History in Structure

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.


A Grade II Listed Building in Kenninghall, Norfolk

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »
Street View
Contributor Photos »

Street View is the best available vantage point looking, if possible, towards the location of the building. In some locations, Street View may not give a view of the actual building, or may not be available at all. Where it is not available, the satellite view is shown instead.


Latitude: 52.4367 / 52°26'12"N

Longitude: 0.9981 / 0°59'53"E

OS Eastings: 603888

OS Northings: 286314

OS Grid: TM038863

Mapcode National: GBR SFQ.74G

Mapcode Global: VHKCJ.70ZT

Entry Name: Candleyards

Listing Date: 14 August 2014

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1420451

Location: Kenninghall, Breckland, Norfolk, NR16

County: Norfolk

District: Breckland

Civil Parish: Kenninghall

Built-Up Area: Kenninghall

Traditional County: Norfolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Norfolk

Church of England Parish: Kenninghall St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Norwich

Find accommodation in


Timber framed cottage dating to c.1600.


Timber framed cottage dating to c.1600.

MATERIALS: timber framing with wattle and daub panels, mostly renewed, under a pantile-clad roof with red brick chimney stacks.

PLAN: the cottage has a two-bay lobby entry plan with a central chimney stack and a rear lean-to against the south bay.

The C20 flat-roofed rear extension projecting from the north bay, and the early C21 outbuilding abutting the west end of the north gable are not included in the listing. (Neither of these extensions is shown on the current Ordnance Survey map.)

EXTERIOR: the one and a half storey cottage is rendered. It has a steeply pitched roof with plain timber bargeboards at the gable ends and an off-centre rebuilt ridge stack. The east elevation, which faces onto the road, has an off-centre door made of two wide planks with strap hinges. This is flanked by C20 three-light timber mullions in their original openings. The north and south gable end are lit on the ground floor by C20 two-light timber mullions, also in their original openings, and by small C20 eight-light casement windows above. The north gable end has a rebuilt projecting chimney stack. The rear (west) elevation, from the right, is lit by a C20 two-light mullion, followed by the lean-to pierced by a small C20 four-light single timber casement.

INTERIOR: a high proportion of the timber frame survives, including the corner posts, wall plates, and most of the sill beam which has been repaired in places. Almost all the storey height panels of the wall frames are intact, indicating the former positions of doorways in the centre and the outer corners of the east wall, and the window openings in the north and south bays of the east wall and in the gable ends. The lintel in the south gable end has two mortices showing that the mullions had a diamond profile. There is a fireplace opening in the north gable end, now plastered, and the post to its left has been truncated. There is a curved upward brace between the corner post and wall plate at the west end of the north gable. The late C16/early C17 ceiling over the north bay has a chamfered bridging beam with flat stops, and joists with a slight chamfer. The post supporting the west end of the bridging beam is not original to the cottage. The late C17 ceiling over the south bay also has a chamfered bridging beam and joists. The bridging beam is supported at the east end by a knee brace and at the west end by a post not original to the house. The central red brick chimney hood has exposed plaster on the east side decorated with ochre, traces of which also remain on the north-east corner post. The studded plank and batten doors are not original to the house but they occupy the original openings.

The lean-to has been strengthened with some additional timber members but retains the wall plate, corner posts, the south-west and north-west wall posts, and a purlin. The north wall has an additional straight upward brace. The west wall has substantial posts either side of the door and a middle rail. On the north side of the door there are closely-spaced posts above the rail; and on the south side the wattles are exposed below the rail.

The attic, accessed via a simple C21 timber stair in the south-east corner, retains wide, rebated floorboards. The common rafter roof is of quite slender scantling. It has straight wind braces on the east pitch and clasped purlins, except that the tie-beams have been removed to allow more head room. Most of the later cambered tie-beams link the rafters above purlin height.


Kenninghall is thought to have been a seat of the East Anglian kings as its name derives from Cyning which in Saxon signifies a king, so that Cyning or Kenninghad, signifies the King's House. It is also the site of a medieval moated manor house called East Hall where candle making is supposed to have taken place in the C16, hence its alternative name ‘Candle Yards’ (the name now given to the cottage under assessment). The manor house was taken down by Thomas, Duke of Norfolk, who erected a more stately mansion, Kenninghall Place (demolished c.1650), about a quarter of a mile to the north-east between 1505 and 1525. It is said that timbers from the old manor house were re-used to repair cottages in the village.

The building of cottages reached its peak in Norfolk between 1580 and 1630. Candleyards was built during this period c.1600 as a pair of semi-detached tenements. They had a symmetrical layout consisting of a hall with an entrance door positioned in the outer corner, and a mullion window with diamond profiles in the front and end walls. The front and rear wall plates bear evidence of the dovetail joints of three closely-spaced tie-beams, indicating the narrow bays for a central timber framed chimney with back-to-back fireplaces. Each tenement had a rear lean-to for storage, accessed via a door in the rear wall. The south lean-to still survives. The halls were floored and the northernmost floor is original. In the late C17 the tenements were converted into a single dwelling. The south hall was re-ceiled and provided with a new red brick chimney containing a single fireplace. The roof appears to have been rebuilt around this time, re-using the original rafters. The single dwelling was accessed through a centrally placed front door on an axis with the chimney, hence becoming what is known as a lobby entrance house. The doorway has since been blocked up with wattle and daub panels although a door is in place on the external wall.

Candleyards has been subject to some alterations. The former thatched roof was replaced with pantiles in the 1960s, and a flat-roofed rear extension has been built against the south bay in the C20. Within the last five years the cottage has been sensitively renovated, involving the least possible use of replacement fabric. The pebble dash was removed from the external walls which have been rendered. Cement render on internal walls was removed and the newly revealed wattle and daub panels were repaired or replaced using hazel. The pine wall post supporting the west end of the spine beam in the north bay was reused from another house, and a reused post similarly supports the west end of the spine beam in the south bay. The plinth has been rebuilt and the sill beam in the southernmost corner of the rear wall has been repaired using a piece of timber inscribed with a C19 date. The bressumer above the fireplace opening (now occupied by a wood-burning stove) in the north end wall has been added. A former doorway in the southernmost corner of the west wall has been partially blocked and a window created; and a flight of timber stairs has been inserted in the south-west corner. A small single-storey outbuilding has been built against the west side of the north gable.

Reasons for Listing

Candleyards, a timber framed cottage dating to c.1600, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Architectural interest: its earliest plan form as a pair of semi-detached tenements remains legible and it retains a significant proportion of original fabric, including the outshut against the south bay which is a rare and important survival;

* Historic interest: it has undergone several phases of change, reflecting the evolution in the use and plan form of domestic buildings during the C17 which adds significantly to its interest.

Other nearby listed buildings

BritishListedBuildings.co.uk is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact BritishListedBuildings.co.uk for any queries related to any individual listed building, planning permission related to listed buildings or the listing process itself.

British Listed Buildings is a Good Stuff website.