Guide Price £675,000
High Street, Debenham
A medieval gem, one the oldest and finest timber-framed houses in the village of Debenham. The oldest part of the building, originally an open hall, was begun in about 1400, but during the early years of the reign of Henry VIII, around 1510, the house was almost doubled in size by the addition of a handsome new wing. Listed by English Heritage as Grade II*.
About the Property
Over a period of years, the previous and current owners have carried out extensive and sensitive works and improvements: these include the restoration of the roofs, using original and reclaimed tiles, the addition of traditionally constructed doors and floors of oak and the creation of a custom-designed country-house style kitchen built by a craftsman from the village. The present owners - art-historians and curators - have done much to preserve and enhance the wealth of historical features of the building, making the house visually attractive as well as comfortable and convenient as a home and a natural place for entertaining.
Entrance is through the distinctive Early Tudor brick and timber two-story porch. The massive, 600-year-old, original front door opens into a lobby and thence into the brick-floored cross-passage, at the opposite end of which a gothic arched door leads to a scullery/utility room.
From the passage a fine sixteenth-century planked door with original iron-work leads into the large dining room with finely-detailed ceiling beams and a grand fireplace with late-medieval brick-work ingle-nooks. The eight-foot wide hearth houses a log-burning stove and provides ample space for logs. From the dining-room there are three openings into a light-filled, castellated bay which still retains a row of lattice-work hinged shutters, a rare survival from the period in Victorian times when this part of the house was used as a shop.
A partly glazed door leads to the little sitting room (originally the parlour of the medieval house). This room has a tranquil Georgian feel, enhanced by a fine chimney-piece, polished wood floor and a traditional sash window with unusual panelled shutters (now carefully restored to working order) which rise from below the sill.
A second glazed Georgian door leads into the 1510 wing, where the main space is a magnificent reception room (currently furnished as a library with bookcases). This room has another vast hearth (also with log-burner), polished wood flooring and a large oak-framed window looking into the paved area of the medieval courtyard. A remarkable surviving feature here is the arcade of small gothic window arches which were blanked off when the former Angel Inn was enlarged about 1600. Opening from this room are a large, walk-in, shelved cupboard and a second useful storage space.
From the dining room a doorway leads to the study/bedroom 4, a charming light-filled room with fully-glazed French doors opening out into and commanding an extensive view of the garden. Another door opens to a small en-suite WC, part-tiled with lavatory, washbasin, and plumbing for a shower if required, which also doubles as a useful bookroom.
A traditional oak door from the reception room leads into the kitchen, recently extensively re-modelled in period style with a range of custom-built fittings made by a local craftsman. Solid wood work surfaces are enhanced by a range of drawers and open and enclosed shelving and cupboards in a traditional country-house style painted finish. A butler's sink is flanked to either side by wooden draining boards, with space for a dishwasher below. Two windows face the morning light and command views of the garden. Between them, an alcove contains a bright red Rayburn stove; this is oil-fired and supplied from an oil tank in the lower courtyard.
Next to kitchen is located a scullery/utility room fitted with older-style kitchen units, a stainless steel sink, plumbing for a washing machine and space for a gas stove fitted with calor-gas connectors to outside gas-bottles. Here also is the oil fired boiler (Camray Quartet) for hot water and central heating. From the scullery windows and a partly-glazed door open to the paved courtyard and garden beyond.
The staircase rises from the library to another large and handsome reception room on the first floor. This room has a late medieval tie beam and gently vaulted ceiling. The wide fireplace has an elaborately-moulded bressummer beam enclosing an open fire. The highly distinctive oriel window is glazed with leaded diamond panes of attractive old glass. Doors open from this room to bedroom 2 (front) and bedroom 3 (rear) as well as down three steps to the landing giving access to the master bedroom and two bathrooms.
