Farmstead record KSY 039 - Farmstead: River House, Church Hill (Brickhouse Farm)

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Summary

Brickhouse Farm is a farmstead visible on the 1st Ed Os map. The farmstead is laid out in a regular courtyard full plan with additional detached elements. The farmhouse is detached and set away from the yard. The farmstead sits alongside a public road in a village loaction. There has been a partial loss of working buildings with the remaining appearing to be in commercial use.

Location

Grid reference Centred TM 0009 4410 (80m by 54m)
Map sheet TM04SW
Civil Parish KERSEY, BABERGH, SUFFOLK

Map

Type and Period (6)

Full Description

Brickhouse Farm is a farmstead visible on the 1st Ed Os map. The farmstead is laid out in a regular courtyard full plan with additional detached elements. The farmhouse is detached and set away from the yard. The farmstead sits alongside a public road in a village loaction. There has been a partial loss of working buildings with the remaining appearing to be in commercial use. (S2-5)

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.

River House is a nationally important grade-II* listed building with an exceptional Tudor brick porch, which has escaped the usual over-restoration, and a rare wall painting depicting life-sized figures in Elizabethan dress that was formerly exposed on its right-hand gable (but has since been hidden by render). The interior preserves many more historic features, including a fine suite of panelling bearing the initials of the wealthy Cooke family of clothiers who owned the property in the late-16th and early-17th centuries. Until the beginning of the 20th century the site was known as the Brick House or Brickhouse Farm, and the survival of an early-16th century timber-framed barn to the rear proves it was both a farmhouse and a merchant’s house from the outset. A survey of Kersey in 1586 notes that Edmund Cooke lived in a house composed of two or more cottages, and this is borne out by the oldest part of the building to the left of the facade which originated as a complete dwelling of just 36 feet in length. This early-16th century structure was jettied along its entire frontage and contained a central hall with a pair of service rooms to the left and a small parlour of only 6 feet in length on the right. The house was doubled in size during the late-16th century when the hall and parlour were combined and the adjoining building to the right was replaced by a chimney stack and a new jettied parlour with a first-floor ‘closet’ or dressing room containing the wall paintings. The original jettied rear service wing, which contained a kitchen and a brew-house or dye-house, was extended at much the same time to create what may have been a rare workshop or showroom with glazed windows and brick nogging. This rear range was converted into a maltings in the 18th century and retains much of its industrial character (S1).

Sources/Archives (5)

  • <S1> Unpublished document: Alston, L.. 2018. Heritage Asset Assement: River House, Church Hill, Kersey.
  • <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.

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Protected Status/Designation

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Related Events/Activities (2)

Record last edited

May 4 2021 10:26AM

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