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Seckford Hall, Great Bealings

Description: Seckford Hall

Grade: II*
Date Listed: 16 March 1966
English Heritage Building ID: 285439

OS Grid Reference: TM2525348366
OS Grid Coordinates: 625253, 248366
Latitude/Longitude: 52.0878, 1.2865

Location: Great Bealings, Suffolk IP13 6NU

Locality: Great Bealings
Local Authority: Suffolk Coastal District Council
County: Suffolk
Country: England
Postcode: IP13 6NU

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Listing Text

TM 24 NE
(South Side)
5/75 Seckford Hall
G.V. II*
Hotel, formerly country house. c.1553 for Thomas Seckford with C19 and C20
additions and alterations. Red English bond brick with a plain tile roof.
Two storeys with basement and attic. Entrance front: of 7 bays near-
symmetrically disposed. Porch bay at centre with polygonal buttresses to
either side. These have a projecting plinth, common to the whole of the
front, and rise to terminate in mace finials of moulded brick. Central
plank door to the ground floor with the original iron door furniture. Set
in a cavetto and ovolo-moulded brick surround. Moulded rectangular
surround beyond this and pediment above of moulded bricks. String course
at the level of the sill of the first floor windows which is of 3 lights
with ovolo-moulded surround and mullions and a transom. Further string
course above this with a pediment. Battlemented parapet above with saddle
back coping. To right of the central bay are 2 bays which each have a 3-
light basement window with chamfered surrounds, that at left having lost
one mullion, with ovolo-moulded surrounds and hood moulds with label stops.
To the ground floor are similar 4-light windows and to the first floor at
left is a 3-light window with mullions and transom and to right two cross-
windows divided by a king mullion with continuous hood mould. Two stepped
gables above this with saddleback copings and a 2-light window to each
gable. Between these bays is a lead rain water head showing the Seckford
and Mackford coats of arms in relief with a C20 lead down pipe and to right
is a similar rain water head and pipe. To left of the central bay are two
bays, that at left being originally the staircase light of 2 storeys height
and formed of four cross windows divided by a king mullion and king
transom. To right of this at ground floor level is a 4-light window with
ovolo-moulded surround and hood mould and above this is a 3-light window
with ovolo-moulded mullions and transom. Crow-stepped gables above these
bays with 2 two-light windows and saddleback coping as at right. The
lateral bays project slightly and have octagonal buttresses to their
corners which diminish via an offset between the ground and first floors.
These bays have four-light ground floor windows with pediments, 3-light
similar windows to the first floor and 2-light similar windows to the
attic, all having ovolo-moulded surrounds. Crow-stepped gables above with
flat tops and mace finials of moulded brick above the polygonal buttresses.
To the ridge at right and left of centre are cross-axial chimney stacks
which have square bases supporting octagonal chimney shafts with moulded
caps and bases. To right and before ridge level is an C18 or C19
rectangular stack and to the roof of the right hand gable wing is a cross-
axial stack with rectangular body supporting 4 octagonal flues with moulded
bases but having lost their caps. Right hand side: imposed doorway at far
left with flat arched head above which is a 3-light window to the first
floor with chamfered surround. To right of this is a slightly projecting
gabled bay with octagonal buttresses to the corners with mace finials of
moulded brick as seen on the entrance front. This has at ground floor
level a substantial projecting wing of C20 date the flat roof of which
forms a balcony to the first floor windows which have a doorway at right
and a cross window at left, both of C20 date but set in the older window
surrounds. The gable which is crow-stepped with saddle back coping holds a
2-light C20 window set in older hollow-chamfered surround. To the re-
entrant angle at right of this is a turret with one first floor casement.
This has rendered walling to its lower body and a brick kneeler and crow-
stepped gable with saddle-back coping. To right of this at ground floor
level are 3 recessed bays. These have a 2-light window at left, fitted
with C20 mahogany windows, set in an earlier surround with hood mould
above. To right is a C20 cross window with flat head. A continuous hood
mould joins this to the central window which is of 3 lights with C20
chamfered ashlar surround set within an earlier hollow chamfered surround
and brick mullions and to left of this is a 3-light C20 window with lowered
sill which appears however to be set within an earlier opening. To the
attic are flat-roofed dormer windows, that at right of 4-lights and that at
left of 3-lights. To right again is a further projecting turret with first
floor window, kneeler and crow-stepped gable as has that to left. This has
a polygonal buttress to the right hand corner with mace finial of rubbed
brick. Extending at right is a C20 addition in a Tudor style with randomly
distributed fenestration, above which is a further dormer window of 8
lights. The left hand face is almost entirely of C20 date and has C20
fenestration. Doorway at right and to left a cross window and to the first
floor are two 2-light windows. Projecting at left of this is a bay with
polygonal buttresses to the corners having two cross windows to the ground
and first floors and a stepped gable above. The buttresses terminate in
ball finials. To left again a slight recessed portion with, at right, a
projecting ground floor bay with cross window and brick parapet above this
with saddle back coping. To left of this is one 4-light window. To the
first floor at right a door and cross window and at left one 3-light
window. Rear: recessed central range with projecting wings at either side.
The recessed centre is of 5 bays and has at its centre a doorway with
round-headed arch and moulded brick surround with ashlar springers. This
has ashlar pilasters at either side with cabled flutings standing on
panelled plinths which are weathered. The entablature above has metopes
with shields and triglyphs with guttae. The first floor window is of 3
lights with moulded mullions and transom and ovolo moulded surround. To
either side of this are fluted pilasters with moulded bases and resting on
moulded plinths with diamond panels but without capitals, (the brickwork
above this level having been disturbed). Below the first floor window is a
rectangular ashlar panel showing a coat of arms with foliage and tassels.
The walling at right of centre appears to have been largely rebuilt, having
larger bricks of a different colour and perhaps of C19 or C20 date. To
left at ground floor level is a hall window formed of 4 windows of 3x4
lights, the lower two lights divided from the upper 2 by a king transom and
all having an ovolo moulded surround. At right of this is a stretch of
walling bearing a C20 lead downpipe with a C16 rainwater-head with coat of
arms and at right of that a further hall window, similar to the staircase
window on the entrance front, that is four cross windows divided by a king
mullion and king transom. To left of the central doorway is one 4-light
ground floor window with ovolo-moulded surround and to the first floor
above this are 2 cross windows set in a recessed portion of walling all
with ovolo-moulded surrounds and with a cambered relieving arch above. To
far left is a C20 glazed door with overlight and a 2-light first-floor
window. the projecting wing at right has, to its inner flank, a 3-light
window with ovolo moulded surround above which is a pediment of moulded
brick. Dividing the ground from the first floor is a string course of
moulded brick and on this rests the first floor window which is of 3 lights
with an ovolo moulded surround. To right of this is a C20 portion in Tudor
style which has a doorway set in a recessed portion of walling with a
panelled door and projecting gabled wing at right of this with 3-light
ground floor window with pediment, and a 2-light window to the first floor,
the 2 floors divided by a string course. The left hand wing has a 3-bay
symmetrical arrangement to its inner-facing flank at right with a doorway
at centre which has a round arch, ashlar springers and fluted and coupled
pilaster at either side resting on panelled plinths. Pediment above this
with brick frieze to which have been applied triglyphs, guttae and shields.
Pediment above this of moulded brick with ball finials at either side and
to the apex. To either side of this are 3-light windows with ovolo-moulded
surrounds and mullions and a transom with pediments above. To the first
floor, which is divided from the ground floor by a string course, are three
windows of 3-lights with ovolo-moulded surrounds. These three bays now
carry 2 hipped roofs but a drawing by Davy in the British Museum Print Room
shows each bay with a stepped gable. To left of these bays is a portion of
C20 walling which has a 3-light ground floor window with ovolo-moulded
surround and pediment above divided from the first floor by a string course
and a 3-light similar window to the first floor.

