Farmstead record COK 049 - Farmstead: Earls Hall Farm

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Summary

Earls Hall Farm is a farmstead visible on the 1st Ed Os map. The farmstaed is laid out in a regular courtyard multi yard with E-plan and U-plan elements. The farmhouse is detached and set away from the yard. The farmstead sits alonngside a private track in an isolated location. There has been a significant loss of working buildings with modern sheds on site.

Location

Grid reference Centred TL 909 535 (144m by 151m)
Map sheet TL95SW
Civil Parish COCKFIELD, BABERGH, SUFFOLK

Map

Type and Period (6)

Full Description

Earls Hall Farm is a farmstead visible on the 1st Ed Os map. The farmstaed is laid out in a regular courtyard multi yard with E-plan and U-plan elements. The farmhouse is detached and set away from the yard. The farmstead sits alonngside a private track in an isolated location. There has been a significant loss of working buildings with modern sheds on site. (S3-6)

? Granted to Vere family, Earls of Oxford by Abbot of St Edmunds.
1642 Lands forfeited to Richard, Duke of Gloucester.
Late C15th Earls of Oxford reinstated, linked to LVM, PSM, SMT.
1829 Appears absorbed by main manor.
1853 Earls Hall Farm extended to 33 acres. (S1)

2015: By the time of the Cockfield tithe survey in 1843 it was still a relatively large farm of 326 acres, and possessed an unusually extensive complex of outbuildings. The property was compulsorily purchased by Suffolk County Council shortly after WWI as part of the Council Farms programme (‘land for heroes’), and divided into five tenanted farms, each served by a new cottage. The present farmhouse represents the recent conversion of two such cottages and the original grade II-listed 17th century house is in separate ownership on the opposite side of the road. The farm buildings incorporate elements of what appears to have been a sophisticated mid-19th century complex of flint-rubble structures with red-brick dressing, probably dating from the 1860s when the property became a gentry residence after years as a tenanted farm. This complex was altered between 1885 and 1904, as illustrated by early Ordnance Surveys, but was dramatically refurbished after the Council’s acquisition. The substantial threshing barn of eight bays was entirely rebuilt in softwood and Fletton brick, retaining only fragments of older flint walls, although its rear aisle is an exceptionally late example of a traditional form that may reflect the design of its predecessor. Many of the open-sided cart lodges and shelter-sheds depicted on the Ordnance Surveys were also remodelled and enclosed with new brickwork to create a series of cattle sheds, while the buildings of an additional western yard were demolished entirely. The best preserved 19th century structures include a pantiled former stable and a range of shelter-sheds facing a paddock to the east, although even these contain evidence of significant 20th century change. The buildings are fully visible from the adjoining road, and their flint-rubble walls retain considerable character, reflecting what must once have been a uniform model farm in the height of mid–Victorian fashion (S2)

Recorded as part of the Farmsteads in the Suffolk Countryside Project. This is a purely desk-based study and no site visits were undertaken. These records are not intended to be a definitive assessment of these buildings. Dating reflects their presence at a point in time on historic maps and there is potential for earlier origins to buildings and farmsteads. This project highlights a potential need for a more in depth field study of farmstead to gather more specific age data.

Sources/Archives (6)

  • <S1> Suffolk County Historic Environment Record: Suffolk County Council Sites and Monuments Record: Earls Hall.
  • <S2> Unpublished document: Alston, L.. 2015. Historic Building Record: Earls Hall Farm, Cockfield.
  • <S3> Unpublished document: Campbell, G., and McSorley, G. 2019. SCCAS: Farmsteads in the Suffolk Countryside Project.
  • <S4> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1880s. Ordnance Survey 25 inch to 1 mile map, 1st edition.
  • <S5> Map: Ordnance Survey. c 1904. Ordnance Survey 25 inch to 1 mile map, 2nd edition. 25".
  • <S6> Vertical Aerial Photograph: various. Google Earth.

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Protected Status/Designation

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Related Events/Activities (2)

Record last edited

Jun 17 2020 6:04AM

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