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The Old Rectory

A Grade II* Listed Building in Clifford Chambers and Milcote, Warwickshire

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Latitude: 52.1667 / 52°10'0"N

Longitude: -1.7112 / 1°42'40"W

OS Eastings: 419852

OS Northings: 252091

OS Grid: SP198520

Mapcode National: GBR 4M6.079

Mapcode Global: VHBY0.9S7V

Entry Name: The Old Rectory

Listing Date: 6 February 1952

Last Amended: 8 October 2014

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1382569

English Heritage Legacy ID: 482953

Location: Clifford Chambers and Milcote, Stratford-on-Avon, Warwickshire, CV37

County: Warwickshire

District: Stratford-on-Avon

Civil Parish: Clifford Chambers and Milcote

Traditional County: Gloucestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Warwickshire

Church of England Parish: Stratford on Avon Holy Trinity

Church of England Diocese: Coventry

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A former rectory which is now a house. Its timber-framed construction dates from c.1434 with later additions of the C17, C18, C19 and C20.


A rectory which has now been converted to a house. c1434, with later alterations and additions.

MATERIALS: the building is timber framed with wattle-and-daub and brick infill, brick additions and alterations and a plain tiled roof.

PLAN: it has two storeys and is H-shaped on plan with a central hall range of two bays incorporating a cross passage, which was later floored, flanked by gabled wings. Unless specifically indicated, the windows are C19 or C20 replacement casements set in earlier openings.

EXTERIOR: the west front has slightly projecting gabled wings at either side of a central hall range. The central portion and two wings have close-studded walling to the first floor and gables, with close studding to the ground floor of the north wing. The south wing was underbuilt in brick in the 1920s and the ground floor of the central range has a mixture of close studding and small framing to the ground floor. At far right is a battened door, above which is a blocked original window with cambered head. To the far left is a panel of walling which has no original timbers and would appear to be the original position of a hall window which extended through two floors, but which now houses a three-light casement to the ground floor and a two-light window to the first floor. To the centre are four, single-light casements with a two-light casement to the first floor. Both projecting gabled wings have jetties at first floor level and in each case the underside of the first floor jetty reveals that the substantial floor joists are closely set with a single overlapping floorboard between each. The wings have jowled corner posts. The south wing has two sash windows of 12 panes with exposed sash boxes to the ground floor and a three-light casement to the first floor. The north wing has a three-light casement to the centre of the ground floor, but this appears to have formerly extended to five lights. At either side are smaller casements with higher sills. Their mullions have C16 mouldings which were perhaps altered at the time when the windows were first glazed. The first floor jetty is supported on a pair of carved brackets. The first floor window is an oriel which projects slightly. This has brattishing to its former sill, which is set below the present sill, and a tiled roof.
The north flank has a large chimney stack of rubble and dressed stone with offsets to the top and a square upper body of modern brick. To the right of this is a blocked two-light, first-floor window and to the left is a blocked four-light and three-light window to the ground floor. At first floor level is a blocked 3-light window and open single-light and two-light casements.
The south flank has a brick stack to the left. At ground floor right there is a set of external steps and there is a two-light casement to the first floor at right.
The eastern rear has small-framed walling of the C17 to the recessed hall range which has brick infill and two, two-light casements to each floor. At far left is the doorway of the screens passage, with its original, cambered head, above which is a small, original window. The projecting right wing has small-framed walling to its east face, with angle braces. Its south flank has C19 brickwork to both floors. The left wing has close-studding to the north flank and gable end. Studding has been removed on the ground floor north flank of this wing, and strips of glass inserted to create a window. The brick C19 service range adjoins the east face at ground floor level.

INTERIOR: the screens passage has two doorways, formerly leading to service rooms on its south side. These are tall with cambered heads, set just below the ceiling. The western of these two rooms was panelled in the early C18 using raised and fielded panels with a deep cornice. The fireplace on the south wall has a bolection-moulded fire surround flanked by pilaster strips and arched niches. The hall has a deep stone plinth showing on the west side and plain, cross-axial ceiling beams at ground floor level. The north wall has had the infill removed between the close studs, creating a screen through to the northern parlour, which is at a higher level than the hall floor (perhaps indicating a former dais at this end of the hall). The parlour has a deeply-chamfered beam with arched supports and the stone fire surround has richly moulded panels with traceried surrounds bearing blank shields to the lintel. Stairs at the south end of the hall and to the east of the parlour ascend to the first floor. The western, first-floor corridor shows the spere truss (at the southern end of the hall, adjacent the screens passage) and the open truss, which is of the post-and-rafter type and to the middle of the hall. Both are chamfered and bear evidence of soot blackening. The heavy wall plate can also be seen. The first floor room above the parlour has a similar stone fire surround with cusped, square panels bearing shields to the lintel. The north wall of this room contains a primary, blocked window beside a narrow doorway that formerly led to a projecting garderobe, since replaced by the projecting eastern addition to the rear of the north wing. Both original wings have exposed purlins and arched wind braces to the ceilings.


The building appears to have originated as a hall house with central, two-storey hall and flanking, cross-axial wings which had a parlour with chamber above to the north and two service rooms with chambers above at the south. The fact that there is no evidence that a hearth existed in the service rooms implies that there may originally have been a separate, external kitchen. Timbers from the hall roof have been tree-ring dated to 1433/4, when John Bokelond was the rector, and the H-shaped ground plan of the house would be consistent with this date.

Additions were made in the late C16 or early C17, when the north wing was extended to the east. In the C17 the east wall of the hall was rebuilt and at a similar, or slightly later date, the hall was given a first floor. At the same time staircases were inserted, although that to the north-east appears to have replaced an earlier stair in the same position. In the C18 the south-western ground floor room was given a pair of sash windows to its west face and a panelled interior. In the early C19 the building was converted to three cottages and additional structure with brick walling was added to the rear (east) side. Between 1842 and 1890 a sizeable, single-storey wing was added, projecting to the south. In 1927 the building reverted to use as a rectory and a single dwelling. The ground floor walling of the eastern wing was rebuilt in brick at this time. The building was sold by the church authorities in 1982 and underwent a further restoration, which included the removal of partition walls in the ground floor area of the hall which had been inserted during the C19 subdivision of the building, and the blocking of the 'rector's door' which had been cut out of the south flank c1927.

Reasons for Listing

The Old Rectory at Clifford Chambers is listed at Grade II* for the following principal reasons:

* Architectural interest: the building has features which are of considerable interest, such as the spere truss and soot-blackened timbers in the hall, the substantial timbers supporting the south-western jetty, and the carved stone fireplaces in the parlour and solar;

* Intactness: despite some later additions and alterations, which include the rebuilding of much of the timber-framed northern wall and the addition of a large brick service wing in the C19, the original plan of the H-shaped, medieval house of c1434 remains largely intact. Many details of the original construction have survived and its high status is clearly shown.

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