The cottage currently comprises of a single bay former open hall to the north eastern side with a two storey, two bay cross wing.
In the north eastern gable wall is the remaining part of a tie beam and crown post with chamfered decoration. Due to the crown post construction we know that the hall would have been originally at least two bays in size with the additional bay being to the north east and is now demolished. Crown post construction followed on from cruck construction in the 15th century and was generally superceeded by post and truss construction by the beginning of the 16th century in this area.
The removal of the thatch in the early 20th century and its replacement with slate enabled a roof of less steep profile to be constructed, allowing the eaves level to be raised which would have considerable increased the head height in the first floor room. The raising of the eaves to this part of the property has destroyed the original rafters and crown beam.
The front and rear walls have timber studs with the exception of an off centred part where the wall plates above have a cut away section which would suggest the position of large hall windows. These may be where the timber was rebated for shutters.
The ground floor walls have no timbers exposed so it is not possible to establish whether there was a screens passage in this section of the hall or whether this was in the demolished section, separating the hall from another service wing beyond.
The right hand side of the house is a cross wing constructed two storeys in height and of two and a half bays in depth. This is an addition to the original building which can be deduced from the arrangement of the former end wall of the hall. The first floor was originally jettied to the front before being underbuilt to increase the ground floor space probably some time during the 18th or 19th centuries. The bressumer beam, which supports the overhanging first floor joists, has been largely retained in the room below but the beam has been reduced in depth for greater ceiling height.
The front room has a complete set of carpenters marks to the ceiling joists and concurring marks to the supporting cross beam. The timbers appear therefore to have been selected for this property and not reused from elsewhere.
At first floor level the timbers are fully exposed up to the ridge. The roof is again of crown post construction but is of lower status than the hall with no decoration to the crown post and only braces to the crown beam.
Originally, there was only a single room to the first floor with the half bay at the rear appearing to have been a stairwell. The centrally sited chimney stack is a later addition as the stack passes through the position of the central crown post brace.
The fireplace to the ground floor is not of any particularly great size and it is likely to have been inserted in the 18th century.
Looking at the cross wing, initially it would appear to be contemporary with the hall, however, the studwork to the hall is of uneven spacing at the cross wing end. The front wall plate has been sawn and within the cross wing, the stud adjacent displays the end of a tenon from the wall plate.
Within the open hall, all of the south western wall timbers are associated with the cross wing not the hall.
Looking at this evidence, it appears that the cross wing was constructed inside the original hall end wall, with the original structure retained until the wall plates could be morticed into the new wing. This suggests a number of theories; firstly this was the end of the original building and instead there was a two storey cross wing at the other end of the building. Alternatively, there may have been another bay which was two storeys in height, but was demolished in order to build a larger more impressive and up to date cross wing. Finally, there may have been other buildings in close proximity preventing the cross wing from extending beyond its current limit. This theory would also explain why the cross wing was inserted into the existing hall rather than built parallel to the existing end wall as seen with many other houses in the village and is far more straightforward to construct.
Whilst the cross wing appears to be an addition, the style of construction suggests that this alteration was completed fairly soon after the original building as it is also of crown post construction and was built unheated, the chimney stack inserted at a later date.
In the former open hall, this was modernised by the insertion of a first floor and the creation of a new chimney and large open fireplace. Unlike many buildings of its type, the fireplace does not appear to have been a “back to back” fireplace as there is no evidence for a large fireplace on the outside wall where the chimney stack is exposed. The brickwork has been considerably altered over the years with a number of repairs and apparent partial rebuilding. This suggests that the division of the hall coincided with a change in the usage of the building. It is possible that this house was considered old fashioned and its lowering status meant that the north eastern side of the house may have been used as ancillary accommodation such as wash house or for housing farm animals. Archaeological test pitting on the site of the demolished half of the hall revealed very little pre Victorian pottery, consistant with the building having remained standing until relatively recently. Buildings are shown on the pre enclosure plan of approximately 1800, but are gone by the late 1800’s.
The brickwork of the chimney shows some alterations to build a small flue on the now demolished side, but this appears to be a fairly late development and may be for a washhouse or other ancillary use.
At approximately 1.5m above the ground level there is a row of bricks which have been inscribed with initials and dates. 15 courses above is another row of inscribed bricks.
.M.D. SI ?D MAB
M.H H1830D SH.D H.W.D MMD