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Tower House

A Grade II Listed Building in Bawdsey, Suffolk

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Latitude: 52.0065 / 52°0'23"N

Longitude: 1.4312 / 1°25'52"E

OS Eastings: 635588

OS Northings: 239791

OS Grid: TM355397

Mapcode National: GBR WRH.2NP

Mapcode Global: VHM8L.RTGN

Entry Name: Tower House

Listing Date: 6 August 2007

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1392096

English Heritage Legacy ID: 491359

Location: Bawdsey, East Suffolk, Suffolk, IP12

County: Suffolk

District: Suffolk Coastal

Civil Parish: Bawdsey

Traditional County: Suffolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Suffolk

Church of England Parish: Bawdsey St Mary the Virgin

Church of England Diocese: St.Edmundsbury and Ipswich

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Listing Text


1218/0/10016 EAST LANE

Shooting lodge, c1893, with small early C20 kitchen extension to the rear. Probably by Boulton and Paul of Norwich.

MATERIALS: Corrugated iron sheeting (replaced) on a light timber frame.

EXTERIOR: Two storeys, gable roofs and two rear brick chimney stacks. All window frames and doors are contemporary in unaltered openings. Façade has two full-height projecting bays, flanking a porch with a pent roof and late C19 part-glazed entrance door. At the ground floor, two French windows with rectangular fanlights lead out from the principal rooms. The fanlight of the left-hand (south) French window has stained glass, and accesses a veranda, with projecting roof and supporting columns, which wraps around the south elevation of the house. On the first floor of the façade, a central rectangular casement window is flanked by pointed arched casement windows in each bay. Bay windows on north and south elevations, latter with central French window. Rear elevation has a central French window with rectangular fanlight at ground floor, with small outside toilet to the right (south) complete with the early C20 toilet and fittings.

INTERIOR: There has been no interior remodelling, and the plan-form, fixtures and fittings are unaltered throughout. Each room in the house has matchboard cladding and exposed floorboards. There are two cast-iron late-C19 fireplaces in the principal ground floor rooms, and one fireplace on the first floor. The doors are four-panelled and mostly have contemporary fittings, with timber battened early C20 examples in the kitchen/larder. The late-C19 staircase has newels and stick balusters with a moulded handrail.

During the medieval period, Bawdsey was a market town with a harbour located at the mouth of the River Deben, on an island linked to the mainland by a causeway. The ever-altering coastline filled the channel which encircled the island and Bawdsey is now located on the coast. The manor of Bawdsey was bought in the 1880s by William Cuthbert Quilter, a wealthy stockbroker and businessman, who set about constructing a vast mansion overlooking the estuary. Located to the south of the Tower House, Bawdsey Manor was constructed between 1886 and 1910 in five distinct phases and displays a plethora of architectural styles from Elizabethan to oriental. In 1936 the MOD bought the Manor house for £24,000 and it was here that Sir Robert Watson Watt developed the RADAR system. For its architectural quality and important historic association, the Manor is listed at Grade II*. A number of important military structures surround the house, many of which are also designated.

The Tower House is an example of a pre-fabricated building, one of a vast range of types usually illustrated in catalogues, including the well known `tin tabernacle' churches, houses and agricultural buildings. The Quilters had the Tower House erected as a shooting lodge in Wherstead to the south-east, in about 1893 and later moved it to Sutton. Transportability was an additional benefit of pre-fabricated structures and the Tower House was moved to its present location in the early C20. A local agricultural worker lived in the house for 50 years, apparently without altering or embellishing it. During the late 1990s the building was renovated in a sympathetic manner, during which the exterior corrugated sheeting was replaced, but the interior was not significantly altered.

The Tower House is a pre-fabricated building of c.1893, erected as a shooting lodge for the Quilter family of Bawdsey Manor and moved to its current location in the early C20. Although many thousands of pre-fabricated buildings were erected in the country, surviving unaltered domestic examples are rare. The exterior cladding of the Tower House has been replaced like for like, but the building has retained its character. The plan-form, window frames and interior fixtures and fittings, including the staircase and fireplaces, are contemporary and remain intact. The Tower House has group value with the adjacent designated Martello Tower.

Listing NGR TM 3559039791

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

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