Farmstead record CRE 029 - Field Barn: Garnhams Barn

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The barn is an unusually small late-16th century three-bay threshing barn extending to just 9.3 m in length by 5.5 m in width (30.5 ft by 18 ft), with an early-19th century porch adjoining its central entrance. The barn is in a hamlet location by a public road. The barn survives intact.


Grid reference Centred TM 2185 5765 (81m by 41m)
Map sheet TM25NW


Type and Period (2)

Full Description

Garnhams Barn Farm lies in open countryside on the western side of the road between Cretingham and Otley. There is no farmhouse on the site, and the buildings consist of a late-16th century timber-framed barn which is set back from the road by approximately 75 metres and surrounded by 20th century livestock sheds. It seems likely that a contemporary farmhouse once lay between the barn and the road, and pottery evidence of its precise location and date may be revealed by the service trenches of any future conversion. The barn is an unusually small three-bay threshing barn extending to just 9.3 m in length by 5.5 m in width (30.5 ft by 18 ft), with an early-19th century porch adjoining its central entrance. The tithe map appears to show an additional bay to the south, and it is possible this represented an integral stable, but any evidence was lost when the southern gable was completely rebuilt in the 20th century. The shallow-pitched pantiled roof structure is also a later replacement, but in other respects the original fabric is relatively well preserved with all twelve studs of the front and rear walls remaining in situ along with two of their four externally trenched wall braces. Both open trusses also survive with their full complement of arch braces – a particularly rare feature in a small barn – but the northern gable was obscured by 20th century boarding at the time of inspection and its condition was unclear. The frame can be dated to the second half of the 16th century on the basis of an edge-halved and bridled scarf joint in its rear roof-plate (a form that was quickly superseded in circa 1600) and by the lack of queen or crown-post mortises in its tie-beams (indicating the presence of post-medieval side purlins in the missing roof). Small barns of the 16th century are now far less common than their larger counterparts, which were better suited to the needs of later agriculture and less likely to be demolished or rebuilt. Garnhams Barn is among the smallest of its period in Suffolk and offers important insight into the nature of agricultural buildings at the lower end of the scale (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 (1)

  • <S1> Unpublished document: Alston, L.. 2015. Heritage Asset Assessment: Garnhams Barn Farm, Cretingham.

Finds (0)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

Record last edited

Jul 31 2019 12:26PM

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