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©  R H MacMillan FRPS

IoE Number: 285439
Location: SECKFORD HALL, SECKFORD HALL ROAD (south side)
  GREAT BEALINGS, SUFFOLK COASTAL, SUFFOLK
Photographer: R H MacMillan FRPS
Date Photographed: 14 November 2000
Date listed: 16 March 1966
Date of last amendment: 16 March 1966
Grade II*

The Images of England website consists of images of listed buildings based on the statutory list as it was in 2001 and does not incorporate subsequent amendments to the list. For the statutory list and information on the current listed status of individual buildings please go to The National Heritage List for England.

GREAT BEALINGSSECKFORD HALL ROADTM 24 NE(South Side)5/75Seckford Hall16/3/66

GREAT BEALINGS SECKFORD HALL ROAD TM 24 NE (South Side) 5/75 Seckford Hall 16/3/66 G.V. II* Hotel, formerly country house. c.1553 for Thomas Seckford with C19 and C20 additions and alterations. Red English bond brick with a plain tile roof. Two storeys with basement and attic. Entrance front: of 7 bays near- symmetrically disposed. Porch bay at centre with polygonal buttresses to either side. These have a projecting plinth, common to the whole of the front, and rise to terminate in mace finials of moulded brick. Central plank door to the ground floor with the original iron door furniture. Set in a cavetto and ovolo-moulded brick surround. Moulded rectangular surround beyond this and pediment above of moulded bricks. String course at the level of the sill of the first floor windows which is of 3 lights with ovolo-moulded surround and mullions and a transom. Further string course above this with a pediment. Battlemented parapet above with saddle back coping. To right of the central bay are 2 bays which each have a 3- light basement window with chamfered surrounds, that at left having lost one mullion, with ovolo-moulded surrounds and hood moulds with label stops. To the ground floor are similar 4-light windows and to the first floor at left is a 3-light window with mullions and transom and to right two cross- windows divided by a king mullion with continuous hood mould. Two stepped gables above this with saddleback copings and a 2-light window to each gable. Between these bays is a lead rain water head showing the Seckford and Mackford coats of arms in relief with a C20 lead down pipe and to right is a similar rain water head and pipe. To left of the central bay are two bays, that at left being originally the staircase light of 2 storeys height and formed of four cross windows divided by a king mullion and king transom. To right of this at ground floor level is a 4-light window with ovolo-moulded surround and hood mould and above this is a 3-light window with ovolo-moulded mullions and transom. Crow-stepped gables above these bays with 2 two-light windows and saddleback coping as at right. The lateral bays project slightly and have octagonal buttresses to their corners which diminish via an offset between the ground and first floors. These bays have four-light ground floor windows with pediments, 3-light similar windows to the first floor and 2-light similar windows to the attic, all having ovolo-moulded surrounds. Crow-stepped gables above with flat tops and mace finials of moulded brick above the polygonal buttresses. To the ridge at right and left of centre are cross-axial chimney stacks which have square bases supporting octagonal chimney shafts with moulded caps and bases. To right and before ridge level is an C18 or C19 rectangular stack and to the roof of the right hand gable wing is a cross- axial stack with rectangular body supporting 4 octagonal flues with moulded bases but having lost their caps. Right hand side: imposed doorway at far left with flat arched head above which is a 3-light window to the first floor with chamfered surround. To right of this is a slightly projecting gabled bay with octagonal buttresses to the corners with mace finials of moulded brick as seen on the entrance front. This has at ground floor level a substantial projecting wing of C20 date the flat roof of which forms a balcony to the first floor windows which have a doorway at right and a cross window at left, both of C20 date but set in the older window surrounds. The gable which is crow-stepped with saddle back coping holds a 2-light C20 window set in older hollow-chamfered surround. To the re- entrant angle at right of this is a turret with one first floor casement. This has rendered walling to its lower body and a brick kneeler and crow- stepped gable with saddle-back coping. To right of this at ground floor level are 3 recessed bays. These have a 2-light window at left, fitted with C20 mahogany windows, set in an earlier surround with hood mould above. To right is a C20 cross window with flat head. A continuous hood mould joins this to the central window which is of 3 lights with C20 chamfered ashlar surround set within an earlier hollow chamfered surround and brick mullions and to left of this is a 3-light C20 window with lowered sill which appears however to be set within an earlier opening. To the attic are flat-roofed dormer windows, that at right of 4-lights and that at left of 3-lights. To right again is a further projecting turret with first floor window, kneeler and crow-stepped gable as has that to left. This has a polygonal buttress to the right hand corner with mace finial of rubbed brick. Extending at right is a C20 addition in a Tudor style with randomly distributed fenestration, above which is a further dormer window of 8 lights. The left