A timber-framed cottage, probably built in the C17, believed to have been converted to two cottages at some time and converted back to one dwelling in the late 1960s to early 1970s.
Reasons for Designation
Hope Cottage, a timber-framed building dating from the C17, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* a well-preserved example of a C17, timber-framed house, with a largely complete timber frame;
* the plan-form of the building can still be understood with the survival of back to back fireplaces and two main rooms, indicating a lobby-entry plan.
Very little is known about the origins of Hope Cottage but it appears to have been built around the C17. The timber frame has primary bracing, suggestive of a C17 or later date, and back-to-back fireplaces indicating a lobby entry house, also consistent with a C17 date.
A building appears in the location of Hope Cottage on the Ordnance Survey 1:10560 map of Cambridgeshire dated 1888. It has a simple linear plan but it is not possible to tell if it is a single dwelling or pair of cottages. The Harston History website has a drawing, taken from the cover of a local magazine in 1961, which shows the building with two front doors, evidence that it was likely to have been two cottages at that time. The same website has a photograph of the building in 1968, stripped to its timber frame. The large chimney stack on the south gable has yet to be built, and the dormers are being added. The works are said to have continued into the 1970s.
The roof line was raised in the centre of the east (rear) elevation, to provide extra accommodation in the roof space which was partitioned to form bedrooms and a bathroom. A small porch was added at the north gable end, and a number of new window and door openings were made. The staircase may have been moved to its current position in the south-west corner at this time, originally it was likely to have been positioned to the east of the fireplace, with the front door to the west.
Timber-framed and rendered, painted white overall, with a thatched roof and one gault brick and one red brick chimney.
The building has a simple rectangular plan, one room deep. It is aligned north-south and faces west onto Button End. A small rectangular porch at the north end was probably added in the early 1970s.
The cottage has one storey and an attic under a steeply pitched thatched roof with three eyebrow dormers of various sizes to the front elevation. The ground floor has four windows of varying size: a single window, two three-light casements, and an oriel window, all with metal frames and applied leaded lights.
The south gable end has a projecting red brick chimney, two small attic windows either side, and a three-light window at ground-floor level to the east.
The rear elevation has a central two-storey section with the thatch sweeping down to ground-floor level at either end. The upper storey has two single-light casement windows, and in the centre a three-light window; all with applied leaded lights. The ground floor is lit by a variety of openings. Nearest the south end is a C20 doorway with a small single-light window to the south of it. To the north of the door is a small oriel window similar to the one on the front elevation. Further towards the north are C20 wooden-framed patio doors, which cut into the sole plate of the timber frame. To the northern end, under the thatch, is a narrow door opening above the sole plate.
The south elevation has a gabled, tiled-roof porch, with a two-light window in the gable end. On the north gable end is a C20 single-storey porch under a tiled roof with a Tudor-arch doorway.
The interior of the ground floor is a simple two-bay plan, one room deep, with a later partition at the south end for a kitchen. The two principal rooms contain large back-to-back brick fireplaces, the fireplace in the southernmost room has a curved bressumer, and inglenook and a bricked-up opening believed to be the remains of a bread oven. The fireplaces have been partially rebuilt using modern red bricks, and have concrete lintels behind their timber bresummers.
The cottage has a largely complete, exposed timber frame. Most of the sole plate survives, except where patio doors have been cut into it in the southern principal room, and where an entrance doorway has been cut in the north end. Much of the wall plate appears to survive, and can be seen internally at the south end in the area of the staircase. On the rear (east) elevation it is missing in the central section where the roof line has been modified to provide extra space.
The building has an exposed coupled rafter roof. In the central section the roof height has been extended and a rafter partially removed to make way for this. The purlin has been replaced with C20 timber along the east side of the roof and partially replaced on the west side, in the northernmost bedroom. The second collar beam from the north is also a C20 replacement.
The walls have primary bracing (visible in the northern principal room) and secondary studs. There are two substantial tie beams in each of the principal rooms, chamfered with curved step stops. The exposed joists, studs and braces are of a much lighter scantling. Some of the joists have signs of previous mortices, filled in with wood, indicating possible reuse of timbers. Throughout the building a number of studs have been removed to accommodate later window and door openings. All window and door openings date from the C20, and the flooring is of poured concrete.