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Date Listed: 26 November 1953
English Heritage Building ID: 296876
OS Grid Reference: TQ4983635779
OS Grid Coordinates: 549836, 135779
Latitude/Longitude: 51.1017, 0.1387
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Former ironmaster's house, later farmhouse, now house. Mid C16 house, underbuilt in brickwork c1800 and with some circa 1911 reworking and refenestration and some later C20 refenestration. Timberframed building with plaster infilling, some sandstone and Flemish bond brickwork to the ground floor and tilehanging to gables, tiled roofs and brick chimneystacks. The plan form is a modified H-plan with double crosswings, Hall to centre and Hall Chamber on first floor.
EXTERIOR: North west or entrance front is of two storeys and attics three windows. It has a close-studded first floor with plastered infill and moulded bressumer to the jetty which has been underbuilt c1800 in Flemish bond brickwork with grey headers. The projecting end gables have tile-hung attics with small casement windows with leaded lights and the first floors have jowled corner posts. Ground and first floors have four or five-light wooden casements with leaded lights and the first floor has the outline of an original window. There are two doorcases with moulded wooden surrounds, the left side one flat-arched, the right side one segmental-headed with plank doors. The south west side is tile-hung on the first floor and brick to the ground floor and has one casement window with leaded lights on each floor. The principal feature is a large projecting external brick chimneystack with black diaper work and sandstone quoins and pair of ribbed brick chimneystacks. The south east front is of two storeys and attics with 3:6:3 windows, the upper floors tile-hung and the ground floor has some exposed timberframing although mostly it is of brick, but the ground floor of the side of the eastern gable is of sandstone. There is a central projecting sandstone chimneystack and projecting end gables, the western gable truncated from the original C16 plan in the C18 or C19 when the building became a farmhouse and this part of the building had collapsed by the date of the Tithe Map of 1843. All windows are wooden mullioned or mullioned and transomed casements. The eastern gable has a brick chimneystack across the apex. The north east front has a tile-hung first floor and brick ground floor with C20 gabled dormer and casement windows with leaded lights. There is a rainwater head dated 1737.
INTERIOR: Central ground floor room, original Hall has wide sandstone fireplace eroded on the left side by knife-sharpening and wooden bressumer bearing mark for the attachment of cooking crane. The south western ground floor room, originally the Parlour has a four-centred arched stone fireplace with plain spandrels and stops and chamfered ceiling beams. The south eastern ground floor room has C16 ceiling beams and an elaborate stone chimneystack with segmental arch with shell keystone. The carved overmantel has a coat of arms with a black lion on a gold background and shield with a gold dragon and the motto in old French "PAIS DE QUE DOIS ADVIENNE QUE POURRA". As this crest has no connection with the Baker family who built the house it was possibly brought in c1911. There are also some carved stone panels surrounding the south west facing window and the room is lined with early C20 plank panelling. A wide semi-winder oak staircase with plain handrail leads to the upper floors. The first floor has exposed timberframing including jowled cornerposts. The attic has a queenpost roof with purlins, original rafters and the central part of the attic has a number of curved tension braces.
HISTORY: Duckings was built by John Baker, a rich ironmaster and it is mentioned in his will dated 1555. It is likely to have been built as a private house, his business being carried out elsewhere as a 1574 return to the Crown of all the furnaces and forges worked in Sussex does not include Duckings. The Baker family married into the Sackville family (related to Anne Boleyn and later Earls of Dorset) and a 1597 terrier shows the property in the ownership of the Sackville family but leased out to a yeoman tenant. By an Article of Agreement of 1706 it is described as "Duckings Farm". The Hall family were tenant farmers and lived here between 1684 to 1910. In 1911 the Eighth Earl de la Warr sold Duckings to Clement Burnett Weir. His wife Helen Elizabeth laid out the gardens in an italianate style, which were further improved by the next owner captain Arthur Soames between 1934 and 1955.
A fine quality timberframed mid C16 ironmaster's house of modified half H plan with crosswings and good quality interior features.
[David Martin "An archaeological interpretative survey of Duckings House Withyham"
project reference 1328 University College London 2001.]
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.