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Three Oaks House

A Grade II Listed Building in Wadhurst, East Sussex

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Latitude: 51.0739 / 51°4'25"N

Longitude: 0.3201 / 0°19'12"E

OS Eastings: 562630

OS Northings: 133065

OS Grid: TQ626330

Mapcode National: GBR NRY.PQ1

Mapcode Global: FRA C6K8.VY4

Plus Code: 9F3238FC+G2

Entry Name: Three Oaks House

Listing Date: 21 October 2015

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1429634

Location: Wadhurst, Wealden, East Sussex, TN5

County: East Sussex

Civil Parish: Wadhurst

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): East Sussex

Church of England Parish: Wadhurst St Peter and St Paul

Church of England Diocese: Chichester

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Formerly a farmhouse, later a gentleman's residence. A late C15 or early C16 former open hall house with a late C16 or early C17 south-east cross-wing. Some C19 refurbishing and late C20 extensions. The late C20 extensions are not of special interest


Formerly a farmhouse, later a gentleman's residence. A late C15 or early C16 former open hall house with a late C16 or early C17 south-east cross-wing. Some C19 refurbishing and late C20 extensions. The late C20 extensions are not of special interest

MATERIALS: the house is timber-framed with plastered infill on a sandstone plinth. There is a sandstone ground floor to the cross-wing and tile-hanging to the gable of the cross-wing. The roof is tiled with two tall brick chimneystacks. Casement windows are windows and have leaded lights.

PLAN: the original part of the house was a two storey rectangular range running north to south including an open hall, but a separately framed cross-wing with cellar was added at the south end forming an L-wing. In the late C20 a large porch was added in the angle of the L, the kitchen was extended to the east and an existing outbuilding to the south was incorporated by a link block.

EXTERIOR: the west side is of two storeys, close-studded with a steeply pitched roof, which is hipped to the north. There is a tripartite window in the roof and two first floor casement windows rising through the eaves with gables and two ground floor casement windows. The entrance is through a large canted late C20 porch in the angle of the L.

The north end, also close-studded has two two-light casement windows on the first floor and a four-light casement window to the ground floor.

The east side is in two parts. The earlier northern part is close-studded and has a tall brick chimneystack in the roof slope. There are three casement windows on each floor, one of those on the upper floor a projecting square bay on brackets, and there is a small wooden porch on the ground floor. At the south end is a cross-wing of two storeys, attics and a semi-basement with cellar. The ground floor is of squared and tooled sandstone possibly infilling a jetty, the first floor is close-studded, and there is a projecting attic gable, tile-hung with carved wooden bargeboards. There are a number of wooden casement windows; some with ovolo moulding are late C16 or early C17 in date.

The south side has the return of the cross-wing. There is a ground floor of squared sandstone blocks and a timber-framed first floor which has been covered in weather-boarding. A brick chimneystack breaks through the roof slope and there are a number of casement windows, including two projecting bays. A late C20 single storey glazed and timber link block links the house to a former single-storeyed sandstone outbuilding.

The north side of the L-wing is of two storeys and attics close-studded with a curved tension brace visible. A penticed staircase extension was added on the first floor probably by 1909. The first floor has two casement windows and there are two flat-roofed dormers.

Added to the L-wing at the west end is a late C20 lower single-storey kitchen extension in matching materials, in timber with rendered infill and a tiled roof.

INTERIOR: the drawing room has a massive sandstone open fireplace along the north wall and the wooden bressumer above it is roll-moulded. The ceiling has roll-moulded cross beams and chamfered run out stops to the floor joists. The south wall has an oak plank and muntin partition shared with the adjoining dining room.

The dining room, up two steps, has an axial beam with a two-inch chamfer and un-chamfered floor joists. The wall frame is visible with studs and a midrail and there are some good examples of carpenters' marks. Along the north wall is the plank and muntin partition shared with the drawing room. Two walls have panelling, possibly C19 in date, and the arched fireplace is C19.

The eastern part of the kitchen retains an oak spine beam and ceiling beams.

The northern ground floor room, the billiard room, has some un-chamfered ceiling beams but a replaced axial beam and C20 stone fireplace.

In the entrance hall a C19 oak staircase with moulded balusters and square newel posts with ball finials leads to the upper floor.

The central bedroom in the main range, above the drawing room, became the principal chamber when the open hall was ceiled over and the fireplace was inserted. There is a brick fireplace with a wooden bressumer. There are three surviving very large curved braces supporting a tie beam and the ceiling was later heightened by the further addition of a spine beam and floor joists. The south wall has two separate frames exposed: the end frame to this room and the cross-wing frame to the adjoining bedroom. There are some good examples of carpenters' marks. The floor has original wide oak floorboards.

The corner south bedroom over the dining room has an exposed wall frame with a midrail, an axial beam with two-inch chamfers and un-chamfered ceiling joists; also two original mullioned windows. The fireplace is C20.

The bathroom and landing off this bedroom has jowled posts and a wall frame with the midrail visible.

No original features were visible in the north bedroom.

The attic floor has exposed purlins but no other parts of the roof structure were visible.

The cellar under the eastern part of the cross-wing has sandstone walls and two chamfered oak ceiling beams.


The 1874 First Edition 25'' Ordnance Survey map identifies the property as 'Threeoaks' and shows an L-shaped building almost to its current extent except for the later porch in the angle of the 'L' and later C20 extension to the south-east. At this date there appears to have been a pump where the porch is now and there are also a number of detached buildings to the north-east, possibly stabling or farm buildings.

On the 1909 Third Edition map the building is now called 'Three Oaks', the outline remains L-shaped but the outbuildings have been demolished. There is a carriage drive leading to the house and a porch has been constructed at the north end.

The property underwent refurbishment in the 1970s and was extended in the late C20.

Reasons for Listing

Three Oaks House, a late Medieval timber-framed open hall house with separately-framed late C16 or early C17 cross-wing, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Date: the house includes a late C15 or early C16 north range with a late C16 or early C17 cross-wing;
* Plan form: the original open hall plan with a later inserted floor and chimneystack and a later cross-wing is still readable;
* Interiors: include two late C16 open fireplaces, a roll-moulded ceiling, a plank and muntin partition, panelling and good examples of carpenters' marks;
* Degree of survival: a significant proportion of pre-1700 fabric survives including the close-studded oak wall frame, in two separate frames, with midrail, jetty and some original ovolo-moulded casement windows in the cross-wing, internal partitions, ceiling beams, oak inserted floor boards to the former open hall, roof trusses and curved braces to the former open hall, and later purlins above.

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