The Nebb, Flixton-by-Lowestoft


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
The Nebb, Flixton Marsh Lane, Blundeston, Lowestoft, NR32 5PH


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Statutory Address:
The Nebb, Flixton Marsh Lane, Blundeston, Lowestoft, NR32 5PH

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

East Suffolk (District Authority)
National Park:
National Grid Reference:


A vernacular farmhouse, built in the first half of the C16, extended in the mid-C18 and altered again in the early-C19.

Reasons for Designation

The Nebb in Flixton-by-Lowestoft, a C16 vernacular farmhouse altered and extended in later centuries, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

* for its display of local distinctiveness, using local building materials such as thatch roofing and Suffolk brick; * for intactness, lacking major alteration since the late C19; * for the quality of key internal features, especially the moulded timber beam at ground floor;

Historic interest:

* as a C16 vernacular farmhouse, embellished and extended in subsequent centuries; * for its highly unusual survival well into the C21 without electrification; * for the layers of historical value found in the buildings clear phases of evolution.


The earliest of the Nebb’s many phases of construction can be dated to the first half of the C16. A long ceiling beam within the central ground floor room that features elaborate rolled ovolo mouldings suggests that date. At that time, the house was smaller than it is today, and is likely to have had a three-cell ground floor plan with a small service end, floored hall, and parlour. The building may have originally been heated by a timber framed chimney that was later replaced in brick. The bressumer above the fireplace in the central reception room features interlocking Ms amongst a number of other marks. These Marian symbols are associated with apotropaic folklore common in the C17.

The first documentary record of the building appears in a map surveyed in 1614 which refers to a place called ‘Nabb House’. This spelling was still in use in 1842 when ‘Nabb Cottage’ was shown on the Flixton and Blundeston tithe map.

The C16 core of the house was extended to the east and west in around 1740. Both gable ends feature early C18 tumbling-in brickwork, and dendrochronological dating has identified timbers in the east and west parts of the structure that were felled in around 1740. It is possible that the house was divided into two dwellings at the same time.

In a later phase, before 1842, the north and south elevation were largely reconstructed. The new brick walling, laid in monk and Sussex bonds, may have been intended to unify the building’s appearance. It may also have been necessary if the extension of the building had resulted in structural movement, suggested also by the presence of several iron tie bars.

By 1842 a small ground floor extension had been added to the east end of the north elevation, containing a kitchen and scullery for the eastern dwelling. The division of the building into two houses was still clearly shown on the 1903 ordnance survey.

After a period of vacancy the house returned to the occupancy of a single household in 1960. Gas lighting and heating was introduced, stoves were constructed in the fireplaces, bathrooms installed, and connections were made between the two parts of the house. The most significant alterations included the replacement of some roof timbers and the removal of a bread oven. Few other alterations were made and the house has largely retained the plan form and fabric of the mid-C19.


A vernacular farmhouse, built in the first half of the C16, extended in the mid-C18 and altered again in the early-C19.


The external walls are constructed of brick, and the principal roof is covered in thatch. Elm and pine has been used for parts of the internal frame.


The building is long and rectilinear, it is a single cell deep and faces south. The rooms are configured largely as they were during the C19, at which time the building was divided into two dwellings with living space at ground floor and bedrooms above.


The principal elevation faces south. Chimneys rise through the thatched ridge line at the east end, and at the penultimate bay to the west. The roof is bookended by brick parapets with protruding kneelers at each end. The walling is laid in Flemish bond at the east and west ends before coming to a deliberate vertical joint. Between these two joints the rest of the brickwork is laid predominantly in monk bond using later bricks. There are five iron tie bars. The fenestration is irregularly placed, and all of the windows have plate glass in wooden frames. There are five windows at ground floor, each beneath a segmental arch, and five low rectangular windows at first floor. Most are two-light casement windows, but one has a single-light. There is a glazed door between the two western windows, and a pair of slim French doors roughly centrally within the elevation. At first floor, above the glazed door, is a sundial of recent design.

The gabled west elevation is walled in irregularly bonded brick. At first floor level is a square two-light wooden casement window with plate glass. The gable brickwork has kneelers at each end and a tumbling-in parapet that rises to a central chimney.

The north elevation has similar brickwork to the south, with areas of older Flemish bond at each end, and a large area of Sussex bond between them. There is a small single-pane window at ground floor within the stairwell, and a second two-light casement window at first floor. Much of the eastern half of the elevation has been covered by a ground floor brick-built extension. The pantiled roof of the extension connects with the eaves of the principal thatched roof. The north face of the extension has a doorway flanked by square single-paned windows. An oak boarded and shingled store sits against the north wall of the house at the east end of the extension.

The gabled east elevation also has a tumbling-in kneelered parapet, and a total of five tie bars. There are segmental-headed two-light timber casement windows centrally on the ground and first floor, and a smaller single light window inserted on the first floor.

All elevations stand on a brick plinth.


The ground floor has three principal rooms and a bathroom, as well as a lobby, WC and scullery in the north extension. There are two principal reception rooms either side of a large chimney stack. Each one has a brick floor, and an open fireplace made of brick with a timber bressumer, within which a C20 stove has been built. The central reception room includes within the fireplace two unusual keyhole-shaped inglenook seats, probably C17. The bressumer above this fireplace has a number of marks on it, including interlocking Ms. In the same room is a large ovolo-moulded transverse beam. The kitchen at the west end of the house has a pamment floor, in common with the adjacent WC, and a chamfered transverse beam. The fireplace in the west wall has been partially reconstructed following the removal of an earlier range.

There are two staircases, one between the kitchen and the central reception room, and one at the north-eastern corner of the house. Both are lit by small windows.

The first floor is one cell deep and has five rooms of varying length. Halfway up the outer walls the roof begins to pitch inwards, with the ceiling drawn beneath the collars of the roof.

Throughout the house the doors to rooms and cupboards are of a C19 plank and batten type, hung from strap hinges. Lighting is provided by gas fittings installed in around 1960.


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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