Farmstead record WRF 027 - Farmstead: Swan's Nest

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Summary

Swan's Nest is a farmstead visible on the 1st Ed Os map. The farmstead is laid out in a full regular courtyard with the farmhouse detached and set away from the yard. The farmstead sits alongside a public road in an isolated location. There has been a significant loss of working buildings with the remaining converted for residential use. Former 16th century farmouse, with later alterations and extentions, main extensions probably occurred in 1901 designed by Munro Cautley who then came to live in the house during the 1920s.

Location

Grid reference Centred TM 1752 4830 (106m by 113m)
Map sheet TM14NE
Civil Parish WESTERFIELD, SUFFOLK COASTAL, SUFFOLK

Map

Type and Period (5)

Full Description

Swan's Nest is a farmstead visible on the 1st Ed Os map. The farmstead is laid out in a full regular courtyard with the farmhouse detached and set away from the yard. The farmstead sits alongside a public road in an isolated location. There has been a significant loss of working buildings with the remaining converted for residential use.


Swan's Nest is a former farmhouse of considerable architectural and historic interest that appears to take its name from a field near the church that formed part of its farmland in the early-19th century.Its origins lie in the mid-16th century. Altered, extended and disguised over almost four centuries the house now represents a remarkable combination of styles and periods, of which the early 20th century glazed entrance is arguably the mos architecturally signigicant. Although very little of the Tudor timber frame at the heart of the building remains visible, there is sufficient evidence to establish that it was a substantial structure of high status that may well have been linked to the nearby manor house Westerfield Hall.

The Tudor timber-frame is mostly hidden behind later plaster and brickwork, however some key features remain visible. The wall between the modern entrance hall and the right-hand room of the house dates from the 16th century; the horizontal oak mid-rail above contains pegged mortise-and-renon joints that would have secured vertical studs. The mid-rail and exposed axial joists in the ceiling is unusual and impressive. It seems likely that the modern entrance occupies the same position as the cross-passage of the Tudor House and that the surviving mid-rail formed a screen between passage and hall. There is evidence of a 16th century window in the middle of the house. The tie-beam which spans the structure at eaves level immediately above is exposed in the first-floor corridor and contains a sharply cut rebate that was intended to secure a 16th century window shutter. This window opening is would have been in the centre of the gable. The entire roof was rebuilt in the 19th century, and has been further altered in very recent years, removing all further indications of the original gables. The chamfered first-floor ceiling joists that remain exposed in the modern front bathroom date from the early 17th century and appear to be insertions of that period.

Later Alterations were made in the late 18th or early 19th century when the present brick fa├žade was added. The brickwork replaced the earlier timbers rather than simply adjoining to them, and is probably contemporary with the extension that blocked the tudor window. Brick pilasters frame the present entrance door. The present staircase is a recent addition but it probably occupies the same position as its early 19th century predecessor. The remains of a narrow lean-to can still be seen between the early-20th century extensions to the rear. The ceiling timbers of the new southern extension were second-hand.

The house was extended between 1887 and 1904 as shown by OS mapping and it is understood that this occurred in 1901 to the designs of Munro Cautley who came to live in the house himself during the 1920s, when he probably added the bay window to the left of the entrance (S1).

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 (5)

  • --- Unpublished document: Campbell, G., and McSorley, G. 2019. SCCAS: Farmsteads in the Suffolk Countryside Project.
  • --- Vertical Aerial Photograph: various. Google Earth.
  • --- Map: Ordnance Survey. 1880s. Ordnance Survey 25 inch to 1 mile map, 1st edition.
  • --- Map: Ordnance Survey. c 1904. Ordnance Survey 25 inch to 1 mile map, 2nd edition. 25".
  • <S1> Unpublished document: Alston, L.. 2006. An Historical Survey, Swan's Nest, Westerfield, Suffolk.

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Related Events/Activities (2)

Record last edited

Nov 20 2019 8:50AM

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