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IoE Number: 279652
Location: FRAMSDEN HALL, CRETINGHAM ROAD
  FRAMSDEN, MID SUFFOLK, SUFFOLK
Photographer: N/A
Date Photographed: N/A
Date listed: 09 December 1955
Date of last amendment: 09 December 1955
Grade I

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TM 26 SWFRAMSDENCRETINGHAM ROAD2/33Framsden Hall9.12.55

TM 26 SW FRAMSDEN CRETINGHAM ROAD 2/33 Framsden Hall 9.12.55 GV I An outstanding example of a late-medieval manor house. Circa 1500, with alterations of c.1617 and later. Timber-framed and plastered; the original infill material was brick-nogging, of which much remains, concealed. Plaintiled roofs. A central chimney of c.1617 with a group of 6 square shafts of red brick. A red brick C16 chimney, possibly original, is external to the parlour wing to right, with crowstepping and pilastered shafts. Two prominent dormers of c.1617: both have moulded tie beams and ovolo-moulded mullions; large C19 finials. Half-H plan: both crosswings integral and contemporary with the central open hall. 2 storeys with attics. 1:5:1, two large C18 mullioned and transomed windows on each storey, and smaller C17 ovolo- mullioned windows between. All windows in this range have leaded glazing, and a diamond pane in a dormer window has the scratch date 4th March 1617, the probable date for the major remodelling of the hall range. Panelled mid C20 entrance door. The open hall is remarkable for its structural complexity and rich ornamentation. From the south end, the hall comprises:- i. A cross-entry of half-bay width, partitioned from the hall by a true spere-truss (an exceptional feature for Suffolk). The posts are fully moulded, with capitals and with fragments of tracery in the speres. The arch-braced tie-beam is steeply cambered. Blocked, damaged and concealed cross-entry doorways have carved 4-centred arched heads. ii. A lower bay, subdivided at roof-level by an arch-braced collarbeam truss. iii. A central open truss with cambered arch-braced tie-beam. iv. An upper bay similarly subdivided. One half-bay has a fine original oriel chamber on the west side: above and below the embattled transome are moulded mullions with traceried heads to each light. v. The dais once occupied the final half-bay; two enriched doorways lead around it via the oriel chamber into the parlour. A closed truss originally divided off a gallery or antechamber over the dais. There was access from the great chamber via a blocked doorway. The hall roof is of butt-purlin type, with 2 tiers of purlins, and principal rafters with carved queen struts from the tie-beams; in addition a ridge is supported by arch-braced and moulded king-posts. Cusped windbraces form quatrefoil patterns between the purlins. All main components have suites of mouldings; the tie-beams and collars also have applied friezes of Tudor flowers, and a deep eaves cornice has angel figures with shields between. The roof has moderate blackening from an open hearth. Both cross-wings have similar distinctive roofs, but lack king-posts and all enrichment; the great chamber was ceiled from the outset. Arch windbraced close-studding. At the arch-braces of each truss (and elsewhere, including in the parlour wing) are carved human heads representing a wide range of characters popular in the mummery tradition of the period. Others are mutilated or missing. A C16 parlour fireplace has an arched head in moulded brickwork. The C17 alterations include inserted first and second floors, and a chimney subdividing the original open hall. A bakehouse range was added to rear in C17/C18. English Vernacular Houses: R.C.H.M.: Eric Mercer, 1975. N.M.R.

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