An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the County of Cambridgeshire, Volume 2, North-East Cambridgeshire. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1972.
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8 SWAFFHAM BULBECK
(O.S. 6 ins. aTL 55 N.E., bTL 56 N.W., cTL 56 S.W., dTL 56 S.E.) (Fig. 85)
The parish, about a mile wide and seven miles long, extends from the River Cam in the N.W. across the chalk escarpment to a small valley parallel to the Newmarket-Chesterford road in the S.E. The soils vary from fen peat in the N.W., through chalk loams in the neighbourhood of the village, to glacial gravels on the higher ground.
The village flanks the E. edge of a small valley which cuts back into the chalk. The houses are distributed along both sides of a single road whose line is broken by a relatively modern diversion round the paddock of Lordship Farm (17). The southern part of the village, centred on the parish church and extending from the moated site at Burgh Hall (4) to the moats near Lordship House (3), is ostensibly the older. The northern part, known as Commercial End (see below), is a separate entity and has no houses earlier than the 17th century, although its former name of Newnham, and the existence of the Priory (2) at its N. end, suggest a medieval origin. Its later growth was assured by the revival of water-borne trade from the Lode and possibly by the construction of a mill on the site of New Mill which effectively prevented navigation from reaching the old centre of the village.
Burgh Hall (4), its offshoot Mitchell Hall (14) and Lordship Farm (17) may be correlated with the three manors.
The area of fenland known as the Adventurers' Ground was enclosed and drained in the 17th century but the greater part of it appears to have been uncultivated until the end of the 18th century. By Act of 1800 the remaining fenland and the higher ground to the S.E. of the village were enclosed. Several farms in the fenland incorporate 19th-century buildings, of which (23) is representative. On the higher ground a number of large farms (19–21, 24) were established on former common fields and old heath as a result of enclosure.
d(1) Parish Church of St. Mary (Fig. 86; Plate 23) stands at the S. end of the village in the centre of a rectangular churchyard. It consists of a Chancel, Nave with Aisles, North and South Porches, and a West Tower. The walls are of clunch ashlar, field stones with some freestone dressings, partly obscured by rendering; the roofs of the chancel and S. porch are tiled, the remainder lead-covered. The earliest identifiable work belongs to the early 13th century; the church of that date consisted of a chancel, aisled nave and a W. tower which was built last. The N. aisle was rebuilt c. 1300 and the S. aisle early in the 14th century, both wider than previously. In the middle of the 14th century the chancel was rebuilt and the consecration of the high altar by Thomas de Lisle, Bishop of Ely, in 1346 (F. Blomefield, Collectanea Cantabrigiensia (1751), 183) probably indicates its completion. Although the chancel arch has an early 13th-century character, its exceptional width suggests resetting when the chancel was rebuilt. Bequests of 40 shillings in 1494 and 20 shillings in 1495 (W. M. Palmer, 'Benedictine Nunnery of Swaffham Bulbeck', C.A.S. Procs. XXXI (1931), 53) for the fabric of this church may be associated with the addition of the clearstorey; heraldry implies that the family of Vere, Earls of Oxford, was responsible for the 15th-century nave roof. The porches have been largely rebuilt but may have medieval origins. The restorations carried out in 1842 (Ecclesiologist, 1, 143), in 1876–7, 1884–91, 1896 (Kelly, Directory of Cambridgeshire (1922)) and between 1932 and 1936, are reflected in the amount of new stonework. The benches are noteworthy fittings.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (32 ft. by 17¼ ft.) has two-stage weathered angle and side buttresses, parapeted gable and plain eaves. The E. window has five cinque-foiled lights, arranged 2:1:2, with flowing tracery in a two-centred head with external label having mask stops; the stonework in the head is modern. The N. and S. walls each have two uniform windows of three lights with flowing tracery and external labels and head stops, one of which is original; the sill of the first window on the S. is higher to accommodate the sedilia. The other windows have internal embrasures. The N. doorway has continuous moulded head and jambs and a four-centred rear-arch. The early 13th-century chancel arch of two chamfered orders is carried on semi-octagonal responds with moulded caps and bases which may have been rebuilt to take a wider span.
The Nave (57½ ft. by 20¾ ft.), of four bays, uniform on N. and S., has octagonal piers with moulded caps and waterholding bases, and arches of two chamfered orders, the outer being narrower and hollow (Fig. 87). The long E. and short W. responds have semi-octagonal shafts similar to the piers but the bases are plainer. The arches have continuous labels to the nave. The 15th-century clearstorey has four windows each on the N. and S. with two cinque-foiled lights, pierced central spandrels in four-centred heads with external labels. The E. wall has a parapet and the eaves are plain.
The North Aisle (11 ft. wide) has diagonal buttresses of two stages, an added two-stage side buttress, E. and W. parapets and plain eaves. The E. window has three uncusped lights with moulded intersecting mullions, moulded label and stops in Roman cement. The three N. windows and the W. window are uniform and have two ogee-trefoiled lights, central quatrefoil, moulded label and mutilated head stops and continuous moulded rear-arches. Internally at sill level an uninterrupted moulded string steps up in the E. bay and stops against the E. splay of the N. doorway on a carved head stop. The late 14th-century doorway to the former rood-loft stair in the N.E. respond of the nave arcade has continuous hollow-chamfered jambs and four-centred head; hinge-pins, the lowest step and the newel survive. In the W. bay, the N. doorway has two continuous wave-moulded orders and a moulded label with stops. The South Aisle (11¼ ft. wide) repeats the general design of the N. aisle but the less attenuated window tracery points to a marginally later date. It has two diagonal buttresses, the western being rebuilt, and two added two-stage side buttresses. The E. window has three cinque-foiled lights with net tracery and moulded label with mask stops. The three S. windows and the W. window have two ogee-trefoiled lights with a quatrefoil in the head, continuous moulded rear-arches and moulded labels with mask and head stops. The S. doorway repeats that on the N.
The West Tower (12½ ft. square) is of three storeys and one structural stage with a moulded plinth and plain parapet. Three-stage angle buttresses on the W. and five-stage buttresses on the E. stop at the level of the bell chamber. On the N. and S. are pairs of beast-head gargoyles. The labelled tower arch has three chamfered orders on the E., the outer continuous and hollow-chamfered, the second also hollow-chamfered and springing off the side walls, and the inner plain-chamfered and carried on attached circular shafts with moulded capitals and bases; there are two chamfered orders on the W. The W. window consists of an arch with moulded label and three graduated lancets, the centre one being wider. In the N. wall is a square-headed straight-sided recess, probably once a doorway, of unknown date, and in the S. wall is a similar recess. In the N., S. and W. walls of the ringing-chamber are small lancets with double-chamfered jambs; externally on the E. is the weathercourse of an earlier, steeply-pitched, nave roof, below which is a 15th-century doorway with pointed segmental head and chamfered jambs. The bell chamber has in each face a window of two uncusped lights with a blind quatrefoil in the head.
The North Porch, possibly medieval in origin but now largely rebuilt, has a N. archway with two continuous orders, the outer chamfered and the inner moulded. The two-light square-headed side windows have no original stonework. The South Porch, also perhaps medieval in origin, has a S. archway with four-centred head and continuous jambs of two chamfered orders. The two-light square-headed windows have pointed segmental rear-arches.
