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Mill Tavern

A Grade II Listed Building in Linchmere, West Sussex

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.0848 / 51°5'5"N

Longitude: -0.7415 / 0°44'29"W

OS Eastings: 488244

OS Northings: 132472

OS Grid: SU882324

Mapcode National: GBR DCQ.Z78

Mapcode Global: FRA 96B8.2XT

Entry Name: Mill Tavern

Listing Date: 26 November 2014

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1422101

Location: Linchmere, Chichester, West Sussex, GU27

County: West Sussex

District: Chichester

Civil Parish: Linchmere

Built-Up Area: Haslemere

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Sussex

Church of England Parish: Lynchmere and Camelsdale

Church of England Diocese: Chichester

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Summary

Mill Tavern was built as a house c1600, and includes C19 and C20 additions which are of lesser special interest.

Description

The Mill Tavern was built as a house, c1600, and includes C19 and C20 additions and alterations.

MATERIALS: the building is of timber-frame construction, the upper floor clad in hung peg tiles. Extensions to the east and south are brick, those to the west are stone and brick, or are rendered with applied timber framing. The roof is covered in clay peg tiles, the chimney stacks are red brick, doors and windows are timber and of varying date.

PLAN: the building's original plan appears to be a variant of the typical lobby-entrance type plan. It is three bays wide, running north to south (the entrance front to the east), with a substantial central stack between the two northerly bays, and a third, narrower, originally unheated bay to the far south. A second stack has been subsequently inserted in the south bay. The main entrance remains in its original location to the east of the central stack, although is now entered through a late C19 porch. At ground floor the two southerly bays have been opened up to form a single bar area, whereas at first floor the division between these rooms remains; the stair is enclosed within the south-west corner of the building.

To the rear (west) of the building is a second range, possibly all or part of which originated as an outshut with catslide roof, now almost all extended upwards to form a second storey.

To the south of the building is a single-storey extension with a double-pitched roof. This appears to be of C20 or C21 date, but stands on the same footprint as an earlier range shown on maps from at least 1845. To the west of the building is a single-storey range at right angles to the main building. Dating from the mid-C19 and originally detached, this building was possibly for stabling, or storage, but has since been linked to the main building and was converted into a dining area in the 1990s.

EXTERIOR: the front (east) elevation has a shallow late-C19 extension which runs along much of its width at ground floor. The ground floor windows are heavy-sectioned mullioned windows, contemporary with the extension. At first floor are two three-light casement windows, likely to be in original openings; gabled dormer roofs, with applied timber framing, are later additions above the openings.

The rear (west) elevation comprises a two-storey hipped-roof bay, clad in stone and brick; a single-storey outshut beneath a catslide roof; and taking up the remaining width of the building, a two-storey hipped-roof extension which is rendered, with applied timber framing. The north elevation (and north east corner) is perhaps the most interesting elevation. Here the timber-framing is still exposed at ground floor. The framing of the north wall suggests a wide horizontal window just below the ground-floor wall plate (now blocked), and perhaps something very similar at first floor, where a gap in the tile-hanging, in-filled with render, forms a similar horizontal shape.

INTERIOR: at both ground and first floor, much of the timber framework is in evidence. Within the ground floor rooms the overhead floor structure is exposed – in each bay showing a substantial axial timber, carrying floor joists from front to back. The timbers are chamfered, with ogee stops. The north bay has a large open fireplace; the brickwork has been remodelled but the heavy timber bressummer remains, and this bears apotropaic marks (to ward off evil), including a 'W' and several inverted 'V's. The south-facing fireplace in the large central stack has been reduced to a small opening with a brick surround.

On the first floor principal axial timbers, with chamfers and stops, and wall framing, is exposed. The three chambers over the main part of the building are accessed from a spinal corridor which runs north to south along the back of the building. The chambers to either side of the central stack have large brickwork fireplace openings; the date of their most recent reconfiguration is uncertain, but may be early C20. Both rooms have cupboards to the east of the chimney stack, and that in the north bay contains a blocked two-light window with an ovolo moulded mullion and frame. One of the lights appears to retain the central iron bar which would have supported leaded glazing. The attic is reached via a ladder stair to the west of the central stack. The queen-post roof structure divides the space into three rooms - the spaces between truss members in-filled with plastered lath panels, and a door-height opening beneath the collars. The space is lit at either end by a small gable-end window. From within the roof space it can be seen that the central stack has been rebuilt.

Linked to the building is the single-storey stone and brick outbuilding which has a single open space internally, open to the pitch of the roof, with the tie-beams of the trusses exposed.

History

The building now known as Mill Tavern was built as a house, and is believed to date from c1600.

The site on which the building stands was known from at least the early C16 as 'Stones', 'Stanes', or subsequently 'Stoney Farm'. Between 1520 and 1585, the land was held by the Harding family. The site was then in the ownership of a Blaise Briday (or Bryday) from 1585 until about 1648; it is known that at one point Briday applied for a licence to sublet. Between the mid-C17 and mid-C18, the site passed through the families of Boxolds, Collens and Combes. From 1766 it was in the ownership of the Stillwell family.

For a very brief period, between 1649 and 1651, the site is referred to in the manorial rolls as 'Shotter Mill Inn'. There does not appear to be any further mention of the building being in use as an inn or public house until the census of 1861. From the mid-C19 the building was in use as a public house, first known as Railway Tavern (relating to the London to Portsmouth railway line passing just to the north of the building, and being built in the 1850s), and then as Mill Tavern.

Based on evidence from the building's fabric, it would seem very likely that whatever building stood on the site during the C16, was subsequently completely replaced with the substantial house which is now Mill Tavern. Considering the fabric of the building and documentary records together, it seems likely that the house was built by Briday, shortly after he took ownership in 1585.

Linchmere tithe map of 1846 shows two ranges of buildings to the south of Mill Tavern, where the car park is now located. These are likely to be outbuildings associated with its use as a farm; they are shown on subsequent Ordnance Survey maps, but are now no longer extant. By the Ordnance Survey map of 1875, another detached range has been added to the west of the building – this still survives, now connected to the building by a later link. There are several other C19 or C20 extensions to the building, but these have been constructed within the footprint of the building as it appears on the 1846 tithe map.

Reasons for Listing

Mill Tavern, built as a house c1600, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural interest: the building is a good example of a substantial lobby-entry plan house – a distinctive and widely adopted historic plan-form - which has been subject to an evolution that partially overlays, but does not obscure, our understanding of the building's early form and typology;
* Historic interest: through its plan, scale, visible blocked window openings, and apotropaic marks, the building reflects its distinctive vernacular typology and status, and aspects of the customs and traditions of its early occupants.

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