Barn at Copdock Hall


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:
Statutory Address:
Barn at Copdock Hall, Pound Lane
Statutory Address:
Barn at Copdock Hall, Pound Lane, Babergh, Suffolk


Ordnance survey map of Barn at Copdock Hall
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Statutory Address:
Barn at Copdock Hall, Pound Lane
Statutory Address:
Barn at Copdock Hall, Pound Lane, Babergh, Suffolk

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

Babergh (District Authority)
Copdock and Washbrook
National Grid Reference:


The barn at Copdock Hall, presently designated at Grade II is a substantial threshing barn of late-C16 date, built of brick with diaper work patterning. It has been altered and extended over subsequent centuries, and has until recently remained in agricultural use.

Reasons for Designation

The barn at Copdock Hall is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons: * Architectural interest: The building is a substantial, brick-built barn of late-C16 date that retains much original fabric, significant decorative and functional detailing and an impressive and little-altered roof structure. * Historic interest: The building forms an important element in the landholding associated with Hemingham Hall, the home of Sir Lionel Tollemarche, High Sheriff of Suffolk. The barn appears to have been designed to reflect the high status of its owner, and its capacity suggests that it was the most important farm building in the area.


The barn at Hall Farm, Pound Lane, Copdock, near Ipswich in Suffolk is thought to have been built c1580 by Sir Lionel Tollemarche of Hemingham Hall. He was the High Sheriff of Suffolk, and the owner of Copdock Hall. The barn was altered in the C17 with the addition of a substantial gabled brick midstrey. Further additions were made in the C19, with the addition of a brick lean-to midstrey and three raking buttresses to the east elevation. Further extension took place in the late C19 or early C20 with the addition of lean-to open-fronted cart hovels to the north and west elevations. In the C20, a large cattle shed was built against the north end of the west wall, and a lean-to extension was added to the south of the midstrey on the west elevation. In the late C20, the barn interior was further altered with the removal of the partition noted in the original List description, and the floor surface was covered in concrete.


Barn at Copdock Hall; a substantial threshing barn of late-C16 date, altered and extended over subsequent centuries, and until recently in agricultural use.

MATERIALS: the barn at Copdock Hall Farm is built of hand-made brick laid to English bond, incorporating diamond-patterned diaper work in vitrified header bricks throughout the external elevations. There is a brick plinth with an upper course of moulded brick headers. The building has crow-stepped gables and a slate roof covering, presumed to be a C19 replacement of a tile or thatch covering.

PLAN: the building is linear in form and aligned north -south, with projecting midstreys to the east and west side walls. The east wall also has added substantial brick raking buttresses. There are no internal partitions or loft floors, and the building's interior is now a single uninterrupted space.

EXTERIOR: the building is 38m long and 8m in width. There are ten roof bays with half-bays at each end between the gable wall and the end tie beam. There are original full-height threshing doorways to bays three and seven. The doorway to the west side at bay seven is enclosed within a gabled midstrey added in the C17, its side walls built against and partially obscuring original breather openings. The doorway to bay three on the same elevation has been infilled, but retains an original moulded brick surround which interrupts the original brick plinth. The east side wall and south gable are mainly unobscured by later additions and incorporate external diaperwork patterning, and tiered breather openings. These openings are staggered, rather than stacked, with each breather set within brickwork recessed behind a larger exterior opening. Some of these openings at the north end of the east elevation are blocked. There are three substantial brick raking buttresses to this elevation, one at either end, and a third immediately to the north of the original rear doorway to bay seven. These are additions presumably intended to prevent the movement in the east wall evident in the cracked brickwork in the south-east corner of the building, and they obscure sections of the diaper patterning. The lean-to midstrey to bay three is also an addition, and appears to be of C19 date. This has vertically-boarded double doors which extend to eaves level. Further right is an inserted single doorway with a C19 split stable door.

The south gable has diaperwork patterning throughout, and incorporates five breather openings in staggered formation in the lower part of the wall. The plinth reflects the sloping nature of the site, which may account for the need to buttress the east wall, and the presence of the irregularly-shaped vertical timber fixed to the right-hand side of the gable wall. The west elevation is largely obscured by lean-to additions either side of the C17 midstrey, that to the right (south) of C20 date with a shallow-pitched roof extending to the sills of the upper tier of breathers. The midstrey has a horizontally-boarded gable and full-height ledged, braced and vertically-boarded doors. To the left is a two-bay cart hovel with a slate roof covering and a central column supported on a padstone. Within the hovel the breathers to the barn and midstrey walls are visible and there is an inscribed plaque just below eaves level, the inscription is over-painted and illegible. The remaining part of the west wall is enclosed within a late-C20 shed which is not of special interest. Within the area enclosed by the shed are two openings, that to the right an original full-height double doorway with a moulded brick surround. To the left is an inserted single doorway with a split stable door, and between the two openings are the three tiers of original breathers. The lower part of the north gable is similarly enclosed within a full-width, open-fronted lean-to, but retains its plinth and breather detailing. The gable apex incorporates a circular opening thought to be an owl hole. INTERIOR: The interior has been stripped of any original or inserted partitions or loft floors, and the floor of the building is surfaced in concrete. The pattern of breather openings is visible throughout the interior, and there has been no added material to the interior brick wall surfaces. There are opposed full-height openings to bay three, corresponding to the midstrey added to the east elevation, and the blocked original doorway enclosed within the C20 shed on the west elevation. The east wall opening has a substantial timber casing and a shallow timber lintel. The blocked west doorway has a more substantial timber surround and lintel which corresponds closely to the west wall doorway to bay seven. The roof structure appears almost entirely unaltered and is presumed to be original to the barn. There are ten roof bays, with a half bay at either end of the roof structure. The roof bays are defined by principal rafters with collars which support two tiers of butt purlins, the upper tier with cranked windbraces. Each roof bay contains five pairs of common rafters. There are 11 tie beams which are separate from, and not aligned with, the principal rafters, but which appear to be dovetail-jointed onto the wall plates.


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


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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Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 23 Dec 2004
Reference: IOE01/13623/04
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr T. P. C. Bramer. Source Historic England Archive
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