Farmstead record BIL 036 - Farmstead: Church Farm

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Summary

Church Farm is a farmstead visible on the 1st Ed Os map. The farmstead is laid out in a regular full plan. The location of the farmhouse is uncertain. The farmstead sits alongside a public road in an isolated location. This farmstead survives intact with additional modern sheds to the side and a new farmhouse.

Location

Grid reference Centred TL 9851 4920 (34m by 54m)
Map sheet TL94NE
Civil Parish BILDESTON, BABERGH, SUFFOLK

Map

Type and Period (6)

Full Description

Church Farm is a farmstead visible on the 1st Ed Os map. The farmstead is laid out in a regular full plan. The location of the farmhouse is uncertain. The farmstead sits alongside a public road in an isolated location. This farmstead survives intact with additional modern sheds to the side and a new farmhouse. (S2-5)

The complex consists of a large timber-framed barn 9 m from the churchyard wall along with an enclosed yard of chiefly 19th century farm buildings to the south and a group of 20th century grain silos and sheds to the north. A pair of semi-detached houses built for agricultural labourers in the 1970s lies nearby but there is no farmhouse. The site is of ancient origin, with the church documented at Domesday and said to have been at the centre of a medieval village before the population migrated to the nearby main road. The barn is an impressive and well preserved structure in ten bays which extends to 34.6 m in length (113.5 ft) and retains two original rear porches with integral lean-to granaries. Consisting largely of re-used timber that may have been salvaged from the barns mentioned in an inventory of 1726 it was shown with its current outline in 1839 but must have been newly built at the time. A series of opensided animal shelter-sheds lay to the west of a yard which adjoined its front wall, but of these only a fragmentary wall of shuttered clay now remains. Both the barn and shelter-sheds were thatched initially, as shown in a photograph of circa 1960, but a brick stable built to the south of the barn soon after 1839 retains an original tiled roof that was formerly half-hipped to match the barn. This stable incorporates what appears to be part of an older structure of the 17th or 18th century that had previously survived only as a yard wall. These buildings are of considerable historic interest, not least due to the antiquity of their site (S1).

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: Alston, L.. 2015. Heritage Asset Assessment: Church Farm, Bildeston.
  • <S2> Vertical Aerial Photograph: various. Google Earth.
  • <S3> Map: Ordnance Survey. c 1904. Ordnance Survey 25 inch to 1 mile map, 2nd edition. 25".
  • <S4> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1880s. Ordnance Survey 25 inch to 1 mile map, 1st edition.
  • <S5> Unpublished document: Campbell, G., and McSorley, G. 2019. SCCAS: Farmsteads in the Suffolk Countryside Project.

Finds (0)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (2)

Record last edited

May 19 2020 9:05AM

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