Building record GRU 089 - Arters Barn

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A 16th or early-17th century timber-framed threshing barn


Grid reference Centred TM 2060 5267 (23m by 23m)
Map sheet TM25SW


Type and Period (1)

Full Description

The site consists of a 16th or early-17th century timber-framed threshing barn and a late-20th century steel-framed hay barn in the angle of the road leading north to Otley and the track to Rookery Farm 150 m to the north-east. In the 19th century it formed part of Poplar Farm on the western side of Otley Road 500 m to the south. A survey of this farm drawn in 1826 by the well-known Woodbridge surveyor Isaac Johnson pictures the timber-framed barn as an isolated structure adjoining a narrow ‘yard and garden’ on the south with a five-acre field called ‘Arters’ on the opposite side of the road. The track to Rookery Farm then continued to Otley Bottom, indicating the site was a crossroads in the Middle Ages. It seems highly likely that the barn belonged to a small medieval farmhouse facing this crossroads that may have belonged to Henry le Carter in 1327 and was demolished in circa 1800 after the amalgamation of its land with that of Poplar Farm. By 1842 the garden had disappeared and the barn had been converted into a neat-house (bullock shed) in the corner of a large meadow. It continued to serve this purpose until recently, and is now adjoined by a mid-20th century covered cattle yard.

The original structure is a rare small threshing barn of three bays extending to only 9.6 m in length by 5.5 m in total width (31 ft by 18) that was subsequently extended to its present length of 18.6 m by adding bays at both gables (the first in the 17th century and the second, which incorporated a hay loft, early in the 19th). Barns of this modest scale were once common in the Suffolk landscape but are now much scarcer than their larger counterparts as so many were lost when their farms were united with neighbouring holdings. Its survival as an isolated neat-house is all the more remarkable as most were destroyed by the yard-based system of animal husbandry known today as Victorian High Farming. Despite some losses the barn’s walls remain largely intact, with full evidence of its original symmetrical framing (S1).

Sources/Archives (1)

  • <S1> Unpublished document: Alston, L.. 2018. Heritage Asset Assessment: Arters Barn, Grundisburgh.

Finds (0)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

Record last edited

Sep 16 2019 12:40PM

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