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Primrose Cottage and Tudor Beams, Hitcham

Description: Primrose Cottage and Tudor Beams

Grade: II
Date Listed: 10 July 1980
English Heritage Building ID: 276532

OS Grid Reference: TL9873951974
OS Grid Coordinates: 598739, 251974
Latitude/Longitude: 52.1303, 0.9022

Location: 3 The Causeway, Hitcham, Suffolk IP7 7NE

Locality: Hitcham
Local Authority: Babergh District Council
County: Suffolk
Country: England
Postcode: IP7 7NE

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Listing Text

A pair of timber-framed, thatched cottages, probably built in the C18.

MATERIALS: Timber-framed, rendered building under a thatched roof which sweeps down to ground floor level, with a scalloped ridge and central, red-brick, ridge stack. Late C20 brick extensions, mostly rendered, with tile-covered roofs.

PLAN: One storey plus attic. Long rectangular plan divided into four irregular bays with late C20, single-storey extensions to the sides and rear.

EXTERIOR: The irregular fenestration has a predominantly horizontal emphasis, consisting of C20 timber or metal casements, with a modern, flat-roofed dormer in the second bay and a gabled dormer in the third bay. On the rear elevation to the left of the chimney stack is a gabled dormer, and to the right a flat-roofed, dormer-like projection which houses a cupboard. There is a modern, red-brick entrance porch on the south gable end, and a gabled and thatched entrance porch in the fourth bay.

INTERIOR: Both cottages retain their basic two-unit plan with the late-C20 extensions to the sides and rear providing additional accommodation. It is less clear to what extent the front, rear and cross frames of Primrose Cottage have survived. Three studs are visible in the north party wall at attic level, and both the front and rear wall plates have survived, the latter interrupted by the insertion of the staircase. The original rafters, which are of a consistent scantling, and the wattle and daub panels have survived, except where the front dormer and rear cupboard have been inserted. The extent of the survival of the timber framing of Tudor Beams Cottage is much more evident. The front and rear frame, the north cross frame, and the ground-floor bay division are all intact. The east sill beam and the north-east and north-west wall posts are exposed but the other wall posts and the west sill beam are not visible. In the floor frame the bridging beam has been reinforced with steel, and some of the joists have been replaced; some have roll mouldings which may have been carved after their initial construction. In the roof, the rafters and purlins have survived, except for where they have been interrupted by the insertion of dormers on the east and west sides. The wall plates and the north gable end are exposed but most of the south gable end is obscured by the brick smoke hood. The apex of the roof has been covered over.

The late C20, single-storey extensions to the sides and rear do not contribute to the special architectural and historical interest of the cottages.

HISTORY: The building pre-dates 1771, as it is mentioned in a title deed from that year, and is likely to have been built in the C18. It is not clear if it was constructed as a single dwelling or two cottages but it is shown as two dwellings on the Ordnance Survey map of 1885. It is likely that they were constructed as a pair of two-unit cottages of one-storey plus an attic, sharing a central chimney. Both cottages have since been altered and extended. In 1970 a single-storey extension was added to the rear of Primrose Cottage to provide three additional rooms. A porch has been built onto the south gable end, and a straight flight of stairs has been inserted between the two front rooms, cutting into the rafters on the west pitch. The bridging beam and joists are modern replicas; the fireplace and doors have been replaced; and all the windows are C20 timber or metal casements. Tudor Beams Cottage has also been extended with the addition in the late 1970s/1980s of an entrance porch and single-storey extensions to the side and rear. The main beam in the front south room is steel encased in wood; the fireplace has been rebuilt; and all the doors and windows replaced.

The pair of cottages, probably constructed in the C18 before 1771, is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural interest: this single-phase building is a typical example of a pair of small, C18, two-unit cottages, demonstrating the construction and craftsmanship of late timber-framing
* Survival of historic fabric: despite the C20 alterations and extensions, a significant proportion of the original fabric survives, particularly in Tudor Beams Cottage in which the timber framing is visibly extensive.

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.