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The Merchants House

A Grade II Listed Building in Commercial End, Cambridgeshire

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Latitude: 52.246 / 52°14'45"N

Longitude: 0.2799 / 0°16'47"E

OS Eastings: 555744

OS Northings: 263313

OS Grid: TL557633

Mapcode National: GBR M8F.5KC

Mapcode Global: VHHJZ.STT3

Entry Name: The Merchants House

Listing Date: 19 August 1959

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1331453

English Heritage Legacy ID: 49418

Location: Swaffham Bulbeck, East Cambridgeshire, Cambridgeshire, CB25

County: Cambridgeshire

Civil Parish: Swaffham Bulbeck

Built-Up Area: Commercial End

Traditional County: Cambridgeshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cambridgeshire

Church of England Parish: Swaffham Bulbeck St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Ely

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Swaffham Bulbeck

Listing Text

(West Side)

14/118 The Merchants

House and commercial premises built mainly in late C17.
Extended once in early C18 by a new office or counting-house and
again early in C19 when the commercial premises were enlarged.
The house is mainly of narrow yellow brick with red brick
headers, and thick mortar courses. There have been some repairs
and alterations but the general design of yellow brick
stretchers and red brick headers remain intact. The rear wall
is partly of yellow brick with red brick diaper patterning and
the rest is clunch. Plain tiled, steeply pitched roof with wood
modillion eaves cornice to front and fine ogee shaped, end
parapets on kneelers with original unmoulded cornice brickwork.
The gable end to the road has initials WPA in wrought iron. The
date 1700 above although said not to be contemporary with the
house is probably close to the actual date of construction.
Ridge stack with mostly original brickwork, and end stacks. The
one to the left hand gable end has red brick quoins and typical
late C17 projecting capping. The one to the right hand gable
end is rather more restored. Original plan of a single range of
four rooms including an office at the road end. Two storeys and
attics with a band between the storeys. Five irregularly placed
windows at first floor, including three early C19 flush frame
hung sashes of twelve panes each but retaining the original late
C17 header arches of alternating yellow and red brick. The
other two windows are also hung sashes but early C18 and
contemporary with the earlier of the additions. At ground floor
there are four late C17 window openings with early C19 hung
sashes of twelve panes each and two later window openings now
blocked. The doorway is off-centre and opens to the low end of
the hall. The doorcase is early C19, Doric pilasters with plain
frieze, small key pattern and flat hood. Half-glazed door and
two lower raised and fielded panels. The gable end to the road
has six small blind openings in arched heads. The lower windows
have always been blind but later brickwork in the upper windows
possibly suggests that they may have been glazed at some time.
In early C18 an office or counting-house was added at the rear.
Narrow gault brick with red brick quoins and dressings to
windows. Steeply pitched, plain tiled roof with end parapets on
kneelers. Plan of counting-house on ground floor with one room
above. Cellared. Gable end to road has three original hung
sashes in segmental arches. The office or counting-house was
extended again in early C19 probably during Thomas Bowyers
ownership. Gault brick with a roof of two parallel linked
ranges. Plain tiled. Plan of one room on ground floor, now a
kitchen, and a room above. Two storeys. Shaped lintel to door
with a flat hood on shaped brackets and two windows, possibly
inserted when room ceased to be used as a counting-house.
Inside. Much of the original range was altered in the late C18
or early C19 but there are C17 stop chamfered main beams in one
room. The commercial part of the house consists of the early
C18 office divided from the early C19 counting-house by a
passage. The office retains the original three safes flanking a
fireplace of clunch. The shutters are original. The passageway
has C19 panelling and partition walls. (The house is associated
with the building of a new cut from Swaffham Lode to Commercial
End and the development of this part of the village as a port.
In the early C19 the house and port were owned by Thomas Bowyer
who built many of the houses and cottages in Commercial End for
his employees).

R.C.H.M. (North East Cambs.), p109, mon (39).
Lambeth, R.C. The Merchants House at Commercial End.
Swaffham Bulbeck (East Anglian Magazine, p296-299, 1938).
Pevsner, Buildings of England, p379.

Listing NGR: TL5574463313

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

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