Building record DBN 153 - The Angel Inn, Debenham
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|Grid reference||Centred TM 1738 6334 (28m by 27m)|
|Civil Parish||DEBENHAM, MID SUFFOLK, SUFFOLK|
Type and Period (1)
Despite extensive alterations and losses in recent years the Angel remains an important grade II-listed timber-framed and rendered structure that was recorded as an inn by a manorial survey of 1621. Its chief historic interest relates to a rare and exceptionally well preserved rear gallery of the 16th century that allowed external access to the first-floor guest rooms, and an unusually fine collection of apotropaic (evil-averting) symbols cut into the lintels of its two ground-floor fireplaces. The contemporary cross-passage screen with foliate-carved spandrels is also a fine example of its type.
The inn was apparently formed in the mid-16th century by combining two building plots, each of two perches in length, and adapting the earlier structures on the site; a process which offers rare evidence of the flexibility of urban boundaries during the medieval and Tudor periods. The present building reflects the standard domestic layout of its day, with a central hall of two bays flanked by a parlour and high-end chimney on the left and a service bay on the right. This apparent normality, however, conceals a far more complex process of evolution, and is the result of dramatic alterations to an earlier and smaller house of the late-15th century. The street range consists of three structures of different dates: the service and gate bays to the right (south) were never jettied and represent an addition of the early-17th century on the site of an earlier service bay, while the hall and parlour were initially jettied and are accordingly wider (their recessed lower stories having been under-built in the 18th century). The parlour and the left-hand bay of the central hall originally formed the hall and service bay respectively of a 15th century house that was probably L-shaped and possessed a parlour in a wing behind its hall. This wing was unfortunately demolished in the 1960s or 1970s and replaced by a flat-roofed lavatory block. The 16th century chimney was inserted into the redundant 15th century cross-passage. The enlarged building seems to have functioned as a single inn until the late-19th century when the demolished rear wing and the adjoining front room once again became a separate tenement that was not reunited with the rest of the inn until the 1970s. (S1).
- <S1> SSF55392 Unpublished document: Alston, L.. 2014. Heritage Asset Assessment: The Angel Inn, Debenham.
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Record last edited
Nov 13 2014 3:46PM