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Green Farm House, Hunston

A Grade II Listed Building in Hunston, Suffolk

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Latitude: 52.2639 / 52°15'49"N

Longitude: 0.903 / 0°54'10"E

OS Eastings: 598201

OS Northings: 266826

OS Grid: TL982668

Mapcode National: GBR SHQ.14M

Mapcode Global: VHKD7.LCRC

Plus Code: 9F427W73+G6

Entry Name: Green Farm House, Hunston

Listing Date: 19 September 2012

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1408159

Location: Hunston, Mid Suffolk, Suffolk, IP31

County: Suffolk

Civil Parish: Hunston

Traditional County: Suffolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Suffolk

Church of England Parish: Hunston St Michael

Church of England Diocese: St.Edmundsbury and Ipswich

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A late-C17 or early-C18 farmhouse and probable C19 barn.


PLAN: this is a three cell house, of two-storeys, the stack between the first and second cells to the south-east with chimney on the ridge above. There is a single-storey outshut to most of the north elevation.

EXTERIOR: the ground-floor south-east elevation has a front door placed north-west of centre with two other doors with segmental arches, both infilled with flint; there is a similar door to the south-east end of the rear elevation. The south-east elevation also has three windows to the ground floor, all with segmental arches; the first floor windows are immediately above those to the ground floor. There is a similar but larger ground floor opening to the north-west gable end, infilled with flint. The first floor has exposed studs with some bracing. The back door is in the outshut, which has a large window and sliding patio doors to the north-east elevation. All windows and doors are modern.

INTERIOR: the house has a three-cell plan form, with modern brick fireplaces to the central hall and south-east parlour, either side of the stack. A modern brick fireplace opens into the stack from the outshut. Ceiling joists survive throughout, supported by a transverse beam in the north-west room, where closely spaced joists in a small square of the north corner, set at right-angles to the main joists, may indicate the original location of the stairs. In the outshut, a hatch to the roof space allows a view of original studs at first-floor level, and the modern outshut roof.

Stairs rise to the first-floor corridor from the south-west room. Doors open onto the three rooms to the north-east of the corridor, which ends at the door to the north-west bedroom. There are tie-beams visible at regular intervals across the corridor and in each room. The first room (parlour chamber) has a chimney breast and C19 cast-iron fireplace. The fourth room at the end of the corridor is open to the roof. This is of common rafter construction with purlins clasped by collars, and with a ridge piece. The chimney stack in the roof space is rendered.

SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: the barn is probably late C18 or early C19, of clay lump on a brick plinth, with a tiled roof and brick floor. This is a small single-storey rectangular building with a pitched roof, a door facing towards the house and large window openings to south-west and north-west. It has a common rafter roof with ridge piece, purlins and collars.


Historical sources suggest that Green Farm House probably dates to the late C17 or early C18. A probate entry of 1703 itemising the goods of John Fiske, a small farmer with a tenement on the edge of Hunston Green, describes a house which may be identifiable with Green Farm. The number and function of the rooms suggests an evolving hall-house plan, consistent with the existing plan form of Green Farm: the hall to the centre, parlour to the south-east, buttery and pantry in the unheated north-west room, with backhouse, dairy and beer buttery in the outshut to the north. Above the main rooms were four chambers, the parlour chamber, porch chamber, hall chamber and buttery chamber. The probate entry records four hearths, one each to the hall, parlour, beer buttery and parlour chamber.

By 1790 Green Farm was held by the Prior family. Tradition suggests that the local benefactress, Mary Page, held it before her death in 1731; if so, it may have formed part of the twenty-six acres that she left to Robert Prior. Following the enclosure of Hunston in 1814 the farmhouse was split into three, with Nos.2 and 3 let as a double tenement. The timber framing and clay lump of the ground floor was encased in flint cobbles embedded in lime mortar, with brick quoins and surrounds to windows and doors, with additional doors to separate dwellings inserted. The 1884 Ordnance Survey (OS) map shows the house as two dwellings, so this arrangement presumably continued, although perhaps only in theory, as between 1830 and 1855 the farm was tenanted by the Jiggens family, farmers and butchers. There is evidence that the barn was used as a butcher's shop, and it may have been built or adapted by John Jiggens Senior for this purpose. In 1919, when the Hunston Hall Estate was put up for auction, Green Farm was described in the auction particulars as 'A pleasantly situate farmhouse, containing two sitting rooms, back kitchen, pantry, dairy and four bedrooms'.

When the present owners bought the house it had suffered from twenty unoccupied years followed by poor quality renovation, including a covering of cement render over chicken wire to the first floor. This has been removed, and corner posts, wall plates and wall studs replaced where necessary, using salvaged historic timbers. The roof of the outshut to the north has also been replaced, and new openings inserted.

Reasons for Listing

Green Farm House, Hunston is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Architectural interest: it is a modest farmhouse the materials and form of which reflect the local building traditions of both main phases of development, the period around 1700 and the early C19.
* Survival: it retains significant elements of its early construction, including roof structure, and its early C19 external form and fabric also survives.
* Historic interest: the tenurial history of the farm is well documented, and its historical development is recorded in its external fabric and internal plan.
* Plan: the plan of the house records a representative sequence of development and illustrates the evolution of ideas of privacy and comfort from the medieval hall house to the C19.

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