Little Chantersluer


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
Smalls Hill Road, Norwood Hill, Horley, Surrey, RH6 0HR


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Statutory Address:
Smalls Hill Road, Norwood Hill, Horley, Surrey, RH6 0HR

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

Reigate and Banstead (District Authority)
Salfords and Sidlow
National Grid Reference:


House with origins dating to about 1400 and later phases including a major intervention with the insertion of a cross-wing of about 1700.

Reasons for Designation

Little Chantersluer is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

* as an example of Surrey vernacular, illustrating traditional carpentry and construction as well as evolving standards of domestic comfort and patterns of occupation.

Historic interest:

* for the rare survival of in-situ medieval fabric alongside a major, legible later phase of improvement.

Group value:

* for its relationship with the C17 barn at Little Chantersluer.


Little Chantersluer is a house with origins dating to about 1400 and multiple subsequent phases, including a cross-wing of about 1700 reusing fabric from the medieval house. There is a quantity of medieval fabric elsewhere within the house, specifically structural timber, some of this is in-situ but much is not. These timbers may have originated from earlier phases of the house, or have been brought in from elsewhere. The two-bay front range may have been the position of the early hall, its roof raised and a floor inserted in a later phase, possibly when the cross wing was built.

A report on the house by the Domestic Buildings Research Group, Surrey in 1991 provides an interpretation of the visible fabric and offers a speculated historic development. It suggests that the house may have originally had four bays with a central open hall; the east bay replaced by the cross-wing in about 1700 and the west bay demolished later, providing some of the timbers to floor the old hall, with other timbers such as the decorative spine beam (see Details below) brought in from elsewhere.

Early Ordnance Survey maps suggest that during the second half of the C19 the house was occupied as two dwellings, later being returned to a single house. In the C20 the north (rear) and west elevations were subject to substantial extension, with the internal plan form opened up to these new additions. The additions are not of historic interest.

Neighbouring Little Chantersuer to the west is Chantersluer Farm. Chantersluer Farm is listed at Grade II and the earliest parts have been dated through dendrochronology to between 1497 and 1523. The historic relationship between the two holdings is unclear, now being situated in neighbouring parishes, but Little Chantersluer appears to be the older of the two and the double curved braces of the 1400 phase indicates it was a house of some status. Like Little Chantersluer the farm also has a barn; this is suggested to be of C17 origin and is listed at Grade II.


House with origins thought to date from about 1400, multiple subsequent phases including a cross-wing of about 1700.

MATERIALS: the earliest phases of the house would have been timber framed; some of this substantial framing survives internally, but external walls appear to have been largely rebuilt in brick, now heavily over-painted, making dating more challenging. Some of the gable-ends are tile hung. The roof is covered in clay tiles. Windows are painted timber casements (with the exception of several steel-framed windows) and date from the C19 or later.

PLAN: the building’s plan is complex – a reflection of its multi-phase evolution. The earliest fabric is within the front two-bay, pitched-roof range which faces south; this has two rooms, one east, one west, and a central straight stair between the two running from back to front and apparently carved out of the room to the west. These two bays may have contained the open hall of the early house. At the west end is a ridge stack of probable C19 date and a second stack behind the east bay. Whatever the full extent of the early house, its depth has been reduced and the roof lifted to allow a full first floor to be inserted, matching the floor height of the cross-wing to the east. The cross-wing is gabled to the north and south and is two bays deep with a large external stack on the east wall serving the deep front bay. A framed stair enclosure takes up part of the small rear bay.

The depth of the cross-wing, extending past the rear of the front range, creates an L-shaped footprint and the inside corner of this ‘L’ has been infilled with a range running parallel to the front range. Both the stairs in the house are accessed from within this range which probably dates from the C19 although may be a rebuild of something earlier; it has subsequently been extended in the C20. Across the whole of the rear of the building, and most of the west elevation, single-storey C20 extensions with varying hipped, pitched and pentice roofs screen earlier elevations.

EXTERIOR: the building’s early origins are obscured from the outside. Its principal elevation faces south with the two-bay range lit by paired casements, each with a single horizontal glazing bar, and a four-light bowed oriel window. The cross-wing has a three-light casement window on each floor, both slightly off-centre. The gable-end is tile hung.

The east elevation is more readily legible as a pre-C19 building, with the large, shouldered, external stack. This has a pair of square flues set on the diagonal and which step out at the top. To the left of the stack is a vertically panelled door, possibly contemporary with the cross-wing, but now with a large glazed window cut into it and sheltered by a later hood.

The rear elevation is dominated by an assortment of irregular C20 extensions of differing date and form, but unified by a consistent palette of white-painted brick, tile roofs, tile-hung gables and multi-pane timber casement windows. These extensions continue round onto the west elevation, leaving only the west end of the front range unextended.

INTERIOR: the most distinctive interiors are on the ground floor, with what appears to be the earliest visible in-situ fabric in the east room of the front range. This takes the form of a truss between this room and the cross wing. It has large square panels below a mid-rail (the square framing maybe a later intervention and includes a possible blocked doorway), above which is a pair of heavy curved braces and a central post. The curved braces on the other side of the post continue past the back wall of the room and appear over the doorway from the rear range to the cross-wing, indicating the depth of the early house. The ceiling of the east room has been inserted, the heavy, closely spaced timbers, wider than they are deep, indicate a medieval date for the fabric. The west room in the front range has an elaborate carved beam running front to back supporting chamfered and stopped joists. The position and stopping of the beam is such that it must have been introduced from elsewhere, possibly another building, suggesting the same may be true for the whole floor frame.

The interior of the cross-wing has exposed wall and floor framing, the former partly shared with the earlier range but otherwise consistent with the likely build date, albeit reusing some earlier timber. The south and east external walls appear to be primarily of brick.

The ceiling joists in the rear range are exposed but are not diagnostic of age. As the house is now entered through the C20 extensions to the west, the rear range, with its back wall opened up to these extensions, acts as a circulation space, giving internal access to the two rooms to the front, the cross-wing and both stairs.

On the first floor of the cross-wing the lower parts of a roof truss are visible – a tie beam and base of curved queen struts - as is the framing of some of the internal walls. The top of the early arched bracing is visible within the front range and elsewhere in this part of the house the framing of internal walls is also partly exposed. Some of this framing, particularly along the back wall of the front range, is similar in character to the framing beneath the early truss.

The roofs over the cross-wing and the front range reuse a number of medieval rafters, some with smoke blackening and some with evidence of now empty collar joints. The cross-wing is pegged at the apex with curved queen struts supporting clasped purlins. The purlin has scarf joints near the middle truss, possibly indicating a slightly later date for the smaller bay to the rear.


Books and journals
Gray, P, Surrey Medieval Buildings: An Analysis and Inventory, (2001)
Shelley, J, Maps and Houses of Horley, (1997)
Domestic Buildings Research Group, Surrey, report 4207


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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