Interior: the building has been greatly restored this century, but the
plan and features of the interior have been greatly altered in the process.
Close studded walling survives in one first floor bedroom with tension
braces and chamfered ceiling beams and further close studding in the walls
of the present bar area. A staircase of two flights with a quarter turn,
turned balusters, heavy moulded handrail and square newels with ball
finials and apparently of early C18 date has been removed from its former
position. The hall has been divided by an inserted floor and the early
Renaissance screen which had Roman Doric columns with cabling has been
removed and replaced by a Perpendicular ecclesiastical screen of early C16
date. Considerable quantities of planted materials have been used (the
present guidebook records that "Fifteen six-ton lorry loads of panelling,
ceilings, doors and carved beams went to the re-fitting of the Hall") and
considerable alterations have occurred since this re-fitting of after 1945.
Of the planted timbers the ceiling beams and joists in the hall are from
Beau Desert Manor, Staffordshire and the church screen, linenfold panelling
and panelled door with Renaissance profile medallions are all of high
quality. A portion of this building lies in Martlesham C.P.

SOURCES: Michael Bunn, A Short History of Seckford Hall and the
Seckford Family
Avery Tipping, English Homes: Period III, Vol. 1, 1922
Eric Sandon, Suffolk Houses, 1977

Listing NGR: TM2525348366

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.