Building record PLS 061 - Thatchers House, Bower House Tye

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Mid 17th century timber-framed house


Grid reference Centred TL 9865 4074 (15m by 20m)
Map sheet TL94SE


Type and Period (1)

Full Description

Thatchers House adjoins the southern edge of a small medieval green or tye that was enclosed in 1817 and now forms part of the property’s front garden. The timber-framed building forms a typical three-cell farmhouse of the mid-17th century with a central hall flanked on the left (east) by a parlour and on the right by a single service room. It contains unusual evidence of an original lobby entrance and is listed at grade II under its previous name, ‘Bower Close’. The building was restored in the Mock Tudor style in the 1930s by R.A.N. Dixon, editor of the East Anglian Magazine, who would have been responsible for stripping what was probably the original render from the front elevation to expose the frame and for adding the present casement windows and porch (which consists largely of re-used 16th century ceiling joists). In 1968 the house was severely damaged by a fire that started in its thatched roof, and a newspaper report of the time refers to a ‘gutted’ building with ‘very little’ left standing except the ‘outer walls and the chimney stack’. The ensuing restoration was of exceptionally high quality and was able to retain a high proportion of the original fabric, including a complete ceiling of plain joists in the hall. Charred sections of the roof-plates and first-floor studs have been skilfully disguised with limewash. The axial chimney retains all four of its 17th century fireplaces along with extensive traces of original red-ochre decoration to its brickwork. The restoration included the replacement of the thatch with peg-tiles and the raising of the eaves by approximately 18 inches, along with the addition of a large new rear wing with a full complement of sash windows in the Georgian style. The rear wall of the hall and service bays had been rebuilt in brick during the 19th century and contains a genuine sash window that now opens onto a narrow glazed conservatory designed in 1968 to link the rear wing to the modern kitchen in the service bay (S1).

Sources/Archives (1)

  • --- Unpublished document: Alston, L.. 2016. Heritage Asset Assessment: Thatchers House, Bower House Tye, Polstead.

Finds (0)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

Record last edited

Jul 25 2019 1:55PM

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