to the wall plate and north wall timbers took place at some time or that there was a second bay to the original hall, the wall plate continuing beyond the intermediate truss. Whilst little is visible in the roof space, the purlins appear to have originally continued well beyond the end of the truss, providing further evidence that there is a demolished bay where the current cross wing stands.

The remaining truss posts are jowelled with old repairs made at the junction of the posts and wall plate along the front wall.

The roof timbers are largely concealed by insulation and polythene sheeting with the inspection limited to that area of the roof visible from the loft hatch.

The visible rafters show a series of alterations with some rougher, more rounded timbers and straight cut rafters of a later date including modern strengthening timbers set adjacent. There is a ridge pole which appears to be of birch, although this may also be of a later date. The western gable is timber clad, whilst the eastern truss has a groove in the top surface of the collar which suggests that there was woven sprung wattle and daub infill here.

A small section of wattle and daub is retained between the tie beam and collar with the plastered side facing into the hall. Alterations have been made to the former central truss with a modern vertical king post nailed in place. There are no signs of smoke blackening to the few visible timbers. A link has been built to join the hall roof to the cross wing.

The cross wing has been constructed as a two bay unit with deep and carefully shaped jowelled posts.

This suggests a later date during the 17th century. This wing has been subject to substantial alterations, particularly to the ground floor timbers, chimney stack and fireplace. The existing inglenook fireplace has been largely rebuilt using reclaimed bricks, many of which appear to have been brought in during the 1960’s renovations.

The bressumer beam is a piece of reused timber not related to the original fireplace and has beam slots in the underside.

 The small basic timber framed lean to structure that old photographs show adjoining the chimney stack has been demolished and was replaced entirely by a larger cavity brick extension during the 1960’s. The studwork to the central truss has been removed at ground floor level, again during the 1960’s renovation.

The original staircase position cannot be confirmed as there is no evidence remaining either at ground or first floor levels however, verbal enquiries with a former occupant have confirmed that a small, steep and tightly curving staircase was located on the inner wall of the cross wing at the abutment of the hall curving under the central truss.

The rear room of the cross wing was originally unheated but appears to have had an external fireplace installed during the 19th century as seen in photographs and confirmed verbally by the former occupant. This has also been subsequently demolished.

There is evidence of a doorway through to the original hall in the rear room of the cross wing which has been blocked, whilst the current doorway is a 1960’s alteration. This blocked doorway cuts through the cross wing sill and appears to be a later alteration, probably in association with the replacement staircase which itself was replaced subsequently.

The front elevation has evidence of a small window adjoining the main front window at ground floor level. This is shown in old photographs and appears to possibly be the remains of a slightly larger high level window, however there is no evidence of one on the other side of the window or at first floor level.

At first floor level the north eastern wall plate has been cut through to enable a window to be placed in the rear room after the 1960’s extension was built blocking the original rear window. The front western corner is braced with straight tension bracing as well as the north facing gable.

The Barn

Outside is the remaining barn of a range of former farm buildings which formed a courtyard. The barn is timber framed with modern timber cladding, render and rendered infill panels, under a pitched tile clad roof.

The barn is of three bays in size and has the same pattern of timber studwork and bracing seen at Walnut Tree Farm Barns and 7-9 Bury End. There are some carpenters marks externally on the north western wall. Internally there is a floor laid at mid rail level, part of which may be a replacement of original hayloft flooring. The posts have deep jowels similar to the cross wing of the house which suggest a contemporary date.  The original rafter and collar truss has been altered as the entire roof structure above the collar and purlin level has been replaced with modern timber, however the arch bracing has been retained to the tie beams.

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