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Ordnance survey map of 48, GEORGE STREET
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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Babergh (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
TM 03037 42686


608/2/81 GEORGE STREET 608/3/81 (Southeast side) 26-APR-50 48 (Formerly listed as: GEORGE STREET 44 AND 48)

GV II* A house of C14 or C15 date, remodelled in the C16, C17 and C18; converted into four tenements in the C19 and restored to one dwelling in the early C21.

MATERIALS: Timber-framed with brick elevations and a tiled roof.

PLAN: A medieval hall-house with a cross-wing to the south, and two storey C19 addition to the north in the place of the north service wing.

EXTERIOR: The George Street elevation of this two storey house has a wide, central chimney stack with sloping shoulders. On either side, there are projecting gables with segmental brick copings. That to the left has an attached canted stair tower beneath a pent roof, partially rebuilt with original materials in the early C21. Three rectangular windows follow the line of the winder stair to light it. To the left of the stair tower, at ground floor, is the C19 entrance door set within a C16 segmental arch surround, above which is a stone hood mould. Above the door on the first floor, is a mullion window with stone surround and hood mould above. The window has C16 diamond leaded lights. In the centre of the gable is a stone roundel. The gable to the right of the stack fronts the parlour cross-wing of the earliest hall. It has a late-C16 mullion and transom window of six lights, with central king mullion and drip mould above. On the first floor there is a late-C16 mullion window of six lights at first floor, also with a king mullion and drip mould. Both windows have side lights. In the apex of the gable are two stone roundels.

To the rear, there are three projecting gables of varying size. The central gable has a C16 six-light mullion and transom window with drip mould at ground floor lighting the lower hall while those to the left and right have C19 casements. On the first floor are late-C16 mullion windows of three, five and four lights respectively, with diamond and square leaded lights, some of which are of old glass and have graffiti. To the west is a two-storey stair tower, probably of the C18, beneath a pent roof. It is attached to the hipped end of the C15 parlour crosswing, of which a wall post, part of a brace and a midrail remain exposed in the west elevation. The C19 rear entrance is at the ground floor of the cross-wing.

INTERIOR: On the ground floor the timber frame of the late-C14 or early-C15 building is exposed in the hall where a wall post and midrail on the east cross frame and rear wall frame remain exposed. The wall post has relict jointing marking the entrances into the service range. The end point of the mid rail on the rear wall frame probably marks the position of the cross-passage. It is understood that other elements of the timber frame remain covered with plaster, including the west cross frame dividing the hall from the parlour. The parlour is now the kitchen, where little early fabric is apparent apart from a wide-chamfered and stopped axial bridging beam. At the rear of the hall is the C16 wide, brick, four-centred arched inglenook fireplace with modern settles in the original positions. The brick was originally plastered and incised to imitate ashlar. The ceiling has C16, heavily roll-moulded axial and transverse bridging beams creating a coffered effect, and heavy plaster cornices, probably of the same date. Two mid-C17 painting schemes survive in the hall which are now covered. The first comprises a green/blue colour with black lines which, in the later scheme, was over-painted with white, decorated with brown arcading and drop pendant motifs, with fleur-de-lys over the fireplace.

At the north-east corner of the hall is the entrance porch, from which the C16 winder stair is accessed. The four-centered, inner entrance doorway is in the position of the cross passage doorway. To the east of the hall, the C19 addition has no historic fixtures or fittings of interest and lies over a small cellar, probably associated with the medieval hall house. In the outshot at the west end, the C18 winder stair leads to the first floor where the parlour chamber in the cross wing, sub-divided into two, retains timber cross and wall framing, including a wall post, with an empty mortice, of the late C14 or early-C15. The late C16 plaster cornice covers the late-C14/early-C15 wallplate. Fragmentary wall-paintings of the C16 comprising painted timbers and plain infill panels and a later painting scheme were revealed here and recorded (Kirkham 2007, 3), but are no longer exposed. Wall panelling of the late C16 and a door remain. A complete and painted (red), two-bay, crown post roof remains intact above. The octagonal crownpost has a moulded capital and base, and a wide brace rises to the collar purlin. All the roof trusses remain.

