Building record KSY 051 - Green Gables
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|Grid reference||Centred TM 0005 4402 (10m by 15m)|
|Civil Parish||KERSEY, BABERGH, SUFFOLK|
Type and Period (1)
Grade II-listed timber-framed and thatched house. The building faces the medieval market place of Kersey, which was a highly successful cloth manufacturing town until its decline in the 15th century. This decline has led to the survival of an unusual number of 14th century structures of which Green Gables is one of oldest and finest. The current property was a pair of labourers’ cottages in the 19th century and combines two medieval houses, with the early-14th century service cross-wing of a demolished high-status merchant’s house on the left (south), a rebuilt 17th century hall in the centre, and a late-14th century low-status service cross-wing of just 11.5 feet in width on the right. The neighbouring property on the right also consists of a rebuilt hall and a 14th century service cross-wing to form a rare pair of adjoining ‘two-cell’ tenements. The large southern cross-wing preserves a number of exceptional features including a pair of durn service doors with two-centred arches and evidence of hood mouldings facing its missing hall, along with multiple wall bracing and two of the finest early-14th century crown-posts in East Anglia. These octagonal posts retain ovolo-moulded capitals and originally possessed four straight, square-sectioned braces of the most archaic form that indicate a date in the 1320s or 30s – ironically consistent with the 1334 date displayed on the external gable which appears to be a modern addition. Service wings were very rarely decorated and the three-bay solar here may have been designed for the commercial display and sale of cloth in a similar manner to the famous Dragon Hall in Norwich. An account of the market place in 1398 refers to a separate cloth hall that may have been built subsequently. A chimney stack was inserted between the two ground-floor service rooms in the 17th century and a section of late-16th or early-17th century wall painting incorporating panels of as yet undeciphered Gothic text was revealed during recent rebuilding work. Photographs of the mid-20th century show impressive 17th or 18th century pargeting with bold lozenge motifs to the front elevation but this was sadly lost during a restoration of the 1960s or 70s. Recent remedial work to the northern wing has involved the replacement of timbers that had previously been renewed in the 18th or 19th centuries, and the discovery of a section of re-used tenter frame, complete with tenter hooks, that provides a tangible link with Kersey’s cloth industry (S1).
- --- SSF59391 Unpublished document: Alston, L.. 2016. Historic Building Survey: Green Gables, Kersey.
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Record last edited
Sep 16 2022 12:24PM