Farmstead record COM 042 - Farmstead: Ebb's Farm

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Summary

Ebb's Farm, Combs. 17th century farmstead and 16th century farmhouse with converted buildings. Regular courtyard L-shaped plan formed by working agricultural buildings with additional detached elements. The farmhouse is set away from the yard. Partial loss (less than 50%) of the traditional farm buildings. Located within a hamlet.

Location

Grid reference Centred TM 0317 5586 (104m by 94m)
Map sheet TM05NW
Civil Parish COMBS, MID SUFFOLK, SUFFOLK

Map

Type and Period (5)

Full Description

Ebbs House adjoins open countryside to the north of Bildeston Road approximately 2 km south-west of Combs parish church. Its site is of considerable historic importance, containing a grade II-listed former farmhouse with exceptional features in addition to the separately listed barn. The house dates from the early-16th century but does not reflect the usual domestic layout of its period and appears to have formed the narrow jettied gatehouse range of a high-status house standing in a moated platform to the rear. A finely carved oriel window bears the maid’s head emblem of the Worshipful Company of Mercers and the property’s name may derive from one John Hebbes who was created a freeman in 1498. The gatehouse appears to have been converted into farmhouse when the barn was built in circa 1620, and in 1841 Ebb’s Farm was a mid-scale tenanted arable holding of just over 70 acres. The eastern arm of the moat was destroyed by new housing in recent years, but a section survives in the pond adjoining the barn’s northern gable.

The barn is a timber-framed and weatherboarded structure of five bays with a central entrance facing the house on the west. There is evidence that the northern bay is a slightly later addition. The roof is an impressive clasped-purlin structure which retains a full complement of wind-braces and justifies the grade II listing in itself. The great majority of wall studs also survive, but in other respects the building has been much altered. All but one of its internally trenched braces have been removed, and the original external render has been replaced by modern weatherboarding (with small sections of 19th century boarding to the rear). The present pantiles replaced thatch or peg-tiles and both gables were initially hipped rather than vertical. The central threshing floor of brick or boarding has been replaced by concrete, the barn doors are modern and the studs which framed a small rear doorway to the east were removed to accommodate a rear porch shown on early maps but of which no trace now remains. Despite these changes the barn represents a good example of its type, reflecting the agricultural boom of the early-17th century, although its chief interest lies in its historic and visual contribution to the adjacent house and moat (S1).

Ebb's Farm, Combs. 17th century farmstead and 16th century farmhouse with converted buildings. Regular courtyard L-shaped plan formed by working agricultural buildings with additional detached elements. The farmhouse is set away from the yard. Partial loss (less than 50%) of the traditional farm buildings. 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: Barn at Ebbs House, Bildeston Road, Combs.
  • <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. Combs Tithe Map.

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Protected Status/Designation

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Related Events/Activities (2)

Record last edited

Feb 3 2020 1:01PM

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