In the chamber over the hall, created after the medieval hall was ceiled over, the west cross-frame is exposed. Timbers of large scantling with arched braces remain, interrupted on one side by a later door frame into the hall, now blocked. The other walls have late C16, wooden panelling and similarly treated, six-panel doors with contemporary latches and cockshead, `HL' and butterfly hinges. The coffered ceiling beams are plastered with a rich vine-scroll motif, probably of the mid C17, and there is a cornice of late-C16 date. The off-centre door on the north wall leads to the stair tower, where the C16 newel post and stairs remain. The crown post roof over the hall is contemporary with the parlour roof, but less complete. The crown post and collar purlin have been removed, but there is evidence for a ventilation louvre and many of the trusses remain, some smoke-blackened. The gable wall with the crosswing has smoke-blackened plaster between the studs.

Attached to the east is a two-storey C19 addition (formerly no.50 George Street) and to the front of the house at the time of inspection were the remaining walls of the C19 outshot (formerly no. 46), neither of which has architectural interest. The outshot has been removed since the inspection.

HISTORY: No 48 George Street lies in the historic core of Hadleigh, a characterful market town with origins in the Saxon period, documented as the royal town of the Danish leader Guthrum in 890 AD. Hadleigh became rich through the medieval wool trade and the wealth of the town is exhibited in many of the town's timber-framed buildings of the period. The earliest phase of building appears to date to between 1380 and 1420 and comprised an open hall with a parlour crosswing to the west. The service end to the east, possibly also in a crosswing, has been lost to C19 remodelling. Between c 1560 and 1590, the building was significantly reconfigured. The front and rear were faced with brick, and projecting gables with multi-light mullion windows added. At the same time, the orientation of the building changed. The main stack, stair tower and porch were added to the street frontage and the principal façade switched to the rear, opening onto a private garden. The hall was ceiled over and the upper chambers of hall and parlour were panelled. On the ground floor, the hall had painted decoration to the walls. In the mid C17, a further painting scheme was applied to the ground floor walls of the hall, and a decorative plaster vine-scroll motif embellished the cornices and bridging beams of the upper hall.

Around 1700, an external chimney stack was added to the west gable end. By the late C18, the former parlour had been divided into two and some panelling removed. An outshut was added to the west end to accommodate a winder stair. In the C19, the building was poorly sub-divided into 4 dwellings, with an additional wing added to the east on the site of the service range and an outshot added to the George Street elevation. During this period, casement windows were inserted into the rear elevation and the late-C16 principal door removed. Many of the windows on the George Street frontage were blocked. The rear stair went out of use in the C20.

The earliest documentary reference to the hall dates to 1661, when the building was known as Thorpes, perhaps after an owner of the property. It is known that in 1814, the Wesleyan Methodists purchased the building, leasing it to the Primitive Methodists (known as Ranters) in 1836. A map of that date shows the building sub-divided into three; it seems that the parlour crosswing was used as a chapel at the time. In 1846, the land to the east was purchased for a chapel which was constructed in 1848 and enlarged in 1875. The building has been restored. The C19 internal partitions have been removed and the C16 plan-form reinstated. The panelling and decorative plasterwork in the upper floor have been cleaned, conserved and remain in situ. The C17 and earlier paint schemes on the ground floor have been recorded and covered over to ensure their continued preservation, but are no longer on view.

SOURCES Aitkens, P, No.48 George Street, Hadleigh: A Report on the Architectural History. (November 2007). Kirkham, A, No. 48 George Street, Hadleigh, Suffolk; Report on the Painted Decoration (November 2007).

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION No. 48 George Street, Hadleigh, a vernacular building of the C14/15, C16 and later is designated at Grade II* for the following principal reasons: * Architectural Interest: It retains a significant proportion of a C14 or C15 hall- house of good craftsmanship, with moulded crown post roofs, one painted red, which retain evidence of a ventilation louvre. The remodelling of the C16 contributes to the more special interest of the building by the early use of brick and distinctive elevational treatment comprising carefully executed, prominent gables with extensive mullion and mullion and transom windows, a canted stair turret and four-centrered arched door openings. * Interiors: The interiors are richly adorned with C16 decorative plasterwork, panelling, fireplaces, doors and door furniture and two paint schemes of the C16 and C17. * Intactness: The building has a high degree of intactness including a complete C16 panelled upper chamber. * Group Value: The building has considerable group value with other designated buildings on George Street, including those at a high grade.


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This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

Images of England

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Date: 29 Aug 2002
Reference: IOE01/08618/15
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr T. P. C. Bramer. Source Historic England Archive
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