Building record LVM 123 - Balsdon Hall, Bridge Street Road

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Grade-II listed timber-framed 17th century farmhouse


Grid reference Centred TL 8988 4842 (21m by 21m)
Map sheet TL84NE


Type and Period (1)

Full Description

The timber-framed and rendered house was built in two phases during the mid-17th century and reflects the standard layout of its period with a central hall flanked by a chimney and parlour to the right and cross-passage and service bay on the left. The proportions of these domestic rooms are modest, as befits a tenanted farm, and the building’s abnormal length of almost 70 feet (21 m) relates to an original in-line kitchen beyond the service bay that was directly linked to the cross-passage. The kitchen chimney was unusually placed inside the front wall, perhaps to avoid a rear wing shown on 19th century maps but since demolished. Part of the remaining rear lean-to may be original to the house, but most was added later as it blocks an original diamond-mullioned window on the first floor. The parlour and chimney bays consist almost entirely of re-used timber and were probably built against an earlier hall in circa 1640, with the rest of house rebuilt in turn a decade or two later – re-using a series of soot-encrusted rafters that may (or may not) have been salvaged from a late medieval open hall in the same position. This second phase incorporates nailed wall braces and tall-sectioned ceiling joists in the typical manner of the 1660s and 70s. The external proportions of the main building have remained completely unaltered since the 17th century, but a heavy restoration of the late-20th century included the addition of a substantial glazed conservatory to the front wall and a more modest lean-to conservatory to the kitchen gable. Other alterations included the insertion of a new brick floor in the kitchen on top of its previous floor, significantly reducing the height of its ceiling, and the complete concealment of its impressive fireplace behind kitchen units (S1).

Sources/Archives (1)

  • <S1> Unpublished document: Alston, L.. 2017. Heritage Asset Assessment: Balsdon Hall, Lavenham.

Finds (0)

Protected Status/Designation

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Related Events/Activities (1)

Record last edited

Jan 7 2020 2:43PM

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