Past the first bedroom, and then back along the corridor is located a bathroom; this has a large, walk-in shower compartment, pedestal washbasin and lavatory. A window here faces east, overlooks the courtyard and garden and enjoys morning light. The corridor, which encloses part of the former exterior wall of the wing contains an ancient mullioned window that overlooks the stairs and an interesting and well-preserved section of a beam carved with a pattern of a twisted skein, symbolic of an early owner's source of wealth in the wool trade.
The master bedroom, is another fine large room with a shallow vaulted ceiling. It has a large beamed fireplace with a later, inserted cast-iron grate (currently not in use). Two windows with 18th-century metal casements (and detachable secondary glazing panels) face west to the street. An intriguing early oak strong-room door opens into the small dressing-room/cupboard in the chamber above the front entrance porch. From the opposite side another old timber door gives access to the en-suite bathroom, with part boarded walls and containing bath with shower attachment, washbasin, bidet and lavatory.
An attractive room with original, very wide polished floorboards. Its Georgian sash window faces west towards the street, whilst a door leads to a very large walk-in wardrobe and linen cupboard with extensive shelving.
Situated at the rear of the wing and has two windows: one with original sixteenth century mullions looks down to the courtyard, whilst the second faces east and enjoys morning light and an attractive view over the garden and to more distant trees beyond. A small gothic door opens into a useful wardrobe/cupboard, from which a trap-door gives access to the roof-space.
The extensive outside area is divided into five distinct spaces. Immediately outside the back door, in the original medieval courtyard there is an area of stone paving providing ample room for tables, chairs and benches and also two raised beds. Next, the main garden area is defined by box parterres surrounding a central gravel area and beds with mature roses. Beyond this, steps lead down to another area with, to the left, the ancient brick-lined well and a wooden pergola with wisteria, whilst on the right a cobble-stone circle is surrounded by deep borders. Down again lies the lower yard, laid to gravel and with vehicle access through double wooden gates to the small side-street Water Lane. The 1000 litre oil tank is also situated in this area, convenient for deliveries. Finally, at the eastern end of the property a metal-framed rose arbour leads into a 'secret garden' with mature quince and mulberry trees.
The lower yard contains a range of useful and picturesque outbuildings. These are of brick and timber and have pantile roofs. There are a former barn; a workshop (used as a slaughterhouse in the 19th century); an open, double cart lodge; a large wood store; and a potential garden-room/study with a window enjoying a view into the neighbouring field. The outbuildings all have electric light and power circuits and there is also a water supply.
About the Area
Debenham is one of Suffolk's most sought after villages offering many local amenities and services to include a modern Leisure Centre, Public House, Hardware Store, Florist, Doctor's Surgery, Dentist, Vetinary Practice, Newsagents, Bakers, Cafes, Hairdressers, Co -op and Post Office.
A truly historic and quaint English village offering all modern services yet retaining original character and so much history and tales of the past. It is ideally located just off the A1120 Tourist Route (Stowmarket to Yoxford/ Heritage Coast) - The main A14/A12 Trunk Roads to Cambridge and London are easily accessible.
About 13 miles NN West of Ipswich Debenham is only 15 minutes from Stowmarket Railway Station - approximately 1.5 hours to London Liverpool Street.
Mid Suffolk District Council - 2019/2020 £2,545.43
Oil Central Heating. We understand from the Vendors that all main services are connected to the property.
- Stunning Grade II* Listed 15th Century Gem
- Over 3,000 Square Feet Of Flexible Accommodation With Immense Character
- Recently Fitted Hand Crafted Bespoke Kitchen With Rayburn
- Useful Scullery/ Utility Room
- Spacious & Adaptable Accommodation Offering Four Bedrooms & Four Reception Rooms
- Master Bedroom With En-Suite
- Ground Floor Bedroom With En-Suite Cloakroom, First Floor Shower Room
- Sought-After Village Location, With A Wealth Of Amenities Accessible On Foot
- Secluded Walled Gardens With Cart Lodge & Outbuildings
- A Wealth Of Exposed Timbers & Open Fireplaces