The Roof (Plate 23) over the nave, of the 15th century, is in nine bays with tie beams of low pitch supported on curved braces springing off wall-posts, with pierced arcadetracery in the spandrels. Alternate trusses have shorter wall-posts to avoid the clearstorey windows. The ridge-piece and purlins are moulded, and at their intersections with the trusses are bosses and pairs of demi-bosses, enriched with foliage and a shield for Vere, Earl of Oxford (quarterly a mullet in the first quarter). The N. and S. aisle roofs, also 15th-century, are generally similar. Each is in four and a half bays with moulded tie beams and curved braces, and is divided into four panels by secondary beams and purlins. At the intersections are foliated bosses and head bosses. The spandrels in the S. aisle roof are carved with leaves.
Fittings—Bells: six; 3rd, inscribed 'The old four were recast into a peal of six by Robt. Taylor and Son St. Neots July 8th 1820'; remainder have rhyming couplets and date '1820'. Bell frame: possibly medieval. Benefactors' Tables: in chancel— (1), stone tablet recording gifts to Charity School by Mrs. Frances Towers and Rev. Richard Hill in 1721; in N. aisle— (2), shaped wooden board recording bequest by Francis Barns in 1774; in S. aisle—(3), shaped wooden board with modern lettering referring to Swaffham Bulbeck Charity Estate, early 19th-century. Chest: 6 ft. 2 ins. long, probably of cedar, flat-topped with iron hinges but lacking original lock, the front carved in very shallow relief against a pointillé background with the silhouette-like forms completed in line, and representing on three panels scenes possibly from the Old Testament all within floral borders incorporating fabulous creatures and pairs of putti; inside, the lid is painted in black line with a hatched background and illustrates in a large rectangular panel the Crucifixion with attendant figures and Jerusalem in the background, in smaller panels the Evangelists' symbols, and in flanking roundels the Assumption of the Virgin and the Resurrection; North Italian, late 15th- or early 16th-century (Plate 60). Clock: in tower, inscribed 'Rowning and Tuting, Newmarket', 18th-century, with later wording 'Repaired by Thos. Safford, Cambridge 1820'. Coffins and Coffin lids: in chancel—(1), stone coffin without lid, medieval. In S. porch— (2), fragment of coffin lid with floriated crosses at foot and century, head missing, probably 13th-century; (3), small fragment of coffin lid with terminal floriated cross, probably 13th-century. In churchyard (4), set as stile, fragment of coffin lid with moulded edge, simple floriated cross from the head end, and omega ornament much worn, probably 13th-century. Font: octagonal bowl and stem with moulded cap and base, standing on a chamfered sub-base, 13th-century. Glass: in N. aisle, fragments including pieces of tendril and leaf decoration, some coloured, some yellow-stain, 14th- or 15th-century.
Monuments and Floor slabs. Monuments: in chancel—in S. wall (1), arched tomb recess of two moulded orders with cusped and sub-cusped ogee head, crockets and finial, and flanked by crocketed pinnacles and finial integral with moulded and decorated string extending over sedilia and piscinae, and terminating with head stop on the W.; restored, mid 14th-century (Plate 38). In S. aisle—(2), of Jonathan Dickman, 1788, oval marble tablet and cartouche of arms below; (3), of Mary Dickman, 1805, rectangular stone tablet. In churchyard—(4), of John Rickard, 1742, and Anne his wife, 1743, tomb chest with fluted pilasters; (5), of Peacock Rickard, 178(2) and Ann Davis his sister, tomb chest with fielded panels; two similar tomb chests 18th-century, and another, early 19th-century; approximately 35 headstones with shaped tops and carved with mortality emblems, dating from 1703 onwards (Plates 52, 53, 55). Floor slabs: in nave—(1), of Miles Thompson, 1761, and Helen his wife; (2), of John Thompson, 1779.
Piscinae: in chancel—in S. wall (1), trefoil-headed, renewed; in N. aisle—(2), moulded jambs of former piscina with later stone lining and flat head, possibly late 14th-century; in S. aisle—(3), with trefoil ogee head and quatrefoil drain, early 14th-century. Plate: beaker (ht. 7 ins.), engraved with scenes from life of Jacob, by Hinrech Ohmsen, active 1654–80, Hamburg, given by Field-Marshal and Mrs. Grosvenor in 1850; cup (ht. 7¾ ins.) and cover paten, engraved with band of foliage-arabesques, London 1569; flagon (ht. 11 ins.), given by Mrs. Frances Towers in 1699, London 1698 (Plate 63); stand paten (diam. 7½ ins.) with gadrooned edge, given by Mrs. Frances Towers in 1700, London 1700. Recess: in S. aisle, in N. wall, rectangular with chamfered surround, medieval. Royal Arms: painted panel with arms of George III, 1801–16. Scratchings: in ringing-chamber of tower—(1), on window jamb, inscription in pseudo-Lombardic capitals, 'Rob Fil Sir R De Bekynh. . .', 13th- or 14th-century; (2), on W. wall, in rough capitals, 'H. Richardson Bricklayer March 24 1841'. Seating: 34 benches and two fronts with carved ends and moulded rails, and part of one bench-end detached in N. aisle. The ends (Plates 58, 59) are decorated with paterae on a hollow chamfer, and the arm rests and finials are in the forms of animals and grotesque creatures, including a mermaid, whale, wyverns, camels and dragons; the two fronts and three backs are decorated with blind multi-cusped panels and foliagespandrels; 15th-century. At the W. end of the nave and aisles, six box pews with pine fielded-panelling, partly cut-down, early 19th-century. Sedilia: in chancel, three seats sub-divided by buttresses, the outer of which have crocketed pinnacles and finials; the W. seat is slightly lower. The canopies have cusped ogee heads with crockets and finials integral with string-course over monument (1), and continuous moulded jambs; restored, mid 14th-century (Plate 38). Tables of Creed, etc.: over chancel arch—(1), two shaped wooden boards with gold lettering inscribed with the Decalogue, Creed and Lord's Prayer, 18th-century; (2), wooden roundel painted in red and gold with sacred initials in a sun-burst, and the Gloria, early 19th-century. Tiles: in chancel—(1), undecorated yellow encaustic, possibly 1842 (Gardner's Directory); in S. aisle— (2), single tile with yellow slip decoration, medieval; loose in S. porch—(3), plain buff, perhaps those supplied by Giblin and Co. in 1839 from Ramsey at 4d each (Ledger at (17), Lordship Farm). Weathercock: on tower, wrought-iron, possibly 18th-century. Miscellaneous: loose in N. aisle, quadrant-shaped stone bowl, possibly a medieval stoup.
d(2) Benedictine Priory, sometimes known as 'The Abbey' (Fig. 88; Plates 70, 71), stood at the N. end of Commercial End. A fragment survives in the form of a vaulted undercroft of c. 1300, the upper stage of which was replaced in brick by William Hamond of Haling Park, Surrey, according to Cole (B.M. Add. MS. 5804, 125), apparently in the first half of the 18th century. The medieval walls are of clunch and knapped flint with limestone dressings; these were considerably refaced in clunch in the 18th century when the present upper storey was built. The house is now of two storeys and attics, and the roof is pantile-covered.
