Building record NYW 059 - Alston Court, Nayland with Wissington

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13th-18th century timber-framed house, probably the house of a wealthy wool merchant.


Grid reference Centred TL 9750 3419 (35m by 27m)
Map sheet TL93SE


Type and Period (1)

Full Description

Grade I listed building: A fine building rich in detail of various periods. Probably originally the house of a wealthy wool merchant of the late C15 but considerably altered at later dates. Restored in 1912 and some of the earlier mullioned and transomed windows uncovered. It is planned around a central courtyard. The north front has cross wings at the east and west ends. The east wing has exposed timber-framing and a jettied upper storey on exposed joists, the ground storey has a 7-light bay window with heavily moulded oak mullions and richly carved transome and sill. The centre block was built out with 1 storey in the late C17 - early C18 and there is a large 9-light mullioned window with 2 transomes and heraldic glass in the upper part. The doorway has a late C17-early C18 semi-circular hood on curved brackets. The west cross wing has a Venetian window on the upper storey and a double-hung sash window with glazing bars on the ground storey. The centre block and west wing are faced in plaster. The east front has exposed timber-framing with brick nogging. The courtyard has an 8-light window. The hall interior has a tie-beam with arched braces and a king post. The panelled dining room has richly carved and moulded beams and there are some traces of C15 colour decoration. A solar above the dining room has a boarded roof with curved arched braces on corbels carved as human figures. Roofs tiled (S1).

2014 Eavesdropper Newsletter: The building faced the market place to the north and consisted of open hall flanked by a service cross wing and a parlour. The 13th century cross wing is amonthy the oldest two-storey, timber-framed, and jettied structures in the country, part of the original aisle hall build. The current hall and parlour cross wing were rebuilt on the same site circa 1410. At the beginning of the 16th century a new rear parlour and solar was inserted in the middle of the 15th century parlour wing. Concurrently a new range was added to the rear of the 13th century wing, which appears to have bene used as a commercial dye house. Alston Court is the rich collection of heraldic glass in its windows. There are two main sets of arms in the windows of Alston Court, one consists of five shields on the south side of the hall and seems to relate to the family of Gilbert Ha(u)ltoft of Outwell in Cambs. The other is larger and consits of 26 shilds in the hall, the rear parlour and on the staircase that illustrate the family alliances of the Payn family of Roudham (S2).

Sources/Archives (2)

  • <S1> Digital archive: English Heritage. Listed Buildings Online. List entry Number: 1033571.
  • <S2> Article in serial: Mckechnie, I., Alston, L. and Martin, Edward.. Summer 2014. Visit to Alston Court, Nayland and The Heraldic Glass in Alston Court, Eavesdropper Newsletter, No. 50, pp.12-15.

Finds (1)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (0)

Record last edited

Jan 11 2018 1:46PM

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