Farmstead record STH 020 - Farmstead: Sotherton Hall

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Summary

Sotherton Hall is a farmstead visible on the 1st Ed Os map. The farmstead is laid out in a parallel plan with additional detached elements. The farmhouse is detached and set away from the yard. The farmstead sits alongside a private track in a loose farmstead cluster. There has been a partial loss of working buildings with large modern sheds on site.

Location

Grid reference Centred TM 4276 7875 (120m by 84m)
Map sheet TM47NW
Civil Parish SOTHERTON, WAVENEY, SUFFOLK

Map

Type and Period (10)

Full Description

Sotherton Hall is a farmstead visible on the 1st Ed Os map. The farmstead is laid out in a parallel plan with additional detached elements. The farmhouse is detached and set away from the yard. The farmstead sits alongside a private track in an isolated location. There has been a partial loss of working buildings with large modern sheds on site. (S2-5)

2016 Heritage Asset Assessment: At the time of the 1838 tithe survey the farm was a large tenanted holding of 128 acres on the estate of the Earl of Stradbroke based at nearby Henham Hall. Known as Sotherton Farm until the 1960s and it is unclear whether it occupies the site of the medieval manor of Sotherton. The tithe map depicts the outbuildings much as they remain today, and they represent an exceptionally well preserved early-19th century farm complex. Very few local farmsteads escaped rebuilding or major remodelling in the later 19th century as part of the agricultural revolution known today as Victorian High Farming, but the wealthy Henham Estate appears to have anticipated its trends. The original three-bay barn is a timber-framed structure of the 16th century, but was re-roofed and largely rebuilt in c.1800 - probably in response to Sotherton Moor's enclosure which increased the size of the farm by at least a third. Soon after this 'Napoleonic' barn was extended northwards by one bay and a large brick stable was added to its southern gable. A narrow neat-house was also built to the north along with a detached granary and cart lodge which retains its first floor grain bins to the south. An L-shaped range of single-storied loose boxes and cart sheds was added to the barn's western elevation shortly before the Ordnance Survey of 1882, largely completing the present complex. The neat-house, stable, and granary/cart lodge are all good examples of their kind, although the former have lost their original lofts, but their chief historic interest lies in their highly unusual shared roof structure. In contrast to the roofs typical of early-19th century Suffolk the roofs of the barns are constructed in the manner of Western England. The crucks were apparently designed to overcome a shortage of good timber, and it is remarkable to find three such roofs on the same farm (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)

  • <S1> Unpublished document: Alston, L.. 2016. Heritage Asset Assessment: Farm Buildings at Sotherton Hall, Sotherton, Suffolk.
  • <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.

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Related Events/Activities (2)

Record last edited

Jan 23 2020 8:32AM

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