Farmstead record BSM 059 - Farmstead: Smallbridge Hall Farm

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Summary

Smallbridge Hall Farm is a farmstead visible on the 1st Ed Os map. The farmstead is laid out in a regular 19th century planned farm pattern incorporating earlier 18th century buildings. The farmhouse is edtached and set away from the yard. The farmstead sits alongside a private track in an isolated location. This farmstead survives intact with additional modern sheds on the side.

Location

Grid reference Centred TL 9291 3310 (189m by 233m)
Map sheet TL93SW
Civil Parish BURES ST MARY, BABERGH, SUFFOLK

Map

Type and Period (10)

Full Description

Smallbridge Hall Farm is a farmstead visible on the 1st Ed Os map. The farmstead is laid out in a regular 19th century planned farm pattern incorporating earlier 18th century buildings. The farmhouse is edtached and set away from the yard. The farmstead sits alongside a private track in an isolated location. This farmstead survives intact with additional modern sheds on the side. (S4-7)

Unusual and well preserved example of a planned farm. The farm sits in the grounds of Smallbridge Hall a 16th C red brick manor house with a tiled roof. Only one of the original wings remain as the building was heavily restored in the 19th and 20th C. There is a range of 18th C red brick stables with slate roofs, which has been incoporated into a mid 19th C model farm, which included a barn, stables, cartlodge and covered yard. This layout is innovative for the period as is evidence for the use of water power in the barn (S1).

Smallbridge Hall Grade II* listing: One wing of a large red brick Elizabethan mansion, extensively restored or rebuilt in 1893-94 and again in 1920. The original manor house on the site was built before 1362 and was owned by Joan, widow of Sir Robert de Bures when she married Sir Richard Waldegrave. In 1383 Richard II granted a licence to crenellate the manor house. In 1555 it was demolished by Sir William Waldegrave who built the great mansion. Queen Elizabeth I visited the house on 2 occasions, once in 1561, for 2 days, and again in 1579. 2 storeys and attics. 5 window range on the south front, 2 and 3-light casements with lattice leaded lights. There is a central doorway with brick architrave and cornice. The front has a parapet and cornice rising to 4 gabled dormers. Roof tiled with 3 chimney stacks with 2 octaginal shafts. Gabled wings extend to the north, also with octagonal shafted chimney stacks. The interior has 4 panelled rooms, one on the ground storey has painted glass in the window with the arms of Sir William Waldegrave impaling the coat of his first wife Elizabeth Mildmay, and the date 1572. There is also a good C16 fire surround (S2a).

Stables Grade II listing: A range of late C18 or early C19 red brick stables with yellow brick dressings. 2 storeys. The centre part breaks forward slightly with a large semi-circular arched carriage entrance with rusticated voussoirs, and pilasters surmounted by an overhanging gabled roof and a bulls eye window in the gable. The side wings are each of 3 window range on the upper storey, with a yellow brick band at sill level. The ground storey has double stable doors. Roof slate, hipped at the ends (S2b).

2015 Eavesdropper Newsletter: Visit to the Grade II* moated mansion that lies beside the River Stour. The parish boundary zigzags across the site, with the half the house in Bures and the rest in Wissington. Becomes identifiable as a manor in 1310/11 when it was owned by Sir Michael de Poynings. 1383 sold to Sir Richard Waldegrave. 1384 licence to crenellate but nothing survives today, recent groundworks on the site show that there are burried foundations of a probable gatehouse and other lost buildings. 1561 vist by Queen Elizabeth. The existing red brick house, which only occupies a part of the moated platform, is a mid to late 16th century building which may have been conceived as an ancillary accommodation block to the original house. U-shaped groundplan, its main east-west range has a large central stack with a spacious hall (with a 20th century raised ceiling) to its west and two smaller rooms to its east; the existing reception hall with its imposing staircase is in the west wind and is largely the result of 20th century remodelling, while the east wing contains the kitchen. Several 1st floor rooms in the main range contain original wooden panelling embellished with classical pilasters. Stained glass of the arms of Sir William Waldegrave dated 1572. In the 17th century the house was larger, being taxed on 44 hearths in 1674, making it one of the largest houses in Suffolk at the time. 1745 aquired by Thomas Burman, passed to his son Edward and later passed to hist great-great-nephew Edward who died in 1833. Sold at auction 1849 bought by George Wythes who demolished the large barn and constructed a well-planned and elegant courtyard-plan 'model farm'. Built of a mixture of brick and timber-frame clad with weatherboard, it still survives, but has been partially converted for other uses. A watermill featured in the western range fed by a long channel from the Assington Brook to the north. The mill ceased to function by 1929 and was removed 1960s. 1883 inherited by Wythes' grand-daughter. From 1952-1972 the Hall housed a school for girls (S3)

Recorded as part of the Farmsteads in the Suffolk Countryside Project. This is a purely desk-based study and no site visits were undertaken. These records are not intended to be a definitive assessment of these buildings. Dating reflects their presence at a point in time on historic maps and there is potential for earlier origins to buildings and farmsteads. This project highlights a potential need for a more in depth field study of farmstead to gather more specific age data.

Sources/Archives (7)

  • <S1> Unpublished document: Aitkens, P and Wade-Martins, S.. 1998. The Farmsteads of Suffolk. A Thematic Study.
  • <S2> Digital archive: English Heritage. Listed Buildings Online. a) List entry Number: 1194489, b) List entry Number: 1036710.
  • <S3> Article in serial: Martin, E.. Autumn 2015. Visit to Smallbridge Hall, and St Stephen's Chapel, Bures St Mary, Eavedropper Newsletter, No. 52, pp.13-15. pp.13-14.
  • <S4> Unpublished document: Campbell, G., and McSorley, G. 2019. SCCAS: Farmsteads in the Suffolk Countryside Project.
  • <S5> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1880s. Ordnance Survey 25 inch to 1 mile map, 1st edition.
  • <S6> Map: Ordnance Survey. c 1904. Ordnance Survey 25 inch to 1 mile map, 2nd edition. 25".
  • <S7> Vertical Aerial Photograph: various. Google Earth.

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Record last edited

Jun 3 2020 1:22PM

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