hand face is almost entirely of C20 date and has C20 fenestration. Doorway at right and to left a cross window and to the first floor are two 2-light windows. Projecting at left of this is a bay with polygonal buttresses to the corners having two cross windows to the ground and first floors and a stepped gable above. The buttresses terminate in ball finials. To left again a slight recessed portion with, at right, a projecting ground floor bay with cross window and brick parapet above this with saddle back coping. To left of this is one 4-light window. To the first floor at right a door and cross window and at left one 3-light window. Rear: recessed central range with projecting wings at either side. The recessed centre is of 5 bays and has at its centre a doorway with round-headed arch and moulded brick surround with ashlar springers. This has ashlar pilasters at either side with cabled flutings standing on panelled plinths which are weathered. The entablature above has metopes with shields and triglyphs with guttae. The first floor window is of 3 lights with moulded mullions and transom and ovolo moulded surround. To either side of this are fluted pilasters with moulded bases and resting on moulded plinths with diamond panels but without capitals, (the brickwork above this level having been disturbed). Below the first floor window is a rectangular ashlar panel showing a coat of arms with foliage and tassels. The walling at right of centre appears to have been largely rebuilt, having larger bricks of a different colour and perhaps of C19 or C20 date. To left at ground floor level is a hall window formed of 4 windows of 3x4 lights, the lower two lights divided from the upper 2 by a king transom and all having an ovolo moulded surround. At right of this is a stretch of walling bearing a C20 lead downpipe with a C16 rainwater-head with coat of arms and at right of that a further hall window, similar to the staircase window on the entrance front, that is four cross windows divided by a king mullion and king transom. To left of the central doorway is one 4-light ground floor window with ovolo-moulded surround and to the first floor above this are 2 cross windows set in a recessed portion of walling all with ovolo-moulded surrounds and with a cambered relieving arch above. To far left is a C20 glazed door with overlight and a 2-light first-floor window. the projecting wing at right has, to its inner flank, a 3-light window with ovolo moulded surround above which is a pediment of moulded brick. Dividing the ground from the first floor is a string course of moulded brick and on this rests the first floor window which is of 3 lights with an ovolo moulded surround. To right of this is a C20 portion in Tudor style which has a doorway set in a recessed portion of walling with a panelled door and projecting gabled wing at right of this with 3-light ground floor window with pediment, and a 2-light window to the first floor, the 2 floors divided by a string course. The left hand wing has a 3-bay symmetrical arrangement to its inner-facing flank at right with a doorway at centre which has a round arch, ashlar springers and fluted and coupled pilaster at either side resting on panelled plinths. Pediment above this with brick frieze to which have been applied triglyphs, guttae and shields. Pediment above this of moulded brick with ball finials at either side and to the apex. To either side of this are 3-light windows with ovolo-moulded surrounds and mullions and a transom with pediments above. To the first floor, which is divided from the ground floor by a string course, are three windows of 3-lights with ovolo-moulded surrounds. These three bays now carry 2 hipped roofs but a drawing by Davy in the British Museum Print Room shows each bay with a stepped gable. To left of these bays is a portion of C20 walling which has a 3-light ground floor window with ovolo-moulded surround and pediment above divided from the first floor by a string course and a 3-light similar window to the first floor. Interior: the building has been greatly restored this century, but the plan and features of the interior have been greatly altered in the process. Close studded walling survives in one first floor bedroom with tension braces and chamfered ceiling beams and further close studding in the walls of the present bar area. A staircase of two flights with a quarter turn, turned balusters, heavy moulded handrail and square newels with ball finials and apparently of early C18 date has been removed from its former position. The hall has been divided by an inserted floor and the early Renaissance screen which had Roman Doric columns with cabling has been removed and replaced by a Perpendicular ecclesiastical screen of early C16 date. Considerable quantities of planted materials have been used (the present guidebook records that "Fifteen six-ton lorry loads of panelling, ceilings, doors and carved beams went to the re-fitting of the Hall") and considerable alterations have occurred since this re-fitting of after 1945. Of the planted timbers the ceiling beams and joists in the hall are from Beau Desert Manor, Staffordshire and the church screen, linenfold panelling and panelled door with Renaissance profile medallions are all of high quality. A portion of this building lies in Martlesham C.P. SOURCES: Michael Bunn, A Short History of Seckford Hall and the Seckford Family Avery Tipping, English Homes: Period III, Vol. 1, 1922 Eric Sandon, Suffolk Houses, 1977

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