A threshing barn of 1822, with an adjoining contemporary cart lodge and granary to the west.
Reason for Listing
The barn, cart lodge and granary at Hawkins Farm, Mendlesham Green, Suffolk, dating to the early-C19, are listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons.
* Architectural Interest: the barn, granary and cart lodge are little altered examples of early-C19 agricultural buildings, which are increasingly rare nationally;
* Interior: the barn retains an unusual and distinctive roof structure to the outer bays, a gault brick threshing floor and a rare ochre inscription on a purlin by the carpenter who built the barn, dating to 1822;
* Historic interest: the construction of the barn and the carpenter's inscription attests to the agricultural traditions of East Anglia and provide a rare insight to social historical aspects of the time;
* Cart lodge and granary: both are contemporary with the barn and survive well. The granary retains some internal features.
* Group Value: the barn, cart lodge and granary have group value with the listed farmhouse;
* Cattleshed: C20 stabling to the south of the barn and C20 lean-to additions to the barn and cart lodge do not have architectural interest from a national perspective.
The steading at Hawkins Farm is of uncertain origins, but the farmhouse dates to the C16 with C18 additions.
The barn is firmly dated to 1st August 1822 by a carpenters’ inscription in red ochre on a roof purlin in the barn (see details) after a fire destroyed its predecessor. Alston opines that the earlier barn may have been destroyed during agrarian discontent following the falling grain prices and wages after the high values of the Napoleonic Wars. The raising of the barn on 1st August, the feast of Lammas which marked the beginning of harvest, may fit with the traditional date for frame raising. The carpenters could join the harvest thereafter.
It is probable that the cart lodge and granary are contemporary with the barn. They are clearly depicted on the tithe map of 1839 which indicates that the farm was owned by Richard Hawkins at that time and occupied by Robert Kersey who lived at Kersey’s Farm to the north. The farmhouse is shown as subdivided into a pair of cottages. The current footprint of the barn is similar to that on the tithe map, although a structure projecting from the south elevation at the east end is no longer extant. In the barn, other alterations include the C20 renewal of the timber cross frame in the apex of the east gable end and the insertion of additional members to support the earlier frame. Some of the weatherboard cladding on all elevations is of a later date. The lean-to attached to the south of the barn has some replacement roof timbers and, to the east of the porch, is a small late-C20 addition.
The cart lodge and granary above are contemporary with the barn; elements of the brick plinth, bridging beams and wall posts have been renewed. A small, C20 addition is attached to the rear elevation.
A threshing barn of 1822, with an adjoining contemporary cart lodge and granary to the west. A lean-to loose box is attached to the south elevation of the barn.
The barn and adjoining cart lodge and granary have softwood timber frames, weatherboard cladding and pantile-covering to the roofs.
The barn has a centrally placed threshing floor accessed by full-height doors through the midstrey to the south (front) which are opposite a lower pair of doors in the north elevation. The cart lodge has a granary above.
The seven-bay barn has a softwood timber frame resting on a red brick plinth of approximately 10 courses, the plinth being painted over on the rear elevation. The gable roof has red pantile covering and wide barge boards. The exterior is clad with coated, softwood weatherboard which is mostly C19 in date; the cladding has been renewed at the east gable end apex and in patches on the north elevation. Uncoated weatherboard is exposed at the west end of the barn, where it meets with the cart lodge and at the south elevation where it has been protected by the lean-to loose box. The main entrance into the barn is at the south elevation through a projecting midstrey; the double doors are patched but retain C19 strap hinges. The opposite doors in the rear elevation have many repairs but also retain strap hinges. The north, east and west elevations of the barn are blind, with the exception of a loading hatch high in the wall at the east end and the lowered double doors at the north elevation, and a pedestrian door at the south-west corner of the barn leading into the east bay of the cart lodge.
The cart lodge of one storey with an attic granary is open fronted to the south and has a hipped roof with pantile covering over a weatherboard soffit. The lodge comprises two full size bays and a narrower stair bay at the east end leading to the granary above. Similar to the barn, the timber frame rests on a red brick plinth of about 15 courses, which has been renewed in places. At the rear elevation is a C20 lean-to covered with corrugated metal.
The timber frame of the barn is constructed from softwood and survives largely intact with the exception of the upper east gable end. It is of a light scantling, and nailed in place rather than jointed. The threshing floor bay is defined by principal rafter trusses with tie beams, but the outer bays to the east and west have an unusual arrangement of the principal rafters linked to the collars and wall posts with bolted knee-braces, negating the necessity for tie beams, thus allowing greater headroom. Alston records an inscription in red ochre on the southern purlin at its west end in the eastern part of the barn; this was not observed by English Heritage owing to the poor light. The inscription is said to read:
'JOHN OTTEWILL MENDLESHAM, AUGUST 1 1822. AGED 39 YEARS. THIS BARN WAS RAIS’D AUGUST 1 1822. THE FIRE IN THESE PREMISES WAS JUNE 8 1822. BUILDER BETTS FROM STOWMARKET. LONG LIVE FRIENDS.’
According to the tithe map, the writer of the inscription, John Ottewill, rented a cottage and yard in the village in 1839 and Betts was listed as a joiner and builder in Stowmarket in White’s edition of 1844.
The threshing floor is covered with gault brick in a herringbone pattern, but on either side are concrete floors. A C19 grain bin is in the midstrey, but other loose boxes are all C20.
The open bays of the cart lodge are supported by arcade posts, the central line of which are C20 replacements, and bolted knee-braces. The floor frame for the granary comprises bridging beams secured with reversed knee braces to the wall posts; additional C20 supports have been added to the structure. The roof is said to comprise a ridge piece, clasped purlins and nailed collars. The grain bins of the granary have been removed, but elements of the iron gearing and a pulley wheel, and a boarded grain bin are apparent on the ground floor of the east bay. Contemporary elm weatherboard is retained on the east side, carved with the initials ‘F E 1874’. A door into the barn appears contemporary.
To the west of the midstrey is a lean-to loose box, probably contemporary to the barn, but greatly altered in the C20. It retains crudely finished tie beams and a replaced roof structure above.
The cattle shed and C20 stabling to the south of the barn, the C20 office attached to the front elevation of the barn and C20 lean-to attached to the rear of the cart lodge do not have special architectural and historic interest.
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.