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Bonds Manor

A Grade II Listed Building in Grundisburgh, Suffolk

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Latitude: 52.1224 / 52°7'20"N

Longitude: 1.2275 / 1°13'39"E

OS Eastings: 621042

OS Northings: 252034

OS Grid: TM210520

Mapcode National: GBR VNB.Z0Q

Mapcode Global: VHLBG.7X9B

Entry Name: Bonds Manor

Listing Date: 10 November 2015

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1425841

Location: Grundisburgh, Suffolk Coastal, Suffolk, IP13

County: Suffolk

District: Suffolk Coastal

Civil Parish: Grundisburgh

Traditional County: Suffolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Suffolk

Church of England Parish: Grundisburgh St Mary Virgin

Church of England Diocese: St.Edmundsbury and Ipswich

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House, part of a c.1600 farmstead of possible medieval origin, updated and extended in 1778.


House, part of a c.1600 farmstead of possible medieval origin; extended and updated in 1778; timber frame faced in red brick with tiled roof.

PLAN: the house is rectangular in plan, the early C17 house of three bays, with the late C18 addition to the north set back slightly from the west elevation. Both C17 and C18 sections are of two storeys with attics, and there is a single storey lean-to against the north gable end.

EXTERIOR: the west elevation is of red brick neatly laid in Flemish bond. With the late C18 addition to the north, this elevation is of four bays with the front door towards the centre with four windows to either side, both horned and unhorned 12 paned sashes under gauged brick flat arches, with the exception of the ground floor window to the north, which is a casement. The ground floor windows are immediately below those to the first floor, the whole creating a sense of classical symmetry. The addition of the brick façade means that the roofline has apparently been raised, creating swept eaves. A chimney is set on the ridge between the two south bays, with a second chimney on the ridge of the C18 addition. The main entrance to the house is set within a doorcase with raised fielded panels and fluted pilasters. The door has six raised and fielded decorative panels and a decorative brass door knocker.

The north gable, facing the road, is also of red brick, with kneelers. There is a modern lean-to to the ground floor. In the east elevation, the late C18 addition is of brick and has windows only to the ground floor, while the early C17 house is rendered, the render incised to create the appearance of ashlar stonework. There are two windows each to ground and first floor, and a dormer in the roof. All windows in this elevation are modern except for a small mullioned window under the eaves. The south gable has a sash window under the gable, and French doors within a doorcase with raised and fielded panels set under an arch; above the door is a moulded decorative boss.

INTERIOR: the interior of the house has an evolved hall house plan, with a central hall space with private and service rooms to either side, the service function of the north room taken in the C18 by the addition to the north. This early three cell plan essentially survives to the ground floor and attics, but has been subdivided on the first floor to form an arrangement of four rooms off a central landing, with the C18 addition forming a dressing room attached to the north room. There are fire places either side of the main stack between the hall and living room, the side facing the hall to the north with a bressumer.

The early house was timber framed, visible elements of which include posts (some jowled), mid-rail, wall plates, ovolo moulded axial beams to both ground and first floors and some studs. The roof has coupled rafters, tenoned purlins and collars. Incised into the plaster just above the timber framing of the gable end of the attic in the earlier house is the date 1778. The framing below the date has been cut through to insert a two panelled door, which opens onto the stack within the C18 addition. The plasterwork in the gable on this side has a rudimentary combed pattern of semi-circles framed by incised lines. The attics are fully plastered, with only principal rafters, collars and purlins visible.

A winder stair descends to the first floor from a small landing between the central and south attic rooms. At the turn of the winder stair is a small mullioned window, formerly blocked and plastered, uncovered in 2014. A winder stair from first to ground floor is enclosed behind the south stack, but has been superseded by a stair with plain newell posts and stick balusters rising from the hall to the first floor landing; this is one of the few major additions apparently later than the C18. The installation of this later stair has revealed sequential carpenters marks along a section of the mid-rail.

The hall has a glazed brick floor and is relatively untouched by C18 detail, apart from the sash window to the west and the six panelled front door, plain on this side, with moulded surround; beside the door is an original iron security bar, secured to the frame by a staple. The rooms to either side of the hall contain more detail, particularly that to the south, which seems to have been the polite room in the C18. Here all windows and doors have fluted surrounds with corner roundels; the windows have panelled reveals, and there is a six panelled door to the east of the fireplace. On the west side of the short passage that joins the south room and hall is a small timber mullioned window with two lights, both with leaded diamond panes; that to the right is a metal framed casement. The window, concealed on the outside by the late C18 brick façade, had also formerly been covered inside the house.

The north room also has windows with panelled reveals, and the doors between it and the C18 addition to the north have six raised and fielded panels. Other doors throughout the house are mainly either C18 two panelled doors, or later plain four panelled.


The early C17 farmhouse at Bonds Manor, with its contemporary barn, later farm buildings and the possible remains of a moat, represents the evolution of a substantial yeoman farmstead from the medieval period to the C19. To the west of the house the north and west arms of the moat survive as earthworks, with a south arm enlarged into a pond, evidence of a probable predecessor to the surviving C17 farmstead. A Heritage Asset Assessment of 2013 dates the house to c.1600, based on the construction of the roof; while the date 1778, incised into the plaster just beneath the apex of the gable end of the attic in the earlier house, is likely to be the date that the house was updated and slightly extended to the north. This work may have been structurally necessary, but the main intention seems to have been to gentrify the farmhouse, creating a new brick façade, with sash windows and handsome panelled front door, facing west, towards the main entrance and away from the farmyard. It may have been soon after this that the farm became known as Redhouse Farm (its name on the Ordnance Survey (OS) map of 1882), a reference to its red brickwork, but by the early C20 it had been renamed Bonds Corner Farm, possibly a reversion to an earlier name or, alternatively, a rather grim reference to the local legend of a suicide named Bond, buried at the crossroads immediately west of the farmstead. Although there is no documentary evidence that directly links the Bond family with this farm, the assessment of three hearths for Thomas Bond in the Hearth Tax returns of 1674 is consistent with the three hearths in the early house. The burials of two preceding generations of Thomas Bond are recorded in the Grundisburgh Parish Register.

At the time of the tithe survey of Grundisburgh in 1842 the farm was tenanted, holding 89 acres within the parish. The tithe map shows the house, and also the barn to the south, but between 1842 and the first Ordnance Survey (OS) map of 1882, with the exception of the barn, the farmyard buildings were completely replaced by new ranges enclosing the same space. The OS map of 1927 shows the barn without its south facing porch, evidently removed sometime after 1882.

Bonds Manor was formerly listed at Grade III as Bond’s Corner Farmhouse, dated to the late C17. When the grading system changed and Grade III was removed (c1970) the house was not migrated to Grade II, although no reasons are recorded.

Reasons for Listing

Bonds Manor is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural interest: the preservation of the fabric and plan of the C17 house within and integrated into the refurbished house of the late C18. Techniques used in the timber framing and roof structure of the C17 house will also provide significant evidence of local building traditions;
* Historic interest: the survival and evolution of plan form from the C17 to the late C18, while the late C18 alterations and the introduction of decorative detail to polite rooms also provides evidence of evolving social attitudes;
* Degree of survival; apart from the insertion of new windows to the east elevation in the C20, the fabric of the both the C17 house and the C18 refurbishment survives substantially intact.

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