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A Grade II* Listed Building in Poling, West Sussex

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Latitude: 50.835 / 50°50'6"N

Longitude: -0.5148 / 0°30'53"W

OS Eastings: 504682

OS Northings: 104992

OS Grid: TQ046049

Mapcode National: GBR GKS.GPV

Mapcode Global: FRA 96TW.M82

Entry Name: Peckhams

Listing Date: 12 October 1954

Last Amended: 9 June 2014

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1217152

English Heritage Legacy ID: 298028

Location: Poling, Arun, West Sussex, BN18

County: West Sussex

District: Arun

Civil Parish: Poling

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Sussex

Church of England Parish: Poling

Church of England Diocese: Chichester

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A house formerly a farmhouse. The main western part was constructed circa 1405, alterations took place in 1650. Peckhams was re-fronted in the C18, when it was also extended to the east.


House, formerly a farmhouse. The main western part was constructed circa 1405, alterations took place circa 1650, the house being re-fronted in the C18 and also extended to the east. Many windows are C20 of various periods, some replaced after bomb damage. The central north extension was added in the 1960s or 1970s and is of lesser interest.

MATERIALS: timber-framed building, the western part re-fronted in brick with some tile-hanging above, the eastern part in flint with some brick lacing courses and dressings, and tile-hanging to the upper floor. Hipped roof with Horsham stone slabs to the lower part and plain tiles above. Three ridge chimneystacks and a flint and stone external chimneystack on the south side, incorporating a sandstone arch and reused Roman tiles.

PLAN: originally a three-bay medieval hall house, with a central open hall heated by a massive stone axial fireplace to the south, a solar to the west containing stairs to a chamber above and a service end to the east, possibly also with a chamber above. The open hall was possibly ceiled over in two phases, the eastern end possibly with a smoke bay in the mid-C16, and in the mid-C17 a brick chimneystack was inserted between the hall and solar, with hearths heating two rooms on each floor. The building was extended further to the east in the C18. An entrance hall with a staircase was added in the centre of the north side in the 1960s or 1970s.

EXTERIOR: the south, or garden, front-end bay is of un-knapped flint with some brick lacing courses, and has a cambered casement window on the ground floor altered from a doorcase. The next bay is also of un-knapped flint with a tripartite casement to each floor, cambered on the ground floor and with a cambered entrance to the left. The central bay has been faced in C20 brick in stretcher bond to the ground floor and is tile-hung above with a tripartite sash on the first floor and five-light ground floor casements. The penultimate bay to the west has a massive flint and stone axial chimneystack with a plinth, which has been broken through in the centre to reveal the sandstone cambered arch, with some reused Roman tiles between it and a relieving arch, and an eight-pane wooden sash window above. Below the arch, a C20 round-headed door flanked by round-headed arches has been inserted. The sides of the fireplace retain stones with holes to support racks for supporting cooking pots, courses of reused Roman tiles and an alcove, possibly seating, on the west side. The end bay is of brick.

The west side is clad in C18 brickwork in Flemish bond with grey headers, with a brick stringcourse, and a 10-pane first floor sash and tripartite ground floor sash, both with rubbed brick voussoirs.

The north side is of four bays with a projecting penultimate bay to the west. The west bay has a tile-hung first floor and brick ground floor in English bond, with a first floor casement and two ground floor sash windows, one tripartite. The adjoining projecting bay is a 1960s or 1970s extension with a tile-hung first floor and brick ground floor in Flemish bond, with a central entrance with a mid-C20 oak door under a flat wooden hood. The penultimate bay to the east has a flint-faced ground floor and tile-hung first floor with casement window to the first floor and a tripartite sash to the ground floor. The end bay and east side are constructed of flint and the east side has brick lacing courses.

INTERIOR: the kitchen has an open fireplace and axial beam with iron hooks. The timber-framed partition wall with a midrail, between the kitchen and the dining room, was the original eastern external wall. The dining room, originally the service end of the hall house, has a circa 1650 brick fireplace, two C20 linenfold panelled cupboards and a flagstone floor. The lounge, formerly the open hall, retains a circa 1405 bread oven with an arched stone opening and domed roof possibly of reused Roman tiles. The room has circa 1650 ceiling beams comprising two axial beams and chamfered floor joists and a large stone circa 1650 chimneypiece with a wooden bressumer. The adjoining study at the western end, originally the solar, has circa 1405 square section ceiling beams, a circa 1650 stone fireplace with a wooden bressumer and exposed wall frame. There is evidence for a trimmer and partitioning for stairs in the north-west corner.

