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Brookes Farmhouse, Stisted

Description: Brookes Farmhouse

Grade: II
Date Listed: 23 June 1986
English Heritage Building ID: 116321

OS Grid Reference: TL8130726118
OS Grid Coordinates: 581307, 226118
Latitude/Longitude: 51.9041, 0.6341

Location: Stisted, Essex CM77 8BA

Locality: Stisted
Local Authority: Braintree District Council
County: Essex
Country: England
Postcode: CM77 8BA

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Listing Text

(north-west side)

2/302 Brookes Farmhouse
23.6.86 (formerly listed as
Brooks Farmhouse)


House. C15 and early C16, altered in later C16, C17, C18 and C20. Timber
framed, plastered, roofed with handmade red plain tiles. Comprises (1) an early
C16 2-bay hall range facing SE, with internal stack at right end against front
wall (the latter rebuilt in 1986), (2) a C15 3-bay service crosswing to right,
extending to the rear, with an internal stack at rear left (the latter rebuilt
in 1986), (3) a C17 one-bay extension to rear of it, substantially wider than
the crosswing, (4) a C20 single-storey extension to rear of it, (5) a C17 stair
tower to rear right of the hall range, (6) a C20 extension to left of it, (7) an
early C16 3-bay parlour/solar crossing to left of the hall range, extending to
the rear, (8) an C18 external stack to left of the middle bay of this wing,
partly rebuilt in 1986, enclosed by an C18 single-storey lean-to extension, (9)
a C20 extension to rear of this crosswing. 2 storeys. 3-window range of C20
casements. C20 door at front of C20 gabled porch. The roof of the hall range
oversails both crosswings to form a gablet at each end. The hall range has been
much altered, but originally was 3.35 metres high to the wallplates, with jowled
posts and curved braces trenched outside the studding, with a cross-entry at the
right end, now blocked by the stack. The jointing for an arched doorhead at the
front remains. The walls have been raised approximately one metre in the C18
with primary straight bracing and much renewed studding, and the roof rebuilt
with a ridge, retaining some smoke-blackened rafters with trenches for collars.
The mid-C16 inserted floor comprises a transverse beam, 2 joggled longitudinal
bridging beams, and square joists, all chamfered with step stops. The right
bridging beam is offset to the rear, and there is no original jointing for
joists in front of it, forming a large aperture which apparently was framed
round a pre-existing timber chimney, which left the cross-entry unobstructed. A
brick chimney was inserted c.1600, set further to the right to block the
cross-entry, and the remaining aperture was filled by joists of vertical section
supported at the front on pegged clamps. The right crosswing comprises 2 bays
of normal size and a rear bay 1.22 metres long, designed as a smoke bay. Jowled
posts, curved braces trenched outside heavy studding, originally jettied to the
front; the upper storey has been cut back to align with the lower, and the
gabled altered to a hip, probably in the C18. Diamond mortices and shutter
grooves for unglazed windows in the right wall (2 at each storey, but
replacement of part of one girt in 1986 has destroyed the evidence of one
ground-floor window). Edge-halved and bridled scarfs in wallplates. Plain
joists of horizontal section, longitudinal in front bay to support the former
jetty, transverse in middle bay, jointed to the binding beam with unrefined
soffit tenons. Blocked stair trap in middle bay. Rear bay originally open from
ground to roof. Crownpost roof with axial braces of shallow curvature, the
collar-purlin terminating at the crownpost in front of the smoke bay, heavily
smoke-blackened throughout, indicating that the smoke bay was vented to both
ends of the roof. The inserted stack later replaced this arrangement. The C17
extension to rear has primary straight bracing and a clasped purlin roof. The
left crosswing has jowled posts, curved bracing trenched outside heavy studding,
edge-halved and bridled scarfs in both wallplates, chamfered posts and
wallplates with step stops. One complete unglazed window survives at the rear
of the ground floor, with 3 diamond mullions set in a cross-member below the
girt. Diamond mortices and shutter grooves of others at side and rear.
Evidence of former doorway from hall to rear bay, with mortice for draught
screen, and large-diameter pegs for former fixed bench in hall. Plain joists of
horizonal section (with modern chamfers) jointed to binding beams mainly with
unrefined soffit tenons, but in the front bay and around the framed stair trap
in the rear bay soffit tenons with diminished haunches are used. The
combination of both forms of jointing in the same floor structure is rare or
unique, but both are original, which suggests a date of construction soon after
1510, when the newer form was superseding the older (C.A. Hewett, English
Historic Carpentry, 1980, 279, 281-2, 287). The carpenter's assembly marks on
the joists are in the Brentwood or cellular system (D.H. Scott, Brentwood
Marking, Historic Buildings in Essex 3, November 1986, 22-3), from I to IIII in
the front bay, V to VIII in the middle bay, VIIII to XII in the rear bay. Both
internal tiebeams are cambered, chamfered with step stops, with mortices for 2
braces to the front tiebeam and one to the rear; the latter has inserted
studding. Crownpost roof, now hipped at the front, with a gablet hip at the
rear, hip rafters missing. One axial brace to the collar purlin in the middle
bay, now matched by a C20 inserted brace; there are no mortices for other
braces. This wing was formerly jettied to the front, cut back in the C18; some
evidence of a former oriel below the jetty. In a major restoration of 1986-7
all groundsills and footings have been renewed, unstable stacks partly or wholly
rebuilt, some re-used timber introduced to repair or complete the frame, and all
external surfaces renewed. See measured drawings by Richard Shackle of Essex
Historic Buildings Group, deposited with National Monuments Record and Essex
Record Office. RCHM 3.

Listing NGR: TL8130726118

This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.

Source: English Heritage

Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.