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Wingfield House

A Grade II Listed Building in Saxmundham, Suffolk

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Latitude: 52.215 / 52°12'54"N

Longitude: 1.4918 / 1°29'30"E

OS Eastings: 638631

OS Northings: 263170

OS Grid: TM386631

Mapcode National: GBR XQD.00L

Mapcode Global: VHM7N.TL0B

Plus Code: 9F436F8R+2P

Entry Name: Wingfield House

Listing Date: 13 March 1991

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1365990

English Heritage Legacy ID: 462152

Location: Saxmundham, East Suffolk, Suffolk, IP17

County: Suffolk

Civil Parish: Saxmundham

Built-Up Area: Saxmundham

Traditional County: Suffolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Suffolk

Church of England Parish: Saxmundham St John the Baptist

Church of England Diocese: St.Edmundsbury and Ipswich

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841-1/3/29 (West side)
13/03/91 Wingfield House


House, divided into three cottages. Late C16 range with a mid-C17 wing, extended late C19; C20 alterations. Rendered timber-frame and brick; pantile and plain-tile pitched roofs with enlarged axial stack.

PLAN: T-shaped plan, two storeys with attics. The earliest range appears to date to the late C16 and is aligned east-west. It would have originally extended further to the east towards the Market Place, but part of it was demolished when Old Bank House was built in c.1830. The surviving 4.5 bays are of box-frame construction.

EXTERIOR: The only parts of this building visible from the exterior are the west gable end and part of a bay of the north wall, truncated by the later Old Bank House. The rendering and brick-facing on the west gable end has been removed to reveal the original timber-framing. On the ground-floor is an off-centre C19 plank door and late C18 casement window; above similar casements, one on each floor.

The mid-C17 extension to this building comprises a north wing of two bays in two storeys with attic, the roof being slightly higher than that of the original range. Externally, the walls were faced with stock brick in the C19, recent removal of which has revealed a timber-frame with brick infill. The north gable end has a late C18 casement window to each floor as on the west gable of the south range. A two storey brick extension to the west wall of this range has C19 casements.

INTERIOR: Internally, the late C16 south range comprises two rooms divided by a large brick stack with C19 winder staircase built against the stack in the east room. There are fireplaces on each side of the stack at ground and first floor levels. The openings have flat heads and are formed by chamfered bricks, later concealed behind fireplaces of C19 date, but recently re-exposed. The timber-frame of the original building with close studding and mullioned windows is exposed in several places. Windows include one of five lights with ovolo mullions on the ground-floor. There are various chamfered and stopped bridging beams, one with jewel stops. On the first-floor, there is exposed close studding with curving angle braces between the corner posts and the wall-plates, the braces halved over the inside faces of the intervening studs. The main wall posts are slightly jowled. The C19 stair winds up to the attic storey, also divided into two rooms. The roof is of collar purlin construction, with two tiers of purlins and windbraces to the upper tier.

The mid-C17 wing is constructed over a brick built cellar, divided into two with the insertion of a brick wall, presumably when the house was divided into cottages. Built into three walls of the cellar are a series of identical, regularly spaced triangular headed niches. The original function of these carefully constructed openings is unclear. They are not deep enough to have had a storage use and may have held some form of lighting, though they seem rather large for this purpose. There are two large round headed recessed openings in the east wall. The wooden ground floor of the north wing forms the roof of the cellar which is accessed via a ladder. The ground floor of this wing is heated by a fireplace on the south wall, formed by the addition of a flue to the side of the original stack. The chimneypiece has been removed. A panelled cupboard of C18 date is set into the west wall. A narrow winder staircase set against the 5 light mullion window of the original building (now exposed) gives access to the first floor which has some C18 panelling. The roof is of collar purlin construction, with two tiers of staggered butt purlins.

HISTORY: The location of this building is of interest, on the edge of the Market Place in Saxmundham, an important market town throughout the medieval period. The original house is likely to have been owned by people of some status in the town and parts of it may have had some commercial use.

SUMMARY OF IMPORTANCE: Although it has been altered and extended, Wingfield House fulfills the criteria for listing as it contains a significant part of a late C16 timber-frame. It has evolved over the last 400 years but has largely escaped modernisation and retains features of sufficient rarity and interest to merit its retention on the list.

Listing NGR: TM3863163170

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