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Ringers Farmhouse

A Grade I Listed Building in Terling, Essex

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Latitude: 51.7909 / 51°47'27"N

Longitude: 0.5531 / 0°33'10"E

OS Eastings: 576171

OS Northings: 213334

OS Grid: TL761133

Mapcode National: GBR PJW.NN8

Mapcode Global: VHJJX.J7QX

Plus Code: 9F32QHR3+96

Entry Name: Ringers Farmhouse

Listing Date: 2 May 1953

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1123406

English Heritage Legacy ID: 115451

Location: Terling, Braintree, Essex, CM3

County: Essex

District: Braintree

Civil Parish: Terling

Traditional County: Essex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Essex

Church of England Parish: Terling All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Chelmsford

Tagged with: Farmhouse

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5/103 Ringers Farmhouse

House. Late C13, altered in C16 and C20. Timber framed, plastered, roofed
with handmade red clay tiles. 2-bay hall facing S, with C20 stack in right bay
against front wall. Early C16 2-bay crosswing to left, with late C16 external
stack at rear. C16 2-bay crosswing to right. 2 storeys. 3-window range of C20
casements. C19/C20 boarded door with 2-centred head, in original doorway, with
moulded jambs and 2-centred arch in moulded straight head, the spandrels carved
with quatrefoils in circles. Left crosswing jettied, with 2 exposed plain
brackets. Grouped diagonal shafts on each stack, rebuilt in C19/C20. The hall
has unjowled posts, close studding, the frame of a deep transomed unglazed
window on each side and a wide rear doorway with chamfered jambs and 4-centred
arch. 2 cranked tiebeams, with 2 arched braces to the right tiebeam, and one
(of 2) arched braces to the left tiebeam. The braces and tiebeams are moulded
below in 3 concave facets, and in addition there are quadrant mouldings on the
right tiebeam. Mortices for former spandrel struts in right truss. Crownpost
roof, with collars at half-height, short octagonal crownposts with moulded caps
and axial braces of square section, no bases, all heavily smoke-blackened. Each
rafter has 2 mortices for former scissor-braces, and each collar has 2 inclined
trenches, but the irregular positions indicate some re-setting of the rafters
since the scissor-braces were removed. An early C16 inserted stack in the right
bay of the hall, with blind arcading but much damaged, was demolished in
November 1984; at the time of re-survey a replica was under construction. An
early C16 inserted floor in the hall had been removed at the same time. The
posts of the right open truss are hollow-moulded, and with long mortices in
them, filled with oak plugs. The left crosswing is immediately beyond the left
open truss, and occupies the position of a former 'nigh end' bay of the hall,
probably as long as or longer than the present long bay. A mortice for a brace
in the crownpost above indicates that the roof continued in the same form. This
crosswing is of early C16 construction, with jowled posts, close studding
trenched to the outside, and edge-halved and bridled scarfs in the wallplates.
Large peg-holes in the right side indicate the fixings of a former 'high end'
bench, showing that the hall was shortened but not basically re-arranged when
this crosswing was constructed. Chamfered binding beam, plain joists of
horizontal section, diamond mortices and shutter grooves for unglazed windows at
tile front. At the rear, the external stack is in English bond, with hearths at
both floors. The large ground floor hearth has chamfered jambs and depressed
arch with original plaster, but the crown of the arch is broken, leaving a
higher plain lintel. The first floor hearth is similar but smaller, in good
order, with a late C18 cast iron ducknest grate. The roof is of crownpost
construction, with a cambered tiebeam, plain crownpost and axial bracing. The
right crosswing was wholly plastered at the time of survey, February 1985,
revealing little evidence of the frame except that it has a collar-rafter roof
of re-used smoke-blackened rafters. There are a number of discrepancies in this
building which indicate that although it was constructed on its present site in
the early C16, and has been little altered since, it existed in another form on
another site over 2 centuries earlier. The hall has been reduced in length,
span and height; 2 tiebeams have been re-erected in reversed positions; the
crownposts have been shortened, so that they now have capitals but no bases; and
some of the mortices and trenches for scissor-braces are now displaced. In the
Middle Ages Ringers was not an important manor; the size of this building, even
in its present reduced form, and the very high quality of the front doorway and
other ornament, is incompatible with such status. The available evidence
indicates that this was formerly the palace of the Bishop of Norwich, south of
Terling parish church, which was demolished in the early Tudor period to be
replaced by a large mansion (illustrated in the Walker map of 1597), which in
1772 was replaced by the present Terling Place. The frame removed from that
site in the early C16 was re-erected in reduced form at Ringers, retaining the
front doorway but building a new 4-centred rear doorway. The scissor-braces and
spandrel-struts were removed and not replaced. The trusses were reversed so that
the most elaborately moulded tiebeam, formerly across the middle of the hall,
became part of a 'low-end' spere truss. The tiebeams were reduced in length and
re-jointed, and the braces to them re-jointed higher in the posts, leaving the
filled mortices noted earlier. The absence of jowls indicates that the posts
were reduced in height. The rafters of the former 'high end' bay were re-used in
the roof of the service crosswing. The parlour/solar crosswing was a new
construction of the time. (P. Morant, The History and Antiquities of Essex,
1768, II, 125, and C.H. Reaney, Place-Names of Essex, 197). RCHM 6.

Listing NGR: TL7617113334

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