Building record WBG 094 - Cumberland House, 17 Cumberland Street

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House dating from the late 16th or early 17th century, hidden behind a Georgian façade, with a mid 17th century range.


Grid reference Centred TM 2720 4892 (21m by 21m)
Map sheet TM24NE


Type and Period (1)

Full Description

Cumberland House is a substantial grade II*-listed timber-framed and rendered property of complex evolution and considerable historic interest. Its late-Georgian facade is among the finest in Woodbridge, and for much of the 19th century it was the principal residence of Frederick Goodwin Doughty Esquire, J.P., the owner of nearby Martlesham hall, whose father had served as High Sheriff of Suffolk in 1793.

The street range appears to date from the late-16th or early-17th century, reflecting the typical layout of that period with a central hall between a chimney and large parlour on the right and a narrow service bay on the left. Detailed analysis is hampered by the extent to which the original fabric is hidden by Georgian plaster and panelling, and by the complete rebuilding of the roof in circa 1800 when the front wall was raised to accommodate the increased height of the new frontage. A new wing with a cellar was added behind the parlour during the mid-17th century, and this preserves an impressive roof profile, with projecting side-gables containing blocked dormer windows, together with important original wall paintings and a decorative plaster ceiling in its first-floor chamber. The paintings consist of imitation studs in green pigment with a large foliate design above the fireplace, while the plaster cartouches include bewigged faces with strapwork borders. An identical ceiling on the lower storey may be a later replica. The Georgian refurbishment included a ‘stick baluster’ staircase in a brick tower built in the angle of the two earlier ranges, reached by a new stair passage that required the partial removal of the 17th century chimney. During the mid-19th century a brick lean-to shed was built against the eastern boundary wall behind the service bay, but this was altered between 1880 and 1902 when a single-storied brick garden room with a pyramidal roof was erected nearby, and again in the last ten or twenty years when another lean-to was added to the original back wall (S1).

Sources/Archives (1)

  • <S1> Unpublished document: Alston, L.. 2014. Heritage Asset Assessment: Cumberland House, 17 Cumberland Street, Woodbridge.

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Record last edited

Aug 23 2017 1:12PM

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