A nunnery at Swaffham Bulbeck is referred to in 1199 but it seems that Isabel de Bolbec, the second, was the virtual foundress a few years after that date (W. M. Palmer, 'The Benedictine Nunnery of Swaffham Bulbeck', C.A.S. Procs. XXXI (1931); V.C.H. Cambs. II, 226). Since its dissolution in 1536, the occupation of the site by a farm and the effect of clunch quarrying has obliterated all identifiable remains of the church and claustral buildings. The surviving structure, which is obliquely orientated, appears to have been the undercroft of a guest house or prioress' lodging placed as a wing to the main conventual group.
The walls up to first-floor level are of clunch much of which, including the wide clasping buttresses, is 18th-century. The rectangular building has five bays of quadripartite vaulting, central columns and an original dividing wall, with later openings, between the second and third bays. The vaulting ribs are chamfered and spring from octagonal piers and semi-octagonal responds with moulded caps and necking; except for the chamfered respond base in the S.W. corner the bases are hidden. The piers and the lower courses of the responds are of limestone. The much-decayed exterior wall face on the E. thickens out at its S. end. The doorway in the N. bay, not shown by Relhan (C.A.S. watercolours), has original splayed jambs but the opening has been enlarged; the window in the S. bay is post-medieval. The N. wall is largely refaced in clunch on the original plane; the central doorway has a pointed segmental head with hacked-back clunch label and continuous limestone jambs of two chamfered orders. In each of the two E. bays is a fragmentary chamfered sill of a two-light window now blocked externally; inside, the two W. bays each had lockers: the first has twin recesses with round heads and rebates for doors, and the second was probably similar but is now mutilated by a later window. In the S. wall the two E. bays are blind; in the second is a locker with two-centred head, slots for shelf and rebate for door. The three W. bays are mostly original externally with ashlar and knapped flint facing; in each is a window opening with chamfered segmental rear-arch and splayed jambs, but a doorway to the 18th-century porch replaces the window in the E. bay; between the other two windows, outside, is the tusking of a former wall or buttress. The W. wall largely preserves the original wall surface of ashlar and knapped flints (Plate 70). At the N. end is a blocked doorway with chamfered pointed segmental head on the E. and segmental rear-arch on the W.; externally and slightly off-centre is the tusking of a former wall, and at the S. end is a small blocked opening, possibly a locker.
The 18th-century alterations consist of an upper storey in yellow brick with red brick dressings, red brick platband, deep eaves cornice in zig-zag brickwork which continues round the clasping buttresses, across the parapeted E. and W. gable ends and the pedimented projecting centre-piece on the S. This centre-piece was an 18th-century addition repeating the treatment and materials of the main block. In the centre is a round-headed doorway with rusticated quoins of clunch, flanking blind circular windows and above, three windows, the centre blind; a round window is in the pediment. On the N. wall are two tall chimney stacks which emerge at eaves level. Inside, the upper rooms have chamfered ceiling beams and the stairs have some reused symmetrically-turned balusters of the 17th century.
Wall of clunch, about 12 ft. high, stands 58 ft. E. of the E. wall of the medieval remains to which it is not parallel. It has the jamb of a large doorway at its S. end and first-floor joist-holes on the W., and is probably a fragment of a postmedieval barn. Scratchings in the clunch, perhaps 18th-century, include three of rudimentary ships (H. H. Brindley, C.A.S. Procs. XXXI (1931), 76, Pl. 1).
The extant building is surrounded by a series of low Earthworks (Fig. 89) which have been disturbed on the W. and S. by large clunch pits. These earthworks do not appear to be connected with the present house, except on the N. and N.E. where low scarps and banks appear to be on a similar alignment. More extensive and well-defined earthworks to the N.W., S. and E. of the house form a coherent group, generally rectangular in plan and on a different alignment from the foregoing. They consist of banks and scarps up to 4 ft. high sometimes forming rectangular building platforms. These remains are probably not associated with the priory but may represent post-medieval farm buildings which were in turn replaced by another farm further S.E., in the area of the clunch pits, where a farm is recorded in c. 1768 (Chapman's Map of Newmarket Heath; Enclosure Map, 1800); it had already been demolished by 1834 (1st ed. O.S. 1-inch map).
Oolitic limestone rubble, clunch, mortar and small amounts of medieval pottery have been found in the area.
d(3) Lordship House (Fig. 90), now of two storeys and attics, has walls of clunch, a rebuilt wall in brick, and gabled pantiled roof. The building dates from the early 13th century; floors, gable-end chimneys and central staircase were inserted in the early 17th century, so converting it to a Class-T house, and a small room was added on the W. which in turn has been rebuilt. The brick N. wall is 18th-century. The building almost certainly originated as a single-cell chapel but its history is obscure owing to lack of documentation; reference to a dedication or to the continued existence of a chapel in late medieval times has not been found.
The building has an E. wall with the sills and lower lengths of the chamfered jambs of three widely-spaced lancet windows, now blocked. The jambs of the two outer windows continue upwards to form the sides of two small upper windows which have chamfered jambs, wide internal splays, 17th-century heads and chamfered mullions in clunch. The upper part of the centre window is not traceable. The 18th-century brick of the N. wall returns on the E. In the S. wall the jambs and head of a lancet window, partly obscured by a later buttress was noted in c. 1960 but is now invisible; the central first-floor window of three lights with chamfered clunch mullions is 17th-century. At the N. end of the W. wall is a tall lancet, narrower than, and not in line with, that in the E. wall; the internal splays have carefully-cut clunch ashlar quoins. The lower part is blocked. The N. jamb and part of the head of a corresponding window on the S. and another opening in the centre of the gable are recorded but are no longer visible.
The 17th-century alterations were carried out in carpentry of high quality. The comparatively wide stair rises in short parallel flights around a studwork spine-wall and terminates in the attics with a solid studwork balustrade having concave-shaped finials to the corner posts. The attics were originally without partitions. The ground-floor rooms have chamfered axial ceiling beams with ogee or hollow stops. The W. chimney stack, rectangular above the roof, has two back-to-back fireplaces, that on the W. indicating a pre-existing room at that end. On the first floor the upper fireplace on the E. has a plastered chamfered brick arched opening, with incised linedecoration, and a plastered shelf, and is served by a stack with grouped diagonal shafts above a square base.
Earthworks. To the N. and E. of the house is a group of earthworks forming part of similar remains E. of Lordship Farm (17) and marking the sites of buildings associated with Lordship House. They consist of low banks and scarps covering about 2 acres and include at least six distinct building platforms, two of which still had structures on them in 1800 (Enclosure Map).
d(4) Burgh Hall (Fig. 91; Plate 76), Class C, timber-framed with hipped roof and gablets, now tiled, was built c. 1500 probably by the Ingoldsthorpe family. It replaces a former house of the de Burgh manor which had become ruinous by 1457–8 (P.R.O., Chancery, Inquisitions Post Mortem (C. 139/166)). It is characteristically of 'Wealden' type. An upper floor was inserted in the hall and a chimney stack added perhaps late in the 16th century although the present external square shafts have a 17th-century appearance; the house was thus converted to one having a Class-G plan. A rear wing on the W., apparently 17th-century, containing kitchen and scullery, was demolished in 1967 and a new range built on its site.
