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Ancient House, Debenham

Description: Ancient House

Grade: II*
Date Listed: 9 December 1955
English Heritage Building ID: 281495

OS Grid Reference: TM1736563241
OS Grid Coordinates: 617365, 263241
Latitude/Longitude: 52.2245, 1.1811

Location: Gracechurch Street, Debenham, Suffolk IP14 6RA

Locality: Debenham
Local Authority: Mid Suffolk District Council
County: Suffolk
Country: England
Postcode: IP14 6RA

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Listing Text

TM 16 SE
6/71 No.1 (Ancient House) &
9/12/55 No.3 (formerly listed
as Ancient House; Cottage
adjoining Ancient House on
W. side)


Hall, service rooms and kitchen of former inn, now 2 dwellings. Circa 1540.
Timber framed and plastered. Roof plaintiled to front and pantiled to rear.
2 storeys and attic. Continuous jetty to street on original brackets; only
the caps of the buttress-shafts remain. The mid rail beneath the jetty is
moulded. Good C18 mullion and transom windows with square-leaded glass, much
of it old. 2 ground floor windows have boarded or panelled shutters. To
extreme left, a small early C17 window with ovolo mullions and carved sill.
No.1 has a fine timber porch with brick nogging, the enriched tie beam dated
'T' over 'SF' (for Simon and Frances Tovell), JUNE 1638; overhanging gable on
carved brackets; ovolo-moulded entrance; intact turned balusters to one side
opening. Within, an ovolo doorframe and good plank door with panelled face,
both of 1638. These are set in the C16 cross-entry doorway with 4-centred
arch and well-preserved carved spandrels. No.3 has a boarded door. Internal
and gable stacks, both of c.1540; plain shafts, that to the internal stack
mainly of narrow red brick. Interior. No.1 comprises the hall and cross-
passage. Service doorways have carved spandrels, one incomplete. Against the
cross-passage is the original screen, heightened in early C17: moulded top
rail, hollow-moulded muntins; one wide 4-centre arched doorway, another
similar opening blocked by early C17. Side facing hall has an early C17 all-
over painted design of lozenges. Front wall of hall shows original brick
nogging. Hall ceiling has fully-moulded main beam (slightly mutilated) and
closely-set plain joists. Fine fireplace: moulded brick jambs, upper part of
moulded lintol, moulded square stuccoed surround. Above is a central pair of
niches with stepped heads and to each side a further niche with stuccoed 4-
centre arched head. Side of chimneybreast has 2 further niches; below is a
small C17 cupboard with original door. Brick archways between stack and side
walls, one incomplete: front doorway led to adjacent room, rear doorway led to
cellar. Brickwork has remains of red ochre wash and lining of joints. Behind
stack is an early C17 newel stair. Chimneybreast of upper room has
fragmentary late C16 painting: linked quatrefoils enclosing flowering plants,
probably roses. 2 contemporary inscriptions, including 'Let every man yn his
youth (?) obedient be Gydding hys household and family'. Early C17
overpainting of vertical panels resembling columns. Plastered ceiling with
simply-moulded surround. No.3 comprises the service rooms and kitchen beyond.
Kitchen has open fireplace with original lintol. Over service rooms is a
well-preserved original window with heavy square mullions. 2 blocked early
C17 windows. Continuous gallery at rear, at end of which is an original
doorway which led into a gardrobe. Several C16-C17 doors. Intact queen-post
roof over both occupations. For remainder of building see Items 6/l00 and
6/101. For drawing of whole structure see Mr T. Easton, Bedfield Hall.

Listing NGR: TM1736563241

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.