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Poplar Farm Cottage

A Grade II Listed Building in Forest Row, East Sussex

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Latitude: 51.0885 / 51°5'18"N

Longitude: 0.031 / 0°1'51"E

OS Eastings: 542337

OS Northings: 134097

OS Grid: TQ423340

Mapcode National: GBR LNQ.NNB

Mapcode Global: FRA B6Y7.PXF

Entry Name: Poplar Farm Cottage

Listing Date: 1 February 2016

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1432302

Location: Forest Row, Wealden, East Sussex, RH18

County: East Sussex

District: Wealden

Civil Parish: Forest Row

Built-Up Area: Forest Row

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): East Sussex

Church of England Parish: Forest Row

Church of England Diocese: Chichester

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Forest Row


A cottage, probably of early C18 date.


A cottage, probably of early C18 date. The windows are mainly C19 within earlier openings and there is a 1970s rear extension. The C20 WC and 1970s flat-roofed extension on the east side are not of special interest.

MATERIALS: the cottage is timber-framed, under built in brick in stretcher bond on the west side with a tile-hung upper floor on the west side and weather-boarding on the east side. The tiled roof has an end chimneystack with a sandstone base and brick above.

PLAN: a two-storey, two-bay, end chimneystack house with an off-central entrance with a staircase opposite. Internally there were two unequal sized rooms on each floor. The plan has been little changed subsequently except for a small C20 WC and a 1970s single-storey replacement of an earlier penticed outshot, both on the east side.

EXTERIOR: the west or entrance front has two C19 horizontally sliding casements within original openings on the first floor. The ground floor has one similar window and a larger casement on the right hand side. The off-central doorcase has a four-panelled door behind a gabled wooden porch supported on piers.

The east side has no windows on the first floor and one small casement window to the ground floor. The south end of this side has the return of the sandstone chimneybreast. Much of this side is obscured by a single-storey brick 1970s extension.

The south end has the sandstone chimneybreast.

The north side of the property is concealed by the later Poplar Farm.

INTERIOR: the entrance from the west leads directly into the south sitting room which has a chamfered spine beam with run-out stops and un-chamfered ceiling joists, originally plastered over. The large open fireplace has a wooden bressumer on brick sides, a bread oven on the left side, a seat on the right side and two spice recesses. The walls have C18 dado panelling. A plank door in the north wall leads directly onto the staircase. The dining room to the north also has exposed ceiling beams.

The kitchen and bathroom's west wall was the original east external wall and has an exposed box frame with some visible carpenters' marks that appears to extend into the upper floor. There is evidence in the north wall of the bathroom for a former penticed outshot with original truss timbers.

The half-winder staircase is original and retains its framed partition walls and old floor boards to the landing. The larger south bedroom has exposed wall-plates, jowled corner posts and wide oak floorboards. The north bedroom has exposed wall-plates and iron pintle hinges to the door frame.

The property retains a virtually complete series of ledged plank doors.


Poplar Farm Cottage dates back at least to the early C18 and may have been a commons encroachment cottage. It may be one of the cottages shown on the 1795 one inch to one mile Gardner's map of Sussex although the scale is too small to be sure, but it does appear on the 1842 Tithe Map for East Grinstead, and the Apportionment as item 94. It is recorded as 'house and garden etc.', the occupier was Hugh Simmonds and the owner John Sturt. On the 1841 Census Hugh Simmonds is registered as living in his father William Simmonds house on Chapel Lane which at that time extended as far as Poplar Farm Cottage. By the 1851 Census Hugh Simmonds was living with his wife on Chapel Lane.

On the 1874 map the cottage appears to have been combined with a later building to the north, which is now a separate property called Poplar Farm. No division is shown between the properties on the 1874 map; and a well is shown to the east of the property. On the 1881 Census there appear to be three separate families living here, probably because at that date Poplar Farm Cottage and Poplar Farm were combined. These were: the Budgen family, whose head was a wood truss hoop maker; a married couple called Tester, whose husband was a trug maker, and the Over family, whose head was a plasterer. On the 1891 Census John Budgen his wife, daughter and two lodgers are recorded living here.

There is no second edition map for this area but on the 1910 Third Edition 1910 map Poplar Farm Cottage had not altered its L-shaped footprint shown on the 1874 map and no division is shown between it and Poplar Farm.

Later in the C20 an exterior WC was built to the south. In the 1970s an original rear outshot was replaced by a single-storey extension.

Reasons for Listing

Poplar Farm Cottage, which is probably of early C18 date, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural interest: a rural cottage built of local materials for a labouring family or similar retaining its original plan form of a two-storey, two-bay end chimneystack house;
* Interior fittings: these include an open fireplace retaining a bread-oven, exposed ceiling beams, dado panelling, a half-winder staircase and a virtually complete series of ledged plank doors;
* Degree of survival: little altered and retaining a significant proportion of original fabric;
* Comparators: similar cottages have been statutorily listed elsewhere.

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