The central hall had a parlour on the S. and service end on the N., the two ends being jettied on the main E. elevation; the N. end is the wider. The S. end has sash windows approximately in the position of original openings; two brackets rising from narrow pilasters with carved capitals support the ends of the jetty. The centre block of two structural bays with middle rail has, or had, curved brackets from alternate studs to the 'flying' bressummer; the cove so formed was perhaps always open but a former fillet at the base might indicate plastering. An oriel and a seven-light horizontal window are inferred by constructional features below the middle rail. A 16th-century window with roll-moulded mullions within the cove-space was presumably introduced when the hall was floored. In the wide N. wing is an original doorway with spandrel-board, and formerly a window on each floor. The jetty was carried on five brackets springing from narrow pilasters and capitals, four of which survive. The unjettied W. elevation is plastered and although early windows are reported, only an upper one of three lights with diamond mullions at the parlour end and an upper and lower one of four lights at the service end, are now traceable. The N. elevation, also plastered, has a similar ground-floor window of two lights. The S. elevation, in two structural bays with down-bracing, has evidence for an original three-light window on each floor, and for 16th-century windows with roll-moulded mullions adjacent to the earlier ones.
a Purlin b Collar beam c Rafter
d Tie beam e Wall plate f 'Flying' bressummer
g Wall post h Curved bracket under eaves
The roof of three and a half bays exclusive of the hip-bays is of tie and collar beam construction with purlins clasped above the collar. Over the hall the purlins are ingeniously scarfed to avoid obtrusive jointing (Fig. 92, for this and other jointing techniques). Arch braces from tie beam to post have been removed but in the hall a carved capital and pilaster cut from the post remain (Plate 79). Windbraces are S-shaped except for those over the parlour and service ends. The central tie beam over the hall continues E. beyond the wall plate to be carried externally on a 'flying' bressummer above curved braces. The timbers are free from smoke-blackening but numbering of the members, extensive throughout the roof, shows that the rafters have been rearranged which may account for the absence of evidence for a louvre. There is no indication that the parlour was originally heated.
Inside, the hall has an inserted floor with axial beam whose N. end continued across the former screens passage; its S. end is built into a chimney stack which is constructed entirely within the hall. The end walls of the hall are close-studded and reach to the ridge. The N. end of an axial beam in the buttery part of the service end is taken on a carved bracket; the buttery was probably undivided. In the parlour end a trimmer to the joists indicates the original stair; no such feature exists at the service end. Generally, original windows had deep sills pegged to studs, diamond mullions and internal grooves for shutters.
Besides the alterations to the hall in the 16th century, the house was refenestrated with sash windows in the late 18th century and given ironwork verandahs in the 19th century.
Barns, framed and weather-boarded, aisled, with thatched hipped roofs: (1), E. of house, in three bays, perhaps after 1800; (2), S. of (1), in five bays, with braced aisle-tie, braced tie beam, queen posts and short wind-braces to clasped purlins, one arch brace inscribed 'R. Harvey 1774', probably early 16th-century (Fig. 93); (3), in three bays with softwood and reused timbers, after 1800.
Moated Site. The house stands on a moated site (Class A2(a)) which consists of two rectangular conjoined enclosures formerly surrounded on all sides by a wet ditch. The main E. enclosure covers ½ acre, and was bounded by a ditch 40–50 ft. wide and up to 9 ft. deep. Only the W. side remains, the other sides being almost destroyed by later filling. The interior is flat and occupied by the house. Attached to this enclosure on the N. are the remains of another enclosure of ¾ acre. The N. side, now partly filled, is 10 ft. wide and 3 ft. deep; the S. side is marked by a slight depression 30 ft. wide and 1 ft. deep and the W. side by a stream 35 ft. wide. The interior is flat. (V.C.H. Cambs. II, 41, where the second enclosure is not recorded.)
d(5) House, Class J, of one storey and attics, framed, plastered and thatched, with brick chimney stack with bases of diagonally-set flues, is probably a late 18th-century reconstruction round a 17th-century stack. The centre room has a reused roll-moulded 16th-century axial beam. (Roof destroyed by fire 1969)
d(6) House, former Crown Inn, originally Class J, of two storeys, walls of brick, clunch and timber-framing, with gabled roof, was built in the late 17th century. In the 18th century a room was added on the W. and subsequently much of the house was cased or rebuilt in clunch and brick. In c. 1840 a twostorey addition with cellar was built on the N., in white brick, to provide a public room.
d(7) Linton House (Fig. 94; Plate 77), of two storeys partly with cellars, exposed timber-framing on brick plinth, gabled and thatched roof, is probably early 16th-century. The Tudoresque windows are 19th-century. A structural change in the unusually long plan indicates a constructional halt before the S. third of the house was added although the sole plate is continuous under both sections and the arrangement of the ground-floor rooms do not reflect the break. The S. room of the earlier building was incorporated in the later extension. The disposition of the rooms suggests that the building had a special function such as a 'town house' or inn the northern part of which was set aside for lodgings. Probably in the 17th century a central chimney stack was added, and later, one at the S. end.
The W. elevation facing the street is in six bays with posts and middle rails; between the fourth and fifth bays two posts are juxtaposed. There is no evidence for original doorways but an upper blocked window with diamond mullions, and sills of other early windows, survive. The gable ends are obscured by plaster. The E. elevation broadly repeats the structural features of the W. Brick-work of the two inserted stacks appears below the middle rail. A first-floor window of four lights with diamond mullions now unnecessarily lights the small space left between the wall and the central stack. Inside, evidence for original doorways exists in the N. gable wall and in the partition between the first and second bays. The N. cross beam is an addition but the bay was always two-storeyed. The third bay is filled by an inserted double-sided chimney and a 17th-century newel stair. The fourth, fifth and sixth bays are occupied by one room with intersecting chamfered ceiling beams; the asymmetrical cross beam is integral with the northern of the twin wall posts and is stop-chamfered to receive the N. axial beam only. A non-structural partition, now removed, in the fifth bay may have been contemporary with the S. gable chimney stack. The roof is in two parts and separated by the plastered gable of the N. section, which has arch-braced tie beams, collars and crown posts braced to collar purlins; it is of crude construction, not smoke-blackened, and is mutilated by the intruded stack. That to the S. has purlins and wind-braces fixed with nails.
d(8) House (Fig. 95; Plate 77), Class D, timber-framed, partly brick-cased, with gabled roofs covered with tiles or stone slates, is 15th-century. Early in the 16th century an upper floor and chimney stack were added to the open hall converting it to a Class-F house; possibly at the same time the parlour wing was rebuilt. The hall range was widened on the N. in the 19th century. There is evidence of a screens passage and butteries at the E. end.
