Farmstead record WTG 023 - Farmstead: Rook Tree Farm

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Summary

Rook Tree Farm is a farmstead visible on the 1st Ed Os map. The farmstead is laid out in a dispersed plan. The farmhouse is detached and set away from the yard. The farmstead sits alongside a public road in a village location. There has been a significant loss of working buildings with modern sheds on site.

Location

Grid reference Centred TL 6853 4824 (114m by 77m)
Map sheet TL64NE
Civil Parish GREAT WRATTING, ST EDMUNDSBURY, SUFFOLK

Map

Type and Period (5)

Full Description

Rook Tree Farm is a farmstead visible on the 1st Ed Os map. The farmstead is laid out in a dispersed plan. The farmhouse is detached and set away from the yard. The farmstead sits alongside a public road in a village location. There has been a significant loss of working buildings with modern sheds on site. (S1-4)

2015: An appraisal of Rook Tree Farm written to support an application for planning permission. The farm buildings were converted to office use in 1996. Some of the buildings are in poor repair and the proposal is to demolish these and rebuild on the same footprint.

The farm originally formed part of the estate of Edward Thurlow, created Baron Thurlow of Ashfield in 1778 and awarded a second baronetcy, Thurlow of Thurlow, in 1792. following the death of the fourth baron in 1874. It passed to the Rt. Hon. W.H. Smith M.P. (founder of the newsagent chain), who in 1891 was described as the main landowner. The farm seems to have remained with the Smith family until the turn of the century when it was sold in 1905. In 1942 the Great and Little Thurlow estate was acquired by The Mr Ronald Vestey Trust, and Rook Tree Farm with other property in Great Wratting was probably included.

The site is a redundant complex of farm buildings of nineteenth century date. The farm buildings mostly comprising timber framed buildings clad in black weatherboard, with slate or corrugated sheet roofing and form a compact unit within the Great Wratting Conservation Area. The building which is the subject of this application now comprises an animal shed with a cart shed added on its south side. The cattle shelter is still attached on the north-east, giving the building an L-shape. The cattle shelter is a flimsy affair; a simple frame with a corrugated iron roof. It is a typical mid-twentieth century design and replaced the east wall of the north stockyard. The cart shed faces the south stockyard and is attached to a timber framed animal shed, which is also timber-framed on a soft red brick plinth. This is the oldest part of the existing structure and probably dates from the early nineteenth century. Internally, the shed is a single space with only three of its four walls intact. The roof timbers have been replaced when the corrugated sheeting was applied. It has a single (broken) stable door, a concrete floor and the remains of a pig trough against the south wall. The building has little architectural significance and the adjoining cattle shelter has no significance but in relation to the farmyard and the operation of Rook tree Farm it has some significance.

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 (5)

  • <S1> Unpublished document: Campbell, G., and McSorley, G. 2019. SCCAS: Farmsteads in the Suffolk Countryside Project.
  • <S2> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1880s. Ordnance Survey 25 inch to 1 mile map, 1st edition.
  • <S3> Map: Ordnance Survey. c 1904. Ordnance Survey 25 inch to 1 mile map, 2nd edition. 25".
  • <S4> Vertical Aerial Photograph: various. Google Earth.
  • <S5> Unpublished document: Selby, J.. 2015. Heritage Statement Rook Tree Farm, Withersfield Road, Great Wratting.

Finds (0)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

Record last edited

May 6 2020 10:11AM

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