Building record WGD 007 - Wingfield College (14th-19th C)

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14th C House with later alterations, church and barn.


Grid reference Centred TM 2302 7675 (136m by 199m)
Map sheet TM27NW


Type and Period (2)

Full Description

The 3 early standing buildings on the site are the church (WGD 009), Wingfield College (see Med) and the barn. All other structures date to the 19th or 20th Centuries. Both the Church and house (later converted into the college) date to the 14th C, while the barn is a later construction of the 16th C, likely built after the college was closed.

The house/college (see Med) was built in 4 different phases: first came the 2 storied west wing, followed shortly after by the aisled hall with a crownpost roof, which was then altered structurally in phase III in the 16th C as well as the introduction of bricknogging. Phase IV was carried out in c.1570-1600, well after the dissolution of the college, where it appears the earlier footings were kept and repaired and the whole structure rebuilt to give adequate headroom after the 1st floor structure in phase I wing had been completely rebuilt at a higher level. The S sector of phase I immediately W of the hall was demolished and in the angle between this and the hall a staircase turret was built. The hall floor was also fully floored over for the 1st time. A chimney stack may also have been inserted. Further alterations were undertaken in the 18th C, which included the addition of panelling in 2 of the central rooms of the W wing 1730s/40s. The panelling seems to be integrated with the sash windows along the E façade that was built at this time. This façade also includes Venetian windows at either end, one of which is blind, and a fine door case in the centre.
The college was founded in 1362 and closed in the first half of the 16th C.

The Barn is a six bayed and timber-framed structure, once thatched but now pantiled and weatherboarded. Bays one to four form a single open space with the main entrance situated in the 3rd bay. Bays five and six were sectioned off by a full height partition. This structure was built in the 16th C and bays 5 and 6 seem to have been used for stabling from the outset and it seems that there has always been a second floor in this section of the barn which appears to have been used as a hayloft, though the present example may be the insertion or adaptation of the 19th C. A 2 bay extension was added in the 17th C along with a porch in the 18th C. In the 19th C a lean-to extension running S to the end of the building on the W side was also added. These later alterations are by themselves historically uninteresting, but the materials used in their construction include smoke blackened timbers from an earlier structure, which hay have been recovered from a demolished building or from the hall of the college itself - the cross-passage area and service end of the college hall was removed at same time during the 19th C. The barn has a queenpost roof and original wattle and daub is surviving on the upper section of the front wall and on the partition.

Apart from an earlier tower, the church (see WGD 009) is almost a complete rebuild by the executors of Sir John Wingfield, who died 1361, to form an enlarged and collegiate church, as provided for in his will. Further extensions and alterations were undertaken in a number of phases during the 15th C (S1).

The barn at Wingfield College was the first tree ring dated farm building in Suffolk; the timbers used to construct this barn were felled in 1527 which is likely to be within a year or two of its construction (S2).

Sources/Archives (5)

  • --- Source Unchecked: RCHME?. Various. Field Investigators Comments. F1 CDA 17-SEP-76.
  • --- Unpublished document: Department of the Environment. 1984. List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. DOE (HHR) Hartismere Suff April 1950 153.
  • <S1> Unpublished document: Aitkins, P.. Wingfield College, Suffolk. Archaeological Record.
  • <S2> Unpublished document: Aitkens, P and Wade-Martins, S.. 1998. The Farmsteads of Suffolk. A Thematic Study.
  • <S3> Digital archive: Historic England. National Record Of the Historic Environment.

Finds (0)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

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Related Events/Activities (1)

Record last edited

Aug 5 2021 5:51PM

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