The ridge of the hall range is lower than that of the cross wing which alone preserves original external features. The W. elevation of the wing has a first-floor jetty carried on curved brackets at each end and originally on two intermediate brackets; at the S. end a reset blocked doorway with a four-centred head possibly came from the butteries. Other openings have early 19th-century or later fittings. Inside, two stub ends of a double-ogee moulded and stopped tie beam of the two-bay open hall survive above the inserted floor. Studwork is smoke-blackened. The early 16th-century stack was built against the former screens so preserving the passage on the E.; the inserted ceiling (Plate 79) has a roll-and-hollow moulded axial beam and roll-moulded joists. The E. wall of the hall reaches to the roof and has two ground-floor doorways, the N. of which is 15th-century and has a four-centred head with spandrels carved or recut in recent times, one with a shield, the other with a crowned head against foliage background; the former is incised with dots, quarterly a saltire in the first and fourth quarters. The W. range has an inserted chimney stack which interrupts the axial beam and joists; a trimmer to the joists in the N.E. corner may indicate an early 16th-century stair rising roughly on the site of the present one, to serve the first-floor room above the former open hall. The main room on the S. which has an encased axial beam now has an 18th-century character with moulded cornice and fielded-panelled doors. On the first floor the two-bay cross wing with chamfered tie beam and enlarged-headed posts was originally undivided.
d(9) House, Class G, of two storeys and later cellar, timber-framed largely cased in modern brick, tiled and gabled roof, is probably 17th-century. Inside, the cross beams are chamfered. The roof has tie beams, one of which is supported by small curved braces from the posts. (Access refused on subsequent visit)
d(10) Vicarage (Fig. 96; Plate 94), of two storeys, white brick with slated hipped roofs was built for the Rev. G. L. Jenyns in 1818, or immediately before; Charles Humfrey of Cambridge was designer and builder (C.U.L., Ely Faculty Reg. Book 1791–1829, 79–84). The asymmetrical entrance front on the E. contrasts with the ordered elevation on the S. The front door has a trellis-work porch. The three-bay S. elevation has window openings with flat brick arches, the flanking sash windows on each floor having additional side sashes. Inside, the three principal rooms on the S. include a study; the subsequent lengthening of the passage has reduced the size of the W. room, and openings in the W. wall have been consequently altered. A single-storey addition to the kitchen is marginally later. Fireplaces have moulded wooden surrounds and angleroundels.
In 1828, during the curacy of the Rev. Leonard Jenyns (Blomefield), £450 was borrowed from the Commissioners for Queen Anne's Bounty in order to repair and enlarge the house to a design by Henry Legge. This may refer to alterations on the N. side of the house.
The Stables, N. of house, are contemporary with it and include a central stable for two horses, coach house and laundry, built mostly in clunch. A ha-ha to the S. of the house preserves a prospect from the main rooms over land awarded to the vicar at the Enclosure.
d(11) House (Fig. 97), of two storeys and one storey with attics, framed and plastered, with pantiled and gabled roofs, originated as a late medieval building, the hall and service end of which remain; it now approximates in plan to Class D. In c. 1600 an upper floor was inserted in the open hall and a chimney stack built in the N. bay; also in c. 1600 the S. cross wing was built and later, in the 17th century, a kitchen wing with brick gable wall was added on the E. of the service end.
The exterior shows no original features, but the gable wall of the N. wing of c. 1600 has brick kneelers and incorporates a chimney stack with two diagonal shafts. Inside, the hall range has a roof with cambered tie beam and evidence for wide arch braces, and an inserted floor with stop-chamfered beams. The S. cross wing has a clunch fireplace with moulded four-centred head; the room W. of the central chimney stack has stop-chamfered beams and joists, and the room E. of it has ovolo-moulded intersecting beams and moulded joists. Above, one blocked window has diamond mullions, and another ovolo-moulded mullions. The roof of the cross wing has collars clasping purlins and short wind-braces.
d(12) School and former school with School house; the school, of clunch with brick plinth and quoins, slated gabled roof, has inscribed panel in E. gable 'Swaffham Bulbeck National School erected 1840', and consists of a single room with segmental-headed side windows. The former school, now a village hall but originally of one storey and attics, was built in 1728 (Cole, B.M. Add. MS. 5828, 104) from bequests by Mrs. Frances Towers (d. 1711) and Rev. Richard Hill (d. 1721) and may have incorporated both school room and school house, the latter partly in the attics. The walls are of clunch with brick quoins, dressings, platband and zig-zag eaves course, and a gabled roof has brick parapets and kneelers. The central door and flanking windows have segmental heads below the platband. Inside, offsets in the wall indicate the former upper floor level. Between the building of 1728 and that of 1840 is a single-storey extension of the 18th century, perhaps an additional service room for the school house.
d(13) House, of two storeys and cellar, timber-framed with clay lump infill, slated gabled roof, was built c. 1830 to a Class-T plan with an additional end-room for a shop. A continuous outshut on the E. is later, and the brick casing of the W. front and the forward extension of the shop-frontage are modern. Inside, fireplaces have reeded surrounds with angleroundels.
d(14) Mitchell Hall (Plate 109), Class J, of two storeys with attics and cellars, timber-framed partly faced in brick, with tiled roofs, was probably built in the first half of the 17th century. A N. wing was added in the 18th century and extended in the 19th. The brick facing of the S. and W. walls is early 19th-century.
The 17th-century house has its S. and W. sides cased in brick of c. 1830 and the main S. elevation has fenestration of that date and later. The other elevations are framed and plastered but are largely masked by modern additions. The chimney stack with grouped rectangular flues has a string-course well above the ridge possibly indicating a former covering of thatch. Inside, the stack has been breached to take a stair and cross passage. The centre room has intersecting ceiling beams and, with the E. room, is higher than the W. room. Upstairs, much framing is visible including corner and intermediate posts.
To N.E. of house, Barn (Plate 114), of clunch with brick dressings and slated half-hipped roof in seven bays, has plaque on S. front with date 1845. There are wagon entrances in the second and sixth bays. The exterior has blind-arcading, and inside, the two-storey W. bay has a grist-mill on the ground floor. To S. of barn, contemporary with it and of same materials, are Cattle Sheds, including milking shed with original wooden head stalls.
d(15) Bolebec Cottage, of two storeys, framed, with tiled gabled roof, is probably the S. cross wing of a former house standing on the N. The date 1587 on an overmantel may be that for the fabric. The W. gable end to the street (Plate 77) has a jetty at first-floor level, supported by curved brackets at each end; a rectangular bay window below the jetty is apparently original. Inside, rooms flanking a central stack each have a cross beam resting on shaped brackets (Plate 79) worked in the solid of the posts which have enlarged heads to carry tie beams with arch braces. The shapes of the brackets and the enlarged heads vary between posts. Posts and beams are stop-chamfered. The W. ground-floor room has an original door opening on the N., now leading into the adjacent range, and bay window with ovolo mullions at the angles. The E. room has a fireplace with clunch overmantel divided by fluted and reeded pilasters into three bays enriched respectively by fleurs-de-lis between initials 'WC', 'Ano dome 1587' and a rose between initials 'SC' (Plate 87). An upper fireplace has a chamfered fireplace bressummer, and above, three sunk plaster panels. The roof has principal rafters, collars and purlins.
Dwellings on the N., of one storey and attics, framed, with tiled gabled roof, have been much altered but have an 18th-century Class-J origin.
d(16) Downing College Farm, originally Class J, framed and plastered, was built in the 17th century. In the 19th century an extension, partly in clunch, was added at one end and along the rear; at the same time the house was refaced in white brick and given a slate-covered mansard roof.
Barn, S. of house, of seven bays and now aisled on one side only, is perhaps 16th-century. It has braced tie beam, queen posts and clasped purlins.
Moated Site. The farm is enclosed by the fragmentary remains of a moated site (Class A2(a)). Alteration of the ditch has been considerable. O.S. maps and the Enclosure Map (1800) indicate that originally there were two rectangular conjoined enclosures of 1 and 2 acres bounded on all sides by a wet ditch up to 30 ft. wide. Only fragments of the ditch round the main S.W. enclosure, in which the present house stands, remain on the S.W., N.W. and N.E. sides; part of the ditch on the N.W. side of the smaller N.E. enclosure also survives.
d(17) Lordship Farm, of two storeys, yellow brick with red brick dressings, tiled gabled and mansard roofs, has a 17th- or 18th-century nucleus consisting of an internal chimney within a Class-J house. Later in the 18th century an extension was added on the S.W. and later again, the main house was widened on the N.W. and the whole encased in brick with a platband and a zig-zag eaves cornice. The interior is without old features except for two encased cross beams in the S.W. extension.
