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The Dower House

A Grade II Listed Building in Drayton Beauchamp, Buckinghamshire

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Latitude: 51.8054 / 51°48'19"N

Longitude: -0.6952 / 0°41'42"W

OS Eastings: 490062

OS Northings: 212666

OS Grid: SP900126

Mapcode National: GBR D32.R24

Mapcode Global: VHDV6.WWVC

Plus Code: 9C3XR843+5W

Entry Name: The Dower House

Listing Date: 11 October 1985

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1124212

English Heritage Legacy ID: 42640

Location: Drayton Beauchamp, Buckinghamshire, HP22

County: Buckinghamshire

Civil Parish: Drayton Beauchamp

Traditional County: Buckinghamshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Buckinghamshire

Church of England Parish: Drayton Beauchamp

Church of England Diocese: Oxford

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Dower house, c1620, extended, probably by 1700, altered later C18 or early C19. By 1900 divided into to three cottages, reverting to a single house after 1927. Timber framed, red brick nogging with some burnt headers, both repaired; the north west gable in later C18/early C19 red brick with burnt headers. The south east gable wall encased in grey brick within a timber frame. Thatch roof. Two cell lobby entry plan with entrance to northeast face, against central stack. Additional lower two- bay cell to north with late C18 or C19 offset, external stack. Stair behind stack, closet above entrance, second stair rising from lower cell. Two storeys. Lobby entry door of three vertical boards with moulded covering strips, under timber, tiled porch. Entrance to kitchen bay on south west front, under canopy on brackets, has door of four vertical boards with moulded covering strips, long strap hinges, unusual door furniture. Two and three-light, square- mullioned windows, some repositioned or altered, the entrance elevation formerly strictly symmetrical. Central room on both floors has three-light windows on former entrance front, that to first floor in altered position. Most frames reworked with replaced cills and mullions. All ground floor windows with C20 shallow canopy on moulded brackets. Some C17 or C18 iron casements with original saddle bars, latches, stays and pins, all with C20 leaded glazing. Ground floor, south west elevation right hand window has ornate plate with cypher IP.
INTERIOR. Left hand, northernmost, bay (current kitchen) has brick pamment floor. Room to right (current dining room) has stair with square newels with facetted heads, possibly a former doorway at base. Principal ground floor chamber has axial beam with shallow chamfer with lambs tongue stop, supported on roughly moulded post. Similar chamfered moulding to bressumer to large fireplace. Parlour has smaller, repaired fireplace, with similar bressumer and small oven. Similar moulded axial beam, on cruder post, some replaced joists. Stair rising behind stack has square newel with facetted head and fine chunky turned balusters, lightly chamfered rail. Below, small cupboard with strap hinges to door. Second stair rising from lower cell. Square newels with facetted heads, chamfered rail, replaced balusters. Broad elm boards to upper floor. Both floors have doors of three or four vertical boards with moulded covering strips, the earlier doors principally of four boards. That to principal bedroom has very long strap hinges. Others have strap hinges, some 1920's copies. Early door to cupboard at top of stair. Early doorway cut through north wall of central first floor chamber. Closet window, reduced to one leaf, retains ovolo moulded frame. Three-light window to northwest front has early leaf with long stay pin. Left hand (north) gable first floor window retains part of moulded internal frame. Central chamber has brick fireplace with curved back. Southern chamber subdivided into two rooms. No visible trace of fireplace remains. Unexplained symmetrical rows of peg holes on northwest wall at first floor and similar in ground floor end (kitchen) bay. Well-constructed clasped purlin roof. Stack in two sections, the apex of the stack bay with framed and rendered partition above the brickwork. Evidence of former north gable window, later internal, proving addition of lower northern bays.
HISTORY. Said to date from 1620's, built as the dower house to the local manor, held by the Cheyne family from C14 to 1722. It is a well documented example of a house of this scale. It followed the vernacular tradition but was sufficiently advanced to have a symmetrical entrance front.
The interior features are particularly fine, and intact, notably the main stair. It is rare to find a house of this type retaining so much of its original fittings and finishes.

Recorded by James Moir, with drawings and research by John Chenevix-Trench

VAG, Spring Conference Proceedings, 1994

Listing NGR: SP9006212666

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