In 1947, ‘St Osyth‘ writing in The Stowmarket Notebook wrote ‘ the appearance of Barn Cottages at the top of the hill, agrees with their name. One end is very barn like, with lattice door weather boarding.’ The cottages were converted from a barn on the Stowupland Hall estate.
Neil Langridge has share these entries from Charles Rayner Freeman ‘s diaries which detail some of the work done to convert a former barn to ahabitable space.
He bought from G. Bayley & Co. St. Peters Shipyard Ipswich on 18 Nov 1826 “4 oak knees – 19 ft at 3/6 (a foot) £3.6.6” a knee is a natural or cut, curved piece of wood. Knees, sometimes called ships knees, are a common form of bracing in boat building. Severel members of the Bayley family had ship building businesses in Ipswich. (NB Neil has examined some of the timbers in the end cottage and noticed their resemblence to ‘ships knees’.
30 Jan 1827 Began filling up old ditch in orchard further barn.
24 April 1827 Repairing cottage at further barn
10 July 1827 Began repairing further barn
19 July Finished studding up end of further barn
26 Nov [paid] Charles Frances bricklayer Stowmarket for 96 1/4 days work further barn
15 Dec [paid] Mr Garnett for barn floors
31 Dec Began laying iron barn floor in further barn
14 Jan Laying barn floor to porch of further barn
15 Jan Finished barn floor except side pieces to —-[?] Mr. Hobson stonemason laid it down
16 Jan Threshing beans on new floor further barn
22 Jan Finished laying iron barn floor Further Barn
25 April Mr. Garnett bill for the remainder of cast iron floor laid down to Further Bar
Neil (20/12/19) adds the cottages are named as Barn Cottages 1 to 5 in 1881 and although not named in the 1871 census seem to be there in 1871 and some of the same names seem to be living there as in 1881. However in 1861 it seems to be still a barn.
Barn Cottage was Listed as Grade II under .The Town and Country Planning Act of 1947 which instigated a listing of Buildings of Architectural Interest. The listing tells us that a 16/17 C barn converted in 18/19 C into 2 cottages, two storeys, Timber framed, plastered, thatched…An effective group premises occupied by Mr Shave, Mr Ellis and Mr Brame (From Ena Carter’s Notes
In the 1930’s the Horrex family lived in one of the cottages. In 1936 Edward Albert Horrex, the youngest son of Alice and Arthur Horrex, at age 37 committed suicide with a shotgun at Layham, Lotts Farm. He had previously worked at the Elms, Firs & other places
From 2004 – Updating of Grade II listing information
Nos. 1-3 Barn Cottages 09/12/55 and Foxglove Barn (formerly listed as Barn Cottages)
Four dwellings. Originally a barn serving the adjacent farmhouse (see previous item), probably of late C16 or C17. Extended to left and converted to a terrace of cottages in mid C19. Restored c.1970 when some of the cottages were amalgamated. 2 storeys. 8 windows. Timber-framed and plastered. Pantiled roof, formerly thatched. 4 axial C19 chimneys of red brick. C19 small-pane sashes; about half renewed without architraves c.1970.
Cottages Nos. 1-3 have late C20 half-glazed doors and Foxglove Barn a panelled door. Interior not examined
Some previous residents of Barn Cottages
Police Constable George Salter & family