Farmstead record FSF 075 - Farmstead: Rookery Farm

Please read our .

Summary

Rookery Farm, Fressingfield. 16th century farmstead and farmhouse. Regular courtyard multi-yard plan formed by working agricultural buildings. The farmhouse is set away from the yard. The farmstead is extant. Located within a hamlet.

Location

Grid reference Centred TM 2831 7552 (117m by 66m)
Map sheet TM27NE
Civil Parish FRESSINGFIELD, MID SUFFOLK, SUFFOLK

Map

Type and Period (6)

Full Description

Rookery Farm lies in open countryside at the entrance to one of the best preserved and most picturesque medieval commons in Britain. The grade II-listed farmhouse is a substantial timber-framed and rendered structure of Yeoman status built in two phases during the mid- to late-16th century, but in its present form is curiously absent from the tithe map of 1842 when the farm was an owner-occupied holding of 87 acres. It reflects the standard room plan of its period, with a single service room adjoining the road to the north, a central hall entered by a cross-passage which appears to preserve a rare screen, and a large parlour to the south. The upper storey of the service room and hall were initially open to the clasped-purlin roof but the parlour bay contained oriel windows and an attic room from the outset. The chimney and parlour bays form a separate frame to that of the hall, but are so similar that they were probably constructed in successive years while retaining part of the medieval house on the site. The present chimney with three recently rebuilt octagonal shafts is an insertion of the early-17th century, replacing a predecessor which lacked a first-floor fireplace, and there is evidence of significant remodelling to the windows at the same period. If the tithe map is accurate, as it appears to be elsewhere, the parlour bay was at some point physically detached from the hall and moved several metres to the south where it a formed a separate dwelling before being restored to its original position prior to 1882. Improbable as this scenario may seem it cannot be ruled out. The 19th century maps also show a long narrow range projecting at right-angles from the parlour’s western wall, where a blocked first-floor doorway can still be seen, but this was demolished before 1925. The farm buildings to the west of the house consist of a number of mid- and late-19th century sheds along with two 16th century timber- framed structures that form the western and northern sides of a small yard: respectively a three-bay threshing barn and a rare three-bay detached stable that contains the same distinctive scarf joint as the hall bay. For three contemporary or near-contemporary Tudor buildings to survive on the same vernacular farmstead is highly unusual and of considerable historic interest (S1).

Rookery Farm, Fressingfield. 16th century farmstead and farmhouse. Regular courtyard multi-yard plan formed by working agricultural buildings. The farmhouse is set away from the yard. The farmstead is extant. Located within a hamlet (S2-7).

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 (7)

  • <S1> Unpublished document: Alston, L.. 2013. Heritage Asset Assessment: Rookery Farmhouse, Chippenhall Green, Fressingield.
  • <S2> Unpublished document: Campbell, G., and McSorley, G. 2019. SCCAS: Farmsteads in the Suffolk Countryside Project.
  • <S3> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1880s. Ordnance Survey 25 inch to 1 mile map, 1st edition.
  • <S4> Map: Ordnance Survey. c 1904. Ordnance Survey 25 inch to 1 mile map, 2nd edition. 25".
  • <S5> Vertical Aerial Photograph: various. Google Earth.
  • <S6> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1949. Ordnance Survey 6 inch to 1, mile, 3rd edition. 1:10,560.
  • <S7> Map: 1841. Fressingfield Tithe Map.

Finds (0)

Protected Status/Designation

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (2)

Record last edited

Apr 27 2020 5:36PM

Comments and Feedback

Do you have any more information about this record? Please feel free to comment with information and photographs, or ask any questions, using the "Disqus" tool below. Comments are moderated, and we aim to respond/publish as soon as possible.