Moated Site. The house is enclosed by the fragmentary remains of a moated site (Class A2(a)). Much of the ditch has been destroyed but O.S. maps and the Enclosure Map (1800) show that originally there were two rectangular conjoined enclosures of 1 and 1½ acres bounded on all sides by a wet ditch up to 30 ft. wide. The S.W. side and part of the S.E. side of the S. enclosure remain as a dry ditch, 25–30 ft. wide and 5–7 ft. deep. The present house stands near the S.W. side of the smaller N. enclosure of which nothing now survives. Immediately S.E. of the house and E. of the moated site are a series of low banks and scarps covering about 1 acre, consisting of at least four well-marked building platforms arranged around the sides of a rectangular area, bounded by a low bank. These appear to be the site of former farm buildings, two of which were in existence in 1800 (Enclosure Map). Immediately to the S.W. and S.E. are associated earthworks (see (3)).
a(18) Stables (Fig. 98) at Upper Hare Park (TL 58285942), of one storey and hay loft, pink brick with half-hipped tiled roof, were built in the late 18th century possibly by George Tuting, a training groom who leased the estate from the Earl of Aylesford. It consists of a harness-room, three stalls and two loose-boxes.
d(19) Four Mile Stable Farm (TL 58446002; Fig. 99), includes a dwelling and two early 19th-century barns, one clunch-built with half-hipped slated roof, the other, aisled, in five bays and constructed in softwood framing. The contemporary dwelling, Class S, of one storey and attics, has variegated brickwork and a pantiled roof.
d(20) New England Farm (TL 58476115), includes a Class-I house in white brick, presumably contemporary with a clunch-built barn inscribed 'Erected 1833'. The Barn of six bays with wagon entrances in the second and fifth has slated half-hipped roof and external pilasters.
d(21) Chalk Farm (TL 56806049), consisting of a farmyard and Class-U house of two storeys and cellar, white brick, slated hipped roof, was built after 1801 and before 1812. Interior fittings include reeded plaster cornices and staircase with iron newel shaft and spiral mahogany handrail.
c(22) House (TL 54766417; Fig. 100), Class U, of two storeys, white brick with pantiled and gabled roof, was built c. 1840 as an inn. The two internal chimney stacks are set back from the ridge so providing larger rooms at the front. Upstairs, the four front bedrooms share two casement windows.
d(23) House (TL 55626486), Class T, of two storeys, built in white brick, is early 19th-century. A two-bay barn to the N., of clunch with brick dressings, is inscribed 'Erected 1839'.
d(24) House (TL 56016245), Class U, of two storeys and cellar, white brick front and clunch side walls, with round-headed recessed doorway with fanlight, was built c. 1830.
b(25) House (TL 52256724; Fig. 101), of two storeys, framed and weather-boarded, with slated hipped roof, was built c. 1810 as a lock-keeper's dwelling and is now derelict. Its non-traditional plan consists of large rooms on the front, with a central stack, and lesser rooms at the rear flanking a stair. The roof whose ridge is central over the front rooms extends over the rear rooms in the manner of a salt box house of New England.
d(26), d(27) Houses, Class I, two storeys, or one storey and attics, framed and plastered, 18th-century.
d(28), d(29), d(30) Houses, Class J, one storey and attics, framed and plastered, or clunch, 17th- or 18th-century (Plate 110). (28) is at TL 55468180.
d(31), d(32), d(33) Houses, Class S, two storeys, clunch and white brick, first half of the 19th century. (35) is at TL 55176390.
d(34) Houses (TL 55476189), pair of Class-S dwellings now unified, one storey and attics, framed and plastered, with pantiled gabled roof, probably built by Thomas Bowyer between 1810–24.
d(35), d(36), d(37) Houses, Class T, two storeys, white brick, first half of the 19th century. (37) is at TL 55306359.
b(38) Lock (TL 52246720), 90 ft. long and 17 ft. wide, of white brick and sandstone dressings is mid 19th-century. It has two pairs of lock gates for navigation and two pairs of self-acting flood gates. Between the pairs of gates is a brick bridge contemporary with the lock.
Commercial End (Plate 4), the settlement situated to the N. of the church and the old centre of the parish, stretches for about 400 yards on either side of a straight street from the site of the Priory (2) in the N. to a bend in the road near Lordship Farm (17) in the S. The earliest surviving buildings (39, 57, 59) date from the late 17th century, by which time the trading activities which eventually gave the locality its present name were certainly in operation (Camb. Chron. 28 May 1824, 2); until the 19th century it was known as Newnham or Newnham Street (C.R.O., L93/163, sale in 1647). At the end of the 18th century the trade prospered considerably and between 1801 and 1851 the population of the parish as a whole increased from 540 to 888 and the number of houses from 83 to 192 (Census Enumerator's Book). The activity, reflected in the survival of many early 19th-century buildings which give the street its present character, was largely due to the enterprise of the merchant Thomas Bowyer. From 1805 he was responsible for the building of warehouses, terraced houses for labourers and a detached house for his agent; particulars of sale which followed his death in 1824 show the variety of merchandise which was handled and the extent of warehousing that was consequently necessary. Corn, flour and malt were the main exports and coal, deal, wine and salt were among the commodities imported. A large wharf was adjacent to the Merchant's House (39) and, like it, was probably constructed in the late 17th century; the house, to which was added a counting-house in the 18th century, eventually became Bowyer's own and the centre for his business. The con-centration of activity at Commercial End may have become necessary when Swaffham Lode was rendered unnavigable beyond Swaffham Mill where the Tail Water is sufficiently wide to permit the mooring and turning of boats. A straight ditch (79) running eastward from the Lode may indicate an early cut to a wharf on the W. side of the street. The waterway called 'Fish Pond' provided access to the wharf by the Merchant's House before the straighter and more direct 'New Cut' or private canal was dug shortly after 1821. In the latter part of the 19th century a decline in the river trade was temporarily arrested by the shipping of coprolites.
d(39) Merchant's House (Fig. 102; Plate 83), of two storeys, cellar and attics, red and buff brick and clunch, with tiled gabled roof, stands at the E. end of a Cut and Wharf and is associated with Buildings connected with the shipping of merchandise by inland waterways. The main range of the house dates from the late 17th century but elements in the plan and wall structure suggest some survival of an earlier building. A two-storey counting-house was added on the N. before c. 1768 (Chapman's Map), partly on the site of a former outshut; in the early 19th century an extension, probably the second counting-house listed in the sale catalogue of 1858 (C.R.O., R5/7/90), was built adjoining this addition. The house was apparently always linked with the river trade and, before the construction of the main counting-house, the E. room may have acted as an office with access to the outshut on the N. by a doorway, now blocked. The property was acquired in 1805 by Thomas Bowyer from the firm of Barker who may have built the counting-house in the 18th century. Bowyer's diverse business interests were reflected in the buildings and warehouses in the vicinity of the house. Henry Giblin continued the trade after Bowyer's death in 1824 and various storehouses were built or rebuilt by him soon afterwards.
