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Description: Nizels Cottage
Date Listed: 20 October 1954
English Heritage Building ID: 179594
OS Grid Reference: TQ5461950451
OS Grid Coordinates: 554619, 150451
Latitude/Longitude: 51.2323, 0.2133
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HILDENBOROUGH NIZELS LANE (west side)
TQ 55 SW
1/161 Nizels Cottage
House. Circa late C15/early C16 with circa mid C17 alterations, C20 rear
addition. Framed construction, the ground floor with brick infill of various
dates, the first floor tile-hung; peg-tile roof; brick stacks.
Plan and Development: A south-facing house of the Wealden type. The original
arrangement was an open hall in the centre flanked by jettied, storeyed ends
with a through passage entrance within the lower (east) end. The lower end,
beyond the passage, was divided between 2 service rooms, presumably buttery
and pantry. The lower end is jettied to the front only, the higher end both
on the front and left (west) return. A newel stair to the first floor of the
lower end may be original. The hall was floored over the circa mid C17 with
an axial stack inserted, backing on to the passage. Later alterations
involved the removal of the lower side passage partition, the partition
between buttery and pantry and the addition of a lower end fireplace back-to-
back with the hall fireplace. The higher end ground floor room was divided
into 2, with a left (west) end stack added, heating the front (south) room.
Some of these alterations may be associated with the subdivision of the house
into 3 cottages for which there is evidence in a circa 1900 photograph in the
possession of the owners. A late C20 single-storey kitchen wing has been
added to the rear of the higher end, at right angles, and a late C20 straight
flight stair introduced into the hall against the higher end partition.
Exterior: 2 storeys. Slightly asymmetrical 3-window front, jettied to left
and right with, over the hall, a flying bressumer with braces of massive
scantling and intact coving. Roof hipped and gabletted at ends. C20 plank
door into the hall to left of centre. The original entrance to the former
passage, below the right hand jetty, is blocked but preserves its chamfered
oak lintel. C20 timber casements of 2-, 4- and 6-lights. The dragon beam at
the front left corner is supported on a massive brace with a shallow moulded
capital below the springing. The axial hall stack has a handmade brick shaft
and moulded cap. On the rear elevation the position of the rear doorway to
the through passage is visible in the framing.
Interior: The hall has a large C17 open fireplace with stone jambs and a
moulded chamfered oak lintel. The C17 ceiling is supported on a longitudinal
chamfered beam with step jewel stops and chamfered joists. The late medieval
framing of the higher end partition is exposed. It forms an impressive design
of massive scantling with tension braces. An order of reeded moulding,
matching the fireplace lintel, has been added to the middle rail. The ground
floor higher end room has a dragon beam, the joists concealed, and is divided
by a secondary framed partition. The lower end ground floor room has exposed
ceiling carpentry with original late medieval joists. The positions of the
former lower side passage partition and the partition between buttery and
pantry are evident from redundant mortises. A chamfered lintel with step
stops half way down the former passage indicates a former doorway. An oak
newel stair rises against the rear wall, aligned with the inserted stack,
giving access to the first floor of the lower end, which preserves the
evidence of former windows with sliding shutters. The higher end chamber
preserves a late medieval unglazed 4-light window with oak stanchions, blocked
externally, on the rear (north) wall, with evidence of a similar window in the
framing of the front wall. C16 and C17 wide oak floorboards survive
throughout the first floor.
Roof: Although not entirely complete the late Medieval crown post roof
survives, heavily smoke-blackened over the hall. The lower and higher end
partitions are also heavily sooted, each with a crown post buried in them.
Each crown post has a plain top and was originally braced 4 ways with up
braces to the collar purlin and cranked braces down to the tie-beam. The
collar purlin has been replaced although a stub of the original survives
towards the lower end partition, truncated by the insertion of the hall stack
which projects through the roof to one side of the ridge. The common rafter
collars have lap dovetail joints, the pair of raffters in the centre of the
hall is missing.
A well-preserved Wealden house, most of the medieval frame and roof intact,
with a good interior.
Listing NGR: TQ5452650091
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.