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Hances Cottage

A Grade II Listed Building in Little Chalfont, Buckinghamshire

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Latitude: 51.6661 / 51°39'58"N

Longitude: -0.5717 / 0°34'18"W

OS Eastings: 498877

OS Northings: 197337

OS Grid: SU988973

Mapcode National: GBR F6B.D9C

Mapcode Global: VHFSJ.1DM3

Entry Name: Hances Cottage

Listing Date: 3 July 2009

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1393374

English Heritage Legacy ID: 506326

Location: Little Chalfont, Chiltern, Buckinghamshire, HP7

County: Buckinghamshire

District: Chiltern

Civil Parish: Little Chalfont

Built-Up Area: Amersham

Traditional County: Buckinghamshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Buckinghamshire

Church of England Parish: Chenies and Little Chalfont

Church of England Diocese: Oxford

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Listing Text

166/0/10012 SNELLS LANE
03-JUL-09 Hance's Cottage

Hance's Cottage, C16 with later modifications including the encasement of the frame in a brick, possibly in the C18. C20 timber casements and the addition of a dining room extension in the mid C20.

MATERIALS: Timber-framed, also red brick, in Flemish bond, and flint; pitched tiled roof.

PLAN: Rectangular plan, oriented north-west to south-east with its entrance elevation to the north-facing Snells Lane. Of two storeys with dormers to the upper floor under a pitched tiled roof. Single storey dining room addition under pitched roof to east. Rear (south) verandah. The house is long and narrow and is one room wide internally and of five bays.

EXTERIOR: Entrance elevation to the north; of two storeys in brick, painted white, with a number of uneven bays. Central entrance with gabled half dormer to its east and a full dormer to the west. Gable of full dormer decorated with a painted timber frame effect. Further ancillary door to west. Both entrances have are solid planked doors and shallow arched heads, as indeed do the ground floor windows. Windows are all timber-framed with either timber casements or leaded lights but none are of any antiquity. External brick chimney stack to the east is an addition. The historic stack is broadly central to the roof, is built of narrow red brick and has a V-shaped nib to the rear (SW). Adjoining single storey dining room to east, also in painted brick with a pitched tiled roof. South garden elevation: dominated by large expanse of tiled roof which extends beyond the building line to create an off-centre verandah supported on wooden posts. There are fewer windows in this elevation but they are again C20 insertions. Tiny gabled roof dormer to light the staircase. Elevation largely in unpainted red brick but with a patch of walling to the west which is of flint. A further C20 chimney has been added to the east to serve the dining room fireplace. Single storey dining room extension to the east also in unpainted brick.
West gable end: unpainted brickwork with evidence of much patching and repair. East gable end: largely white painted brickwork with the ends of the purlins visible in the gable.

INTERIOR: Substantial and remarkably complete timber-frame with large panels and distinctive tie-beams with a pronounced curve, more than 0.5m in width and dividing the house into five bays. Central entrance hall, flanked by kitchen with dining room beyond to SE, and living room with bathroom and office area beyond to NW. Living Room has large inglenook fireplace to SE with massive bressumer beam (which is chamfered to the rear). Also chamfered spine beam with distinctive 'bow-tie' stops. Further chamfered spine beams to SE with different widths of chamfer and some simple run-out stops. Dining Room SE wall opened up to allow access to dining room extension exposing the frame of the former end wall of the cottage, including a rare survival of a timber mullioned window, with diamond-shaped mullions. C20 Dogleg staircase opposite the front door against the rear (SW wall of the house). Bedrooms, a further bathroom, and landing above with separate first floor mezzanine to NW end reached by C20 ladder staircase from extreme NW room. Curved wind braces on the first floor.

HISTORY: There is no documentary evidence, however, architectural evidence suggests that it was built in the C16. It has subsequently been encased in brick, possibly in the C18. The cottage is believed, at one stage in its history, to have been associated with Snell's Farmhouse, an C18 farmhouse (listed Grade II) located to the south-east. Hance's Cottage also has associations with Beel House to its immediate north-west and was, at one time, an ancillary service building to this property. Beel House is a small county house (listed Grade II*) in a park of C17 origins. It was considerably aggrandised and enlarged in the early C19. It is understood that in the mid C20, immediately prior to 1954 and a change of ownership, Hance's Cottage was occupied by the gardener and chauffeur for Beel House, at which time the ground floor was divided into two and the first floor was used as a gardener's bothy or store.

Since 1954 Hance's Cottage has been a private house. What is now the dining room, the south-easternmost part of the house, is understood to have been created post-1954 by rebuilding a former shed and incorporating it into the accommodation. The building has experienced some C20 alterations, such as the replacement of its windows with timber casements some limited modernisation. Some historic features have also been restored, such as the opening up of the inglenook fireplace and the exposure of the timber-frame in the former south-east wall of the cottage, now an internal partition in the dining room.

Hance's Cottage is designated at Grade II, for the following principal reasons:
* A substantially intact C16 timber-framed vernacular house with a cross-passage plan
* A solid and massive frame with distinctive curved tie-beams, an impressive inglenook fireplace with monumental bresummer, chamfered beams with unusual bow-tie stops and a rare survival of a timber mullioned window.

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

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