The main front of the house, on the S., is of brick with openings arbitrarily arranged and a brick platband between the storeys. The wall is interrupted by a number of straight joints and blocked openings which cannot be interpreted. The early 19th-century sash windows with slightly cambered heads are uniform except for three larger ones on the first floor at the E. end. An early 19th-century doorway has wooden pilasters, entablature and door with chinoiserie glazing bars. The brick E. wall has an ogee dutch gable parapet and is punctuated by platbands and pairs of small blind segmental-headed recesses; in the gable are three wall-anchors with the initials WPA, the first now inverted. A date in the apex is spurious and modern. The N. wall, partly masked by later buildings, has a clunch ground stage, against which was probably an outshut extending over the cellar, and a brick upper stage ornamented with diaper patterning; blocked openings exist on both floors. The plain W. gable is similar to the E. but is predominantly in clunch. A roof line of a former gabled extension, probably an original service wing, remains. The counting-house is built in yellow brick with red quoins and has a steeply pitched roof with gable parapets. Sash windows on two floors have cambered heads.
Inside, the character is mostly of the late 18th century. The E. ground-floor room has dado-height panelling, moulded cornice and wooden fireplace surround with enriched pilasters and shelf, 18th-century. The dining room has an early 19th-century fireplace surround with angle-roundels. A chamfered cross beam at the W. end is morticed for a former partition containing two doorways. Upstairs, the E. room extends to the W. beyond the ground-floor cross wall and the first-floor rooms generally contain joinery of the early 19th century. The counting-house occupies the ground floor of the N. extension, and contains two large safes with iron doors, one with 18th-century brass drop-handles; the fireplace has moulded stone surround. The present kitchen has windows and door under a common lintel indicating its use for offices; the S. half of the kitchen is built over cellars and reflects the width of the former outshut.
The brick garden wall has piers at intervals, and curves on the S.W. to enclose a yard.
Buildings, and fragments of buildings, lie to the N. and W. of the house with which they are associated. Some which survive are shown on the Enclosure Map of 1800 but the majority can be ascribed to Thomas Bowyer (d. 1824). They include:
(a) Granary, 95 ft. by 18 ft., of two storeys, red and white brick, pantiled gabled roof, built by Bowyer to hold 3000 quarters of grain; the ground floor was a timber store. The E. gable contains date panel inscribed '1815', and three wallanchors, two forming initials T and B. Original openings have been obscured since the building became a dwelling.
(b) Storehouse, 37 ft. by 24 ft., of one storey, white brick, slated hipped roof, used for storing salt. The original entrance has been enlarged and another opening added but some windows at a high level retain wooden lattices; built soon after the property's sale in 1824.
(c) Granary, 94 ft. by 26 ft., of two storeys and cellar, white brick, slated hipped roof, built in the second quarter of the 19th century. The cellar contains bins for wine and spirits as specified in the sale catalogue of 1858.
(d) Shed for deal, 140 ft. by 17 ft., with red brick and clunch walls, open on the N.; early 19th-century.
(e) Stables for 32 horses, with red brick and clunch walls, perhaps 18th-century.
(f) Lower Coal Yard, boundary wall of clunch, perhaps early 19th-century.
(g) Brew house, of which only footings remain.
(h) Lath house, of which end wall in red brick survives.
(i) House, red brick wall with blocked openings, 18th-century.
(j) Stables, for 30 horses, the brick and clunch S. wall of which survives, early 19th-century.
Cut and wharf; a cut 100 yds. long, running N.W.-S.E. joins a wharf, 90 yds. long, with white brick and freestone retaining wall on the N. side, terminates as a turning basin, 35 ft. wide and 6–8 ft. deep, partly filled in. At its N.W. end the cut joins two others: one, the 'Fish Pond', 20 ft. wide and 8 ft. deep, runs S.W.–N.E. for 220 yds. to meet Swaffham Bulbeck Lode; the other, the 'New Cut' or private canal, 270 yds. long and 30 ft. wide, runs into the Lode further down stream. The New Cut was constructed soon after 1821 to replace the previous tortuous route by way of the 'Fish Pond', and the retaining walls of the wharf date from the same improvement.
d(40) Range, four dwellings, of two storeys, white brick with tiled and pantiled roof, dates from the first quarter of the 19th century and is that referred to in 1824 as newly built for employees of Thomas Bowyer (sale catalogue, 1824, see (39)). The foundations and the N. wall are largely of reused narrow bricks. The openings have cambered heads and sliding sashes.
d(41) House, Class T, former public house, of two storeys with outshut, brick and slated gabled roof; first quarter of the 19th century.
d(42) House and Maltings; the House, of two storeys with attics, with parallel gabled and tiled roofs, is of the 18th and 19th centuries. The earlier range, shown on Chapman's Map of c. 1768, is built of clunch with pink brick dressings and forms a terminal cross wing to the maltings standing to its E. In c. 1820 a Class-T house was added on the S. and W. largely masking the earlier building; an outshut on the E. and a low building on the S., once a bakery, have been much rebuilt. The later house has a symmetrical front of three bays with cambered-headed openings and renewed sashes. The dormers have hipped roofs (Plate 106).
The Maltings, of two storeys, of clunch with brick plinth and dressings, and tiled roofs, extending round the E. and S. sides of a yard, were built in the 18th century and probably superceded a malthouse referred to in a sale in 1647 (C.R.O., L 93/163). They were re-roofed in the early 19th century. Chapman's Map (c. 1768) shows that a further range existed on the N. and another closed the yard on the W. In the N.E. angle of the yard a square clunch-built kiln with a conical tiled-roof has been altered for domestic occupation together with part of the adjacent maltings. On the N. gable of the E. range are two wall-anchors with the initials 'TB' for Thomas Bowyer (d. 1824).
d(43) House, originally of one storey, Class J, now of two storeys, brick with pantiled roof; early 18th-century. A rear wing with cellar is 19th-century. Inside, the centre room has facet-shaped stops to the chamfers (Plate 106).
d(44) House, of two storeys, white brick with parallel gabled roofs, the front tiled, the other pantiled, was built between 1814 and 1824 by Thomas Bowyer for the miller at his commercial establishment (sale catalogues). The house was originally Class T of two storeys with an outshut which was widened and heightened to two storeys in c. 1830, probably following its sale in 1825 (Camb. Chron. 25 Sept. 1825, 3). The symmetrical W. front of three bays has sash windows and brick dentil eaves course. In the S. gable are two wall-anchors with the initials 'TB' for Thomas Bowyer. Inside, one fireplace has a wooden reeded surround. At the rear of the house is a brewhouse of c. 1820 with clunch walls, brick gable wall on the E. and pantiled roof (Plate 106).
d(45), d(46), d(47), d(48), d(49), d(50), d(51), d(52),d(53) Ranges, of one storey and attics, framed and plastered, many incised to simulate ashlar, with pantiled gabled roofs, were built in the first quarter of the 19th century probably by Thomas Bowyer(d. 1824). Their uniformity in planning and appearance is striking; a pair of dwellings (52) is typical (Fig. 103). The ranges consist of groups of Class-S dwellings; (50) originally comprised two pairs of dwellings, now joined and curtailed. (47) consists of three dwellings with one shared and one single stack; the rest are pairs of dwellings with shared stacks. The construction is in timber of light scantling. Pairs of closelyspaced flush dormers with single-pitch roofs are characteristic features. The surviving original windows have sliding sashes. Inside, the single room usually has an axial beam and a light partition to enclose a stair and a pantry lit by a small window on the front (Plate 107).
