Cottage, 1720, with later alterations.
Reason for Listing
Gray Thatch, a cottage of 1720 with later alterations, is listed at Grade II, for the following principal reasons: * Date: as an early C18 domestic building, dated 1720, retaining a great proportion of its historic fabric; * Architectural interest: as a small-scale vernacular cottage characteristic of the regional architectural tradition, and retaining its general plan, materials and joinery; * Fixtures and fittings: the attic contains an early example of a cast iron framed window, and the inserted lozenge-leaded windows on the ground floor illustrate the evolution of the building.
An inscription in the fireplace lintel provides the date of 1720 for Gray Thatch, a modest, vernacular cottage. It was initially configured with two rooms downstairs, the room heated by a stack on the east gable wall, with service rooms beneath a catslide roof on the north side, and two unheated rooms upstairs, only one of which was accessible via the steep winder stair; the other, a storeroom, is likely to have been accessed by a ladder. A doorway was inserted between the two, probably in the C19, creating two bedrooms. Downstairs, the two rooms have been opened up to create a single larger space. A second chimneystack was added to the exterior of the west elevation, probably in the C19; neither the fireplace nor chimneypiece survives.
Cottage, dated 1720, with later alterations.MATERIALS: brick and flint elevations, now (2014) rendered. A thatched roof with brick chimneystacks. PLAN: rectangular, and orientated roughly west to east, it is a one-and-a-half storey, two-cell plan, originally with a single internal chimney at the east end, and with an external stack added to the west in the C19, both of which heat only the ground floor rooms. Access to the attic is via a winder stair on the south of the east chimneystack. The front door is central on the south side, and there is an outshut to the north. EXTERIOR: the cottage faces roughly south. A central porch projects beneath a pitched, tiled roof with a crude timber awning above the front door. The return walls of the porch have oriels supported rudimentary brackets with leaded, timber-framed casement windows. There is a two-light lozenge-leaded casement window to either side of the porch on the ground floor. There is decorative timber framing to the upper part of the elevation, and an exposed post from the original frame on the left hand side. The half-hipped thatched roof has an eyebrow dormer on the right, with a C20 six-light timber casement with sloping fixed lights to either side. There is an internal brick stack at the east end of the half-hipped roof, and an external stack on the west end wall. The thatched roof of the north-facing rear continues as a catslide over the outshut, terminating at a low height. The wall itself is blind except for a small pair of casement windows on the left hand side; these are timber framed and leaded, each with six lights.
The east elevation has a small, metal-framed C20 window to the outshut, and is otherwise blind. The west elevation has an external chimneystack with a kink at first floor level, and a wide, shallow outshut that houses a water tank and boiler. There is a pair of C18 cast iron-framed casements, each with nine lights and narrow glazing bars, beneath the hip of the gable.
INTERIOR: the ground floor has a large chimneystack at the east end, the inglenook of which is infilled with brick but retains a timber bressumer with the faint inscription ‘1720’. There is a steep, timber winder stair on the right. There are four exposed transverse ceiling beams with shallow chamfers, and one modern reinforcing timber. The windows, C19 in style, retain C18 and C19 mismatched ironmongery. In the bathroom, at the east end of the outshut, is a pair of C19 casements. The ground floor has been dry-lined, and has a C20 timber floor and replacement doors. The C18 winder stair remains with most of its original joinery.
The attic rooms have uneven, lath and plaster ceilings lining the roof space, and wide floorboards. The timber framing of the dividing wall between the two rooms is exposed on the west side; the tie beam has been cut, and iron straps have been added to tie the beam onto timbers creating a crude architrave to the door. The door itself is plank and batten with strap hinges and reused historic ironmongery. In the west room there is a pair of casement windows in cast iron frames, likely to date from the C18.
SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: south of the cottage is a brick-lined well.
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.