Access to the first floor is now by means of a staircase in the C20 addition. The upstairs corridor has the external north wall frame exposed including jowelled bay posts and a midrail. The western bedroom, originally the chamber above the solar, has a circa 1650 stone fireplace and exposed wall frame with a midrail. The partition wall between this room and the next bedroom has very long diagonal braces and there is a further similar partition wall between this and the adjoining bedroom to the east. These would have been the partition walls to the open hall. The bedroom over the dining room has a similar circa 1650 brick fireplace, a spine beam with exposed floor joists and the wall frame has a midrail and retains a shutter groove. The wide oak floorboards have carpenters' marks. The rafters over the three 1405 bays are pegged and without a ridge board but of the original crown post roof only the two crown posts over the western solar end survive. The western one retains both down and up braces, the eastern one is missing an up brace. The roof over the open hall was later re-constructed with staggered butt purlins, reusing some of the earlier sooted rafters. The former service wing was reconstructed with clasped purlins but retains some sooted medieval rafters. At each end of this bay a pair of intact original collared rafters remain. The inserted chimneystack between the hall and solar is of flint with stone quoins and brick flues. The roof of the C18 eastern part of the house also contains reused rafters and ties but has raking struts and a ridgeboard.

SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: attached to the house on the west side is a late C18 or early C19 flint boundary and garden wall with curved coping. To the south-east of the house this is linked to an outbuilding of similar date constructed of flint and brick, replaced in brick on the east side, and with a gabled thatched roof. There is also a well with a circular sandstone parapet situated about two metres from the north side of the kitchen.


Timbers at Peckhams have been dendro-dated and have a felling date of 1405. The property is thought to have been built by James Knottesford who had a freehold at Poling described as 'four parts of a knight's fee' on the Fitzalan survey of 1400, held with Edward St. John. This freehold was amalgamated under the Knottesford family and later sold to the Covert family in 1485, by which time it consisted of three houses with 120 acres of land. When John Covert died in 1503 he was paying £4 a year to the Arundel estate for property in the manor of Poling.

The present name of the property is derived from the Peckham family, a family who had probably originated from East or West Peckham in Kent but had a presence in Poling from the 1660s. A sale document of 1714 refers to the 'meadows of Thomas Peckham gent. to the west'. The 1715 marriage settlement between Thomas Peckham and Elizabeth Dobell named Nicholas Sendall as tenant of the Poling property. In 1726, Elizabeth, now widowed, negotiated a thirteen year lease of Peckhams to John Wooldridge.

In 1796, the widow of John Peckham renewed the lease of the Poling property for fourteen years to James Short, who had been tenant since at least 1780, for £62 pa. It was described as having two tenements, three barns, two stables and outbuildings with 127 and a half acres. In 1838 the farm was just over 63 acres, following the sale of some land in 1829 to the Duke of Norfolk.

In 1828 Peckhams was bought at auction by Jeremiah Lear and this family continued to own the property until 1919, but it was occupied by tenant farmers. The 1838 Tithe Apportionment refers to a 'Farm House and Garden' and names Joseph Chatfield as the occupant. The head of the family occupying this property on the 1841 Census was Oliver Penfold, on the 1851 Census Charles Mills, on the 1861 and 1871 Censuses Michael Farncombe, on the 1881 Census George Farncombe and on the 1891 and 1901 Censuses George Wood.

The 25 inch Ordnance Survey maps of 1876, 1897 and 1911 show Peckhams as a building with a rectangular outline occupying the same footprint east to west as the present house, with the entrance in the middle of the north side, set in an enclosed garden to the south and surrounded by a number of farm buildings, including one immediately to the south-east.

After 1919 the property became a residence rather than a farmhouse, was owned by five different families, and in the 1960s or 1970s a two-storey extension was added in the middle of the north or entrance front.

Reasons for Listing

Peckhams, the western three timber-framed bays of which have been dendro-dated with a felling date of 1405, with a probably contemporary massive stone axial chimneystack, extended to the east and partially re-fronted in the C18, and with added C20 porch and staircase-hall, is listed at Grade II* for the following principal reasons:
* Date: 1405 is a comparatively early date for an open hall house;
* Rarity: the massive medieval axial stone fireplace, retaining the stone ends for spit racks and a complete bread oven lined with Roman tiles, is a very rare feature outside palaces or monasteries and a rare survival generally;
* High Status: the thick scantling of the C15 timbers and five mid-C17 brick and stone fireplaces demonstrate the high status of the building during these centuries;
* Degree of survival: much of the 1405 roof structure survives including two crown posts, the wall frame, ceiling beams and partition walls.

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