Farmstead record SVA 022 - Farmstead: Four Elms Farm

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Summary

Four Elms Farm, Stonham Parva. 19th century farmstead and farmhouse. Regular courtyard U-shaped plan formed by working agricultural buildings. The farmhouse is set away from the yard. Significant loss (over 50%) of the traditional farm buildings. Located within a hamlet.

Location

Grid reference Centred TM 1212 6145 (124m by 138m)
Map sheet TM16SW
Civil Parish STONHAM PARVA, MID SUFFOLK, SUFFOLK

Map

Type and Period (7)

Full Description

2015: Four Elms Farm adjoins open countryside on the eastern side of the A140 Norwich Road approximately 1km north of the Magpie Inn. The complex of farm buildings to the south of the unlisted 17th century farmhouse is highly conspicuous from the road and has represented a local landmark for many years due to its semi-derelict condition. Despite their poor condition and the effects of a recent fire the individual structures are still recognisable from the Ordnance Survey of 1884 when they surrounded a pair of open cattle yards. These structures include an early-18th century two storied granary, a threshing barn of four bays of which two date from the late 16th or early 17th century, a truncated building adjoining the site entrance that probably served as a stable (all three timber-framed), and a series of single storied animal sheds which consist of shuttered clay coated with tar rather than the more usual clay-lump. Together they demonstrate the sophisticated nature of the mid-19th century system of mixed animal husbandry known as Victorian High Farming. Remarkably, only the truncated stable appeared on the tithe map of 1839. The farmhouse was shown along with a contemporary barn which still survives to the east. The granary and barn were evidently moved from elsewhere soon afterwards and reassembled to form the core of the new complex. The barn may have moved from 300m to the south east. Despite their travels the structures remain of considerable historic interest, with the granary retaining rare and exceptionally well preserved external pargeting which illustrates the appearance of local farm buildings before tarred weatherboarding became ubiquitous during the second half of the 19th century. The barn retains large areas of Tudor framing, including original trenched wall bracing and even a rare door lintel that would not normally be associated with a structure moved from another site (S1).

Four Elms Farm, Stonham Parva. 19th century farmstead and farmhouse. Regular courtyard U-shaped plan formed by working agricultural buildings. The farmhouse is set away from the yard. Significant loss (over 50%) of the traditional farm buildings. Located within a hamlet (S2-6).

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 (6)

  • <S1> Unpublished document: Alston, L.. 2015. Heritage Asset Assessment: Four Elms Farm, Little Stonham, Suffolk.
  • <S2> Unpublished document: Campbell, G., and McSorley, G. 2019. SCCAS: Farmsteads in the Suffolk Countryside Project.
  • <S3> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1880s. Ordnance Survey 25 inch to 1 mile map, 1st edition.
  • <S4> Map: Ordnance Survey. c 1904. Ordnance Survey 25 inch to 1 mile map, 2nd edition. 25".
  • <S5> Vertical Aerial Photograph: various. Google Earth.
  • <S6> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1949. Ordnance Survey 6 inch to 1, mile, 3rd edition. 1:10,560.

Finds (0)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (2)

Record last edited

Mar 29 2021 2:56PM

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