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Major Farmhouse

A Grade II Listed Building in Eye, Suffolk

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Latitude: 52.3089 / 52°18'31"N

Longitude: 1.1105 / 1°6'37"E

OS Eastings: 612137

OS Northings: 272418

OS Grid: TM121724

Mapcode National: GBR TJQ.CJL

Mapcode Global: VHL9M.67DC

Plus Code: 9F438456+H5

Entry Name: Major Farmhouse

Listing Date: 9 February 2021

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1472877

Location: Eye, Mid Suffolk, Suffolk, IP23

County: Suffolk

Civil Parish: Eye

Traditional County: Suffolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Suffolk


A vernacular C17 lobby entry farmhouse, extended twice in the C18.


A vernacular C17 lobby entry farmhouse, extended twice in the C18.


The building has a structural timber frame, with some red brick used for chimneys and the exterior wall of the east extension. The roofs are covered in glazed pantiles.


The house faces west and retains at its core the rectangular original lobby-entry range. This has been elaborated by the addition of the east and south extensions.


The C17 core of the house has two principal storeys and an attic contained within a steeply pitched roof. This roof extends in a cat-slide to the outer wall of the eastern ground floor extension. Perpendicular to these parts is a two-storey south extension with its own hipped roof.

The principal elevation faces west and includes the long outer wall of the C17 house standing slightly proud of the south extension. The walls of both parts of the building are covered in render. The main entrance within the principal block is positioned centrally on the ground floor and has a segmental fanlight and a six-panelled, late-C19, door. To each side of the door is a timber-framed window opening, with two corresponding windows at the first floor. A chimney stack rises through the ridgeline level with the entrance. The west elevation of the south extension features a single window on each floor.

The north elevation comprises the gable wall of the C17 block and the termination of the east extension. There are windows at the ground and attic level. The partial loss of render has exposed some of the long vertical studding of the C17 timber frame.

The east elevation features the long cat slide form that connects the extension to the C17 range. Between the east extension and the south extension is an area of later in-fill that connects those two parts of the building. The ground floor of the east extension is walled with brick and has two windows. The south extension is rendered and has a window on both ground and first floor.

The south elevation is windowless and covered in render, except for a single door at the east end of the ground floor. Rising centrally through the hipped pantiled roof is a brick chimney stack.


The principal interior spaces flank the central chimney stack within the C17 range. At ground floor these include two substantial fireplaces: in the north room is a brick fireplace with a timber bressumer, and in the south room is a blocked fireplace (now containing a gas heater) that has a classical late-C19 wooden surround. Within the southern extension there is a late-C18 or early-C19 hob grate at ground floor.

The vertical circulation includes two straight flights from ground to first floor, and a winder stair from the first floor to the attic. At the north end of the building the straight flight is steep and ladder-like. There are other articles of historic joinery throughout the house, including two plank and batten doors, and several C19 four-panelled doors.


Major Farm stands at the south-western edge of the parish of Eye, bordering Braiseworth to the south and Yaxley to the north. Eye operated a significant regional market and was served by the extensive agricultural area around it, including longstanding farmsteads such as Major Farm.

The farmhouse originated as a lobby-entry, mid- to late-C17, timber-framed dwelling built in a vernacular fashion, with two storeys and an attic. Its earliest form is likely to have had two cells on each floor, either side of the central brick chimney stack. Over time the building has been extended with a single storey to the south, creating a long cat-slide roof connecting to the ridge of the principal range, and extended again to the south in a two-storey wing with its own roof.

The south extension has a less vernacular character and contains a late-C18 or early-C19 hob grate at ground floor. It is likely that this was added around 1800 and may have coincided with the covering of the exterior of the building in render to disguise the timber frame. The fanlight above the front door may have been added at the same time.

The building is not clearly shown on the 1839 Tithe Map for the parish of Eye, though the farm outbuildings, including a large barn demolished between 1886 and 1926, are indicated. The 1886 Ordnance Survey shows the farmhouse in its current configuration and it does not appear to have changed significantly since that date. Most of the historic buildings around the farmstead have now been demolished.

Reasons for Listing

Major Farmhouse in Eye, Suffolk, constructed in the C17 and extended twice in the C18, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

* For the display of local distinctiveness in its materials and craftsmanship, making use of timber framing and local clay pantiles;

* For its surviving lobby entry plan form, with later additions;

Historic interest:

* For the survival of its C17 core within the larger farmhouse;

* For the layered historical value found in its C18 extensions, showing the evolution of the building.

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