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4 and 5, Birch Road

A Grade II Listed Building in Layer-de-la-Haye, Essex

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Latitude: 51.8444 / 51°50'39"N

Longitude: 0.8512 / 0°51'4"E

OS Eastings: 596494

OS Northings: 220046

OS Grid: TL964200

Mapcode National: GBR RMC.60Q

Mapcode Global: VHKG4.PWTY

Plus Code: 9F32RVV2+QF

Entry Name: 4 and 5, Birch Road

Listing Date: 27 January 1982

Last Amended: 10 January 2011

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1223836

English Heritage Legacy ID: 419704

Location: Layer-de-la-Haye, Colchester, Essex, CO2

County: Essex

Civil Parish: Layer-de-la-Haye

Traditional County: Essex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Essex

Church of England Parish: Layer de la Haye St John the Baptist

Church of England Diocese: Chelmsford

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Layer de la Haye

Listing Text


986/12/27 BIRCH ROAD
27-JAN-82 4 AND 5

(Formerly listed as:
3 AND 5)

Pair of houses of the late C17, converted to one house c1990.

MATERIALS: Rendered and pebble-dashed, timber frame with a brick chimneystack and roofs clad with plain tiles.

PLAN: The houses were built with mirror-image plans consisting of one room either side of the entrance door, and two rooms in the attic reached by straight staircases.

EXTERIOR: The one-storey and dormer attic house has a symmetrical south elevation consisting of a doorway to the right and left, each flanked by a single top-hung casement window. The door to No. 5 (to the west) is a half-glazed early-C20 door, but the remaining woodwork is of the 1960s and 1970s, and areas of the brick plinth course have been rebuilt in the 1990s. The elevation is uniformly rendered and pebble-dashed and small gabled porches were constructed in front of the two entrance doors in the early 1980s. In the gabled roof are two small gabled dormers on the front wall plane, fitted with 1960s top-hung casements, and there is a central brick chimneystack set in the rear roof slope. The east return is also rendered and pebble-dashed and is lit through a mid-C20 top-hung, single-light casement to the ground floor, and a mid-C19 3/3 horizontal sliding sash window to the attic. The west return and the rear, north, elevation are both rendered and painted rather than pebble-dashed. The gable end has a single-light, late-C20 top-hung attic window, and the ground floor is obscured by the attached workshop. The rear elevation is dominated by a single-storey hipped extension of 1995 to No. 4 (east) with a door and window of that date, and by a flat-roofed extension of 1956 to No. 5 (west), also with late-C20 fenestration and a door. Neither of these extensions are of special interest. Over the west extension is an area of weatherboarding to the main elevation of No. 5 and one single-light late-C20 casement.

INTERIOR: The interiors of both houses are connected via the rear extensions, and both originally had the front doors opening directly into the principal heated room, but No. 4 was altered in the mid-C20 to create a passageway from the front door. In both houses a heavy timber frame is apparent.

No. 4 Birch Road: the C20 passageway from the south entrance door has the principal room opening off it to the west, where there is a small mid-C20 brick fire opening set in the blocked inglenook opening, the line of the covered bressumer being visible. There is a chamfered east-west bridging beam which continues into the entrance passage and a mid-C18 corner cupboard, with double moulded lower doors on HL hinges, and double glazed upper cupboard doors also on HL hinges, but with late-C20 leaded glass. The room to the east has a chamfered east-west bridging beam, a timber frame exposed in places and chamfered mid rails. The straight-flight staircase against the north outer wall has the heavy timber frame exposed, with a mid rail and diagonal bracing. The eastern first-floor room has arched braces to the frame and two cambered tie beams, without mouldings, while the western room has a flat tie beam and a late-C17 three-plank door leading into No. 5, on strap pin hinges.

No. 5 Birch Road: the east ground-floor room has a wide fire opening of mixed-bond brick under a chamfered bressumer and a brick apron splay for the fire opening in the room above. An east-west bridging beam with tongue stops has been reused and is embedded in the brickwork of the chimney breast, and the studwork of the north wall is exposed and a stud has been removed to allow for the opening into the kitchen in the 1956 extension to the rear. The western ground-floor room has late C19 matchboarding to the walls and a chamfered east-west bridging beam. The staircase opens from the west wall of the east room and is closed by a three-plank C17 door on strap pintle hinges and with a Suffolk latch. It rises to an early-C20 balustraded landing from which opens two rooms, the eastern one with a wide brick fire opening under a plain bressumer. The wide, chestnut floorboards are late C17 in date, and the west wall has a cambered tie beam with a roll- and hollow-moulded lower edge, with a piece removed to heighten the entrance. To the east is a straight, plain, tie beam and the timber frame of the side walls has straight braces to the corners.

Other features: attached to the west gable of No. 5 and running to the south is a single-storey outbuilding of c1830 under a hipped slate roof which is currently used as a private workshop. It is built of rendered and painted brick and has an early-C20 double metal doorway in the north return with 8 glazed upper panes, one 6-over-6 mid-C19 horizontally sliding sash in the east flank and two identical sashes in the west flank. The south return has a plank door within a plain frame with upper console brackets. The interior has plain tie beams and a boarded ceiling.

Nos. 4 and 5 Birch Road were built in the late C17 as a pair of one-room deep cottages with mirror-image plans, probably for tenant farmers. There have been some alterations, including the construction of a single-storey building at the west gable end c1830, and C20 extensions, but the cottages remain largely intact. They were converted into one dwelling c1990.

Janet Cooper and C.L. Elmington (eds.), Victoria County History of Essex (1994)
Mary Hopkirk, The Story of Layer de la Haye, Colchester (1934)
White's Directory of Essex, London (1848)
http:///WWW.essexinfo.net/layer-de-la-hayepc. Accessed on 18 February 2010

Nos. 4 and 5 Birch Road, Layer de La Haye, a former pair of C17 cottages converted into one house in the C20, is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons.
* Architecture: the cottages have a heavy timber frame constructed with good quality materials and craftmanship.
* Intactness: although converted into one property, a significant proportion of the C17 fabric remains. The C17 plan-form remains clearly legible and the retention of C17 inglenook fireplaces and a door add further interest.
* Alterations: fixtures and fittings of the C18 and the early C19 rear workshop attest to the evolution of the building and contribute to its special interest.

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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