Heritage Category:
Listed Building
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Statutory Address:

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

Tendring (District Authority)
Ramsey and Parkeston
National Grid Reference:
TM 18969 30206


TM 13 SE 1/62 RAMSEY AND PARKESTON HARWICH ROAD (north side) Roydon Hall Farmhouse

(Formerly listed as Roydon Hall)

29.4.52 II* House. Late C16, altered in C18, C19 and C20. Mainly timber framed and plastered, with original end walls of red brick in English bond, and addition in gault brick in Flemish bond, roofed with handmade red clay tiles and slate.

Main range of seven bays facing south, with two-bay crosswing at right end, extended forwards probably in the C18, with an internal end stack. Three external stacks to rear of main range, partly enclosed by early C19 extension in gault brick. Later C19 single-storey lean-to extension with slate roof to rear of right end, and C20 two storey flat-roofed extension to left of it. Two storeys, and cellar below right wing. Ground floor, five early C19 sashes of 6 + 6 lights.

First floor, five early C19 sashes of six lights and one of four lights. C20 door at front of gabled porch. The main range has a full-length jetty, plastered and ashlared above and below. The right wing has a recessed plaster roundel in the otherwise blank gable end. The left return of the main range is of red brick with octagonal corner turrets, each finished with an octagonal pinnacle of elaborately moulded brick, and with a similar pinnacle on the apex of the gable; all the pinnacles are truncated.

On each floor is a large blocked window with chamfered jambs and straight head, and moulded pediment with trades of original plaster; in the gable is a blocked round window, ovolo-moulded. The right return of the original part of the crosswing has two similar octagonal turrets, repaired and truncated below eaves level, and a similar brick wall, originally blank, with C20 inserted windows and pediments copied from the left return, and a brick buttress in the middle. The left return of the right wing has a short continuous jetty and one early C19 sash of eight lights.

All the chimney shafts are square and of gault brick; the RCHM described and photographed original octagonal shafts on the northwest stack, since replaced with square shafts of gault brick. Inside the porch is an early C19 archway with semi-elliptical head. The front windows are of unusual interest, being comprised of irregularly arranged rectangular panes of early C19 sheet glass, 610 x 286 mm on the ground floor and 730 x 311 mm on the first floor, which are rare survivals of this material. A length of exposed timber in the rear elevation of the right crosswing suggests that it formerly projected to the rear. In the main range the transverse and axial beams are double-ogee moulded (some boxed in), and there is one C20 replica in line with the original rear wall; the joists are plain and of horizontal section, originally plastered to the soffits, some now exposed. In the original part of the right crosswing the transverse and axial beams are plain-chamfered with lamb's tongue stops, and the exposed joists are plain and of horizontal section. On the first floor of the main range all the straight tiebeams, bridging joists and wallplates are double-ogee moulded, the joists plastered to the soffits. In the original bays of the crosswing the posts are jowled. The original large hearths have been reduced for modern grates or blocked. In the forward extension of the right crosswing there is much re-used timber of similar quality and ornament, and re-used ovolo-moulded joists in the cellar; this must have come from a demolished part of the original building. This reconstruction is of doubtful date, but the good king-post roof is of the type much used in the C18, and the short jetty is not constructed in the normal way, indicating that it is a later copy of the jettied main range. The rear extension of the main range has an early C19 stair with turned square balusters. The roof of the main range has been rebuilt in the early C19, with much re-used oak in the front pitch, a ridge-piece, and a rear pitch of shallow angle (to cover the rear extension) of softwood. Within the roof part of the northwest turret retains original lime plaster. A moulded brick found on site, in the possession of the owners, is from an ovolo-moulded mullion. Sir N. Pevsner dated the house on stylistic grounds as c.1560 (The Buildings of England: Essex, 1965, 321).

Historically this date is improbable (and perhaps too early for the ovolo-mouldings and lamb's tongue stops), because from 1544 to 1563 the manor of Roydon was held by Mary Roydon, a minor. She married John Lucas of Colchester; it is likely that he built the house c.1570. In 1567 the manor comprised 600 acres of arable, 100 of meadow, 600 of pasture, 500 of wood, 100 of marsh, 200 of furze and heath, with rents in Ramsey, Wrabness and Witham, a major estate, which was further increased by the time of his death in 1599. (P. Morant, The History and Antiquities of the County of Essex, 1768, I, 494). The house may have been substantially larger then than the part which survives, if only to include service accommodation equivalent to the existing reception areas.


Listing NGR: TM1896930206


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

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Books and journals
Morant, P, The History and Antiquities of the County of Essex, (1768), 494
Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: Essex, (1965), 321


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

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Date: 03 Jan 2004
Reference: IOE01/11022/13
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Wilfred N. Winder. Source Historic England Archive
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