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Rylands Cottage

A Grade II Listed Building in Plumpton, East Sussex

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Latitude: 50.9318 / 50°55'54"N

Longitude: -0.0617 / 0°3'41"W

OS Eastings: 536306

OS Northings: 116492

OS Grid: TQ363164

Mapcode National: GBR KP6.H77

Mapcode Global: FRA B6RN.3SG

Entry Name: Rylands Cottage

Listing Date: 6 December 2016

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1438635

Location: Plumpton, Lewes, East Sussex, BN7

County: East Sussex

District: Lewes

Civil Parish: Plumpton

Built-Up Area: Plumpton Green

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): East Sussex

Church of England Parish: Plumpton with East Chiltington-cum-Novington

Church of England Diocese: Chichester

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An early to mid-C16 house, re-fronted in the later C18 or early C19 and with a catslide roof added on the N side. In the later C20 it was refurbished, re-fenestrated within existing openings and extended by the addition of a porch on the E side and an extension on the SW side.


An early to mid-C16 house, re-fronted in the later C18 or early C19 when a catslide roof was added on the N side. In the later C20 it was refurbished, re-fenestrated within existing openings and extended by the addition of a porch on the E side and an extension on the SW side. The C20 E porch and SW extension are not of special interest.

MATERIALS: timber-framed, clad in red brick mainly in Flemish bond to the ground floor, painted on the N and part of the W sides, and tile-hung on the first floor. It has a hipped tiled roof, with brick chimneystacks.

PLAN: the house was originally rectangular of three bays, probably of lobby entry plan, with an off-central entrance from the E into the central ground floor room. An outshot was added at the N end in the later C18 or early C19 and the first floor ceilings were heightened. In the 1980s an E porch and SW extension were added, changing the plan to an L-shape, with a projection on the E side.

EXTERIOR: the E elevation, probably the original entrance front, has a tile-hung first floor with three later C20 casement windows. The ground floor was re-fronted in the late C18 or early C19 in Flemish bond brickwork with some grey headers. There is a later C20 off-central porch. The N end has a painted brick exterior to the outshut.

The N side has a late C18 or early C19 catslide roof over a painted brick ground floor.

The S side of the original building is tile-hung over a brick ground floor. The W half is of later C20 in matching materials. There is an early C19 brick external chimneystack.

The W side has a later C20 two-storey addition in stretcher bond with tile-hanging above and a single-storey addition to the end, but underneath a penticed roof is the C18 ground floor of painted brick and first floor C16 timber frame with a mid-rail and curved wind brace.

INTERIOR: the N ground floor room (kitchen) includes the exposed former N external wall of the C16 house which includes four timber-framed panels with a mid-rail, interrupted in the centre for a later opening and with a later catslide roofed outshut attached. The ground floor frame below was removed when the outshot was attached but a beam retains sockets for the top of an original window. The ceiling beams are probably late C18 or early C19.

The central ground floor room has exposed ceiling beams with a spine beam with one and a half inch chamfers and narrower chamfered joists. The open fireplace has a wooden bressumer and the brickwork behind appears to be C19. The cill plate of the C16 original E external wall is visible in the later C20 SW extension.

A late C20 half-winder staircase leads to the upper floor which has a largely intact C16 timber frame. All eight principal posts with jowls, all four tie beams, two wall plates, almost the entire mid-rails and almost all small panel frames remain. There is evidence for three mullion windows. Also the two C16 internal partitions survive, the N one interrupted by the C18 brick chimneystack.

The SW bedroom in the extension has a visible C16 mid-rail, curved brace, corner post to the original C16 external wall and the reverse of this wall is shown adjoining the staircase; there is also a three plank door.

The adjoining shower room has an exposed wall frame with a mid-rail and corner post and cast iron pintle door hinges.

The S bedroom/office has an exposed C16 splayed principal post, wall plate, tie beam, mid-rails and small panel framing. Peg holes are evidence for the diagonal braces on the S wall.

The central bedroom has the original frame exposed with a mid-rail, corner post and wattle and daub panels. The fireplace has C18 brickwork in English garden wall bond. The ceiling was heightened in the C18.

The N room, currently a bathroom, contains the C16 frame with evidence of a C16 queen post, the top of the later catslide roof and the upper part of an C18 brick chimneystack.

There are a number of plank doors on the first floor.

The C16 roof structure of clasped purlins with curved wind-braces and queen-posts appears to be intact and parts of a hazel, wattle and daub partition are visible. The pegged rafters are without a ridge-piece.

This list entry was subject to a Minor Amendment on 07/12/2016


This property was built in the first half of the C16 and was originally called Stonyngs. It is referred to in an indenture of a deed of sale of the Manor of Plumpton dated 4 July 1555 (ESRO SAS/A19) which shows that John Stempe of Stonyngs was a tenant of the manor of Plumpton in that year. The entry reads: ' And John Stempe holdith halfe a yarde lande called Stonyngs .....yelding and fynding amonges other rents and services yerely one man to worke with him for three daies in the harvest orels to pay unto him ix pence yearly.' Stempe is not likely to have farmed it himself but to have installed a tenant.

John Stempe was a prominent Lewes figure in the C16. His father, also John Stempe, was the auditor at the Priory of St Pancras in Lewes and received a pension following its dissolution in 1537. The younger John Stempe (c1515-1594) was elected a Member of Parliament for Lewes in 1554, purchased the manor of Southover formerly belonging to the Priory in 1557, and in 1575 collected the rents and revenues of all the Sussex holdings of the late Lady Anne of Cleves. The 1597 Book of John Rowe mentions the late John Stempe Gent. holding a tenement and lands in Plumpton called Stonyngs.

The property is shown on the 1778 Yeakell & Gardner map, and on an 1842 Tithe map for Plumpton it appears as an L-shaped building and it is thought that the entrance was from a track on the S side. On this map a long rectangular building is shown immediately to the SE, possibly a barn. The property adjoined a drovers' route. Stonyngs was owned between 1839-1880 by Benjamin Ridge.

On the 1873 First Edition Ordnance Survey map the two buildings are shown without alteration and a brick field is shown to the E. The brickyard foreman lived in the property.

An Edwardian photograph shows the E side of Rylands Cottage with a brick ground floor, a tile-hung first floor with three casement windows, including some horizontally sliding, and an off-central entrance.

1964 Sales Particulars show the building from the SE with the addition of a gabled porch over the entrance on the E side.

In the 1980s the property was altered and extended by a two-storey extension to the SW and a gabled porch added to the E.

There is a circular brick well in the garden, probably of C18 date.

Reasons for Listing

Rylands Cottage, a three bay timber-framed house first recorded in 1555 is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Date and rates of survival: 1600 or earlier houses form only a small percentage of England's built heritage and this building is first mentioned in an indenture of 1555;
* Materials: a timber frame of good scantling with some chamfered ceiling beams and an unusually good survival of wattle and daub infill panels;
* Plan form, room use and circulation: the original three bay plan form, with central hall and three chambers above is still readable;
* Historic interest: the original owner was John Stempe (c1515-1594) a leading citizen and MP for Lewes in the C16;
* Proportion of Survival: despite some later additions, original ceiling beams, the entire first floor wall frame, two internal partitions and the clasped purlin queen-post roof survive, a significant proportion of pre-1700 fabric. The later C18 or early C19 catslide outshot, chimney and brick cladding are also of interest.

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