Building record BIL 045 - Stair at Dower House 116 High Street
Please read our guidance about the use of Suffolk Historic Environment Record data.
|Grid reference||Centred TL 9928 4946 (13m by 13m)|
|Civil Parish||BILDESTON, BABERGH, SUFFOLK|
Type and Period (1)
Dower House occupies a narrow medieval burgage plot in a highly conspicuous position on Bildeston High Street at the eastern end of its market place. The property’s late Georgian facade conceals an early-17th century timber-framed structure of considerable historic interest, preserving a number of ovolo-moulded window mullions, a clasped-purlin roof with a full complement of wind-braces and a fine contemporary chimney with four octagonal shafts and original fireplaces on both floors. The chimney also serves a jettied cross-wing to the north (left) which appears to survive from the early-16th century and contained the parlour of the house, but now belongs in part to the neighbouring property at 118 High Street. The ground-floor room of Dower House formed a hall of two bays but was subdivided in the early-19th century when a service wing or bay to the right was probably demolished to create the present vehicle access. The ceiling incorporates re-used ogee-moulded joists that may well have been salvaged from an earlier hall on the site. The upper storey is reached by a rare contemporary stair tower in the angle of the parlour cross-wing behind the chimney, but the original newel stair was removed during the extensive late-Georgian refurbishment. It was replaced by a softwood staircase with a moulded hand rail, turned newel post and ‘stick’ balustrade of circa 1820 which rises to a spacious first-floor landing and affords access via a rear corridor to the various bedrooms. The boarded stair which continues to the attic storey dates from the same phase of refurbishment and consists of a mixture of oak, elm and deal planks confined behind a partition of re-used studs. The fashionable enlargement of the stair landing on the first floor confined it to an exceptionally small space against the rear gable of the stair tower and necessitated a steep pitch which, when combined with its narrow upper treads, is undoubtedly perilous. The boards of the lower steps have split and require replacement (S1).
- --- SSF58858 Unpublished document: Alston, L.. 2012. Historical Assessment: Stair at Dower House, 116 High Street, Bildeston.
- None recorded
Related Monuments/Buildings (0)
Related Events/Activities (1)
Record last edited
Feb 18 2019 3:35PM