Building record KSY 048 - Waterwell House, The Street

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A timber framed grade-II listed structure of the mid-14th century


Grid reference Centred TM 0003 4416 (14m by 20m)
Map sheet TM04SW


Type and Period (1)

Full Description

Waterwell House is a historically important timber-framed structure of the mid-14th century which illustrates the village’s heyday as a centre of woollen cloth production. The building probably represents a rare ‘two-cell’ urban tenement, with an open hall to the right and a sub-divided parlour bay containing a shop on the left, although neighbouring Eva’s Cottage, against which the hall is open-framed, may have been added as a service cross-wing at a later date. The hall was open to its roof in the manner of a barn and its intact roof of trussed rafters, which unusually lacked a crown-post, is still heavily encrusted with soot from its bonfire-like medieval open hearth. The present ceiling and chimney in this space were inserted in the late-16th and 17th centuries. The parlour bay contained a ceiling from the outset, with its joists jettied into the hall to create a rare ‘recessed high end’ with a projecting canopy above the high-end bench. The dais beam is among the best of its kind in the country, with two ovolo mouldings divided by a deeply cut cavetto moulding and run-out stops. The front wall was originally decorated with multiple bracing, much like the contemporary Bell Inn which also contains a recessed high end, and there is evidence of a shop façade in the parlour bay with a street door to its left. This parlour bay was extended by 3 feet in the mid-19th century, probably in 1847 or shortly before – the date incised into its upper gable alongside the name S. B. Vince. In 1839 Robert Vince was the tenant of the orchard to which the passage beside the house gave access. The 17th century chimney backs onto the original cross-passage and preserves two good fireplaces heating the hall and hall chamber. The hall fireplace re-uses a 16th century ogee-moulded lintel that may have been salvaged from an earlier chimney in the same position and retains a number of evil-averting symbols to protect the hearth. Complete 14th century tenements of this kind are rare survivals (S1).

Sources/Archives (1)

  • --- Unpublished document: Alston, L.. 2016. Historic Survey: Waterwell House, Kersey.

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Record last edited

Jul 4 2019 3:38PM

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