d(54), d(55) Ranges, of two storeys, framed and plastered, with pantiled gabled roofs were built in the first quarter of the 19th century probably by Thomas Bowyer (d. 1824). They consist of two contiguous pairs of Class-S dwellings.
d(56) House, Class T, perhaps originally two Class-S dwellings, of two storeys, framed and plastered, with slated gabled roof, fenestrated with large sash windows and having off-centre door, early 19th-century.
d(57) House, Class J, of one storey and attics, framed and plastered, partly brick-faced, thatched gabled roof; 17th-century. The chimney stack has two diagonal shafts. The dormers are gabled. Inside, the axial beams are chamfered.
d(58) Royal Oak, of two storeys, white brick with slated hipped roof, originally Class T, was built in the early 19th century. Inside, the partitions have been removed. In c. 1820, a two-storey clunch-built range was added on the E. to form an L-shaped plan. There are two internal twin chimney stacks on the N. and a staircase at the W. end which serves an assembly room on the first floor. The upper fireplaces have surrounds with angle-roundels.
d(59) House, Class J, of one storey and attics, framed and plastered, with thatched half-hipped roof, was built in the late 17th or early 18th century re-using many medieval timbers. The yellow brick chimney stack is of two periods, the two flues not being in line. Inside, at the side of the back-to-back fireplaces, are two later ovens filling the former lobby. Each room has an axial beam, that in the centre being chamfered and heavier than the others. At each corner of the house and marking the chimney-bay and cross wall are enlarged headed posts of medieval origin but probably curtailed on re-use. The ends of the joists are carried on bearers morticed into the sides of the posts. On the N. side of the chimney the posts carry a reused medieval truss with cambered and chamfered tie beam and arched braces, one of which is mutilated at upper-floor level. The S. closed truss has posts supporting a collar at half hip height, tie beam interrupted by the posts, middle rail and secondary studwork; a further tie beam against the face of the truss is supported on the corner posts.
d(60) House, of two storeys, white brick with slated hipped roof, is of the early 19th century. The W. front is in four uneven bays with a round headed doorway in the second and a later shop addition masking the third and fourth ground-floor bays. The asymmetrical arrangement may indicate an original shop at the S. end, possibly the fruiterer's establishment recorded in the Census Enumerator's Book of 1841.
d(61) House, Class U, of two storeys, brick with slated hipped roof; first half of the 19th century.
d(62), d(63) Warehouses, of two storeys, clunch and clay bat with brick dressings, pantiled gabled roofs, date from the early 19th century. (63) has been converted for occupation. They are placed at right angles to the street and were probably ancillary to the adjacent houses.
Prehistoric and Roman
d(64) Ring Ditch (TL 56686005), 270 yds. N. of Spring Hall on chalk, on a slight W.-facing slope at about 60 ft. above O.D. Diam. 80 ft., ploughed out. (C.U.A.P.)
(65–75) Hare Park Barrow Group (Fig. 22) (see Bottisham (47–55)). Of the 24 barrows in this group, 15 are in Swaffham Bulbeck parish and are listed below. Some can be identified as those recorded in various old excavations. Two further barrows excavated in 1876 'at Hare Park' cannot be precisely located: in one, of 75 ft. diam., were two chalk-cut graves containing red deer antlers and parts of two inhumation burials; in the other were three cremations in collared urns (C.M.; C.A.S. Reports, XXXVI (1876), 26; Fox, A.C.R., 327–8, Nos. 38 and 44). Further excavations on at least two barrows in Upper Hare Park in 1880 revealed four urns probably containing burnt bones. Two urns of flower-pot shape had a pronounced internal bead on the rims, and another was an anomalous urn with decorated lugs in the Food Vessel tradition (C.M.; Fox, A.C.R., 327, Nos. 39 and 40, Pl. IV, 2, 3 and 5).
d(65) Barrow (TL 584601), probably to be identified with that noted in 1817 as being 'at E. end of Four Mile Course'. Diam. 90 ft., ht. 8–9 ft., destroyed 1815; collared urn found. (C.M.; Archaeologia XVIII (1817), 436 and Pl. XXVII; Fox, A.C.R., 327, No. 33)
a(66) Barrow (TL 58395998), immediately W. of Four Mile Stable Farm at 160 ft. above O.D. Diam. 80 ft., ht. 2 ft. This and (67) are probably the two barrows excavated in 1846. One had apparently been excavated before and no finds were made; the other contained 'a rude vase, a few bones and some ashes'. (C. C. Babington, Ancient Cambridgeshire, 2nd ed. (1883), 67)
d(67) Barrow (TL 58506004), immediately N.E. of Four Mile Stable Farm at 160 ft. above O.D. Diam. 70 ft., ht. 1 ft.
a(68) Barrow (TL 58045983), 420 yds. S.E. of Four Mile Stable Farm, at 160 ft. above O.D. Diam. 110 ft., ht. 5 ft., with slight traces of a ditch. Partly excavated in 1883 when an unspecified number of inhumations, perhaps crouched, were found. Cremated bones and 'rude urns', one of which appears to have been collared, were also discovered. (C.A.S. Reports, XLV (1885), ix; Fox, A.C.R., 327, No. 35)
a(69) Ring Ditch (TL 57795984), 330 yds. W. of (68) on the crest of the chalk ridge at 150 ft. above O.D. Diam. 100 ft., ploughed out. Either this or (70) was excavated in 1905 and produced a central inhumation of a 'very young person' with a secondary cremation of 'children' in a large collared urn and fragments of a second urn. There was evidence of fires round the margin of the mound. (C.M.; C.A.S. Procs. XII (1908), 314–24; Fox, A.C.R., 32 and 327, No. 37; C.U.A.P.)
a(70) Ring Ditch (TL 57815982), immediately to the S.W. of (69). Diam. 75 ft., ploughed out. (C.U.A.P.)
In addition to (69) and (70), air photographs in N.M.R. indicate that at least four barrows lay immediately to the E. However as the area, now under plough, has been cut across by old tracks and dug into by shallow quarries, it is impossible to ascertain the original number.
a(71) Ring Ditch (TL 57935966), 200 yds. S.E. of (70) immediately E. of 'Street Way' on a small artificially-levelled plat form set into a S.W.-facing slope at 150 ft. above O.D. Diam. 45 ft., ploughed out. Either this barrow or (72) is probably that excavated in 1882 and found to contain a small collared urn, flint flakes and cattle bones. (C.A.S. Reports, XLIV (1884), xxi; C.U.A.P.)
a(72) Barrow (TL 58035954), 170 yds. S.E. of (71) on the crest of a S.W.-facing slope at 150 ft. above O.D. Diam. 80 ft., ht. 1 ft., with wide well-marked ditch visible on all photographs. (C.U.A.P.)
a(73) Barrow (TL 58035945), 100 yds. S. of (72) and in a similar position. Diam. 75 ft., ht. 1 ft., with a well-marked ditch visible on air photographs.
a(74) Probable Barrow (TL 58205935), 200 yds. S.E. of (72) within Upper Hare Park. A low mound diam. 70 ft., ht. 1 ft., is enclosed by a low bank 100 ft. diam., 12 ft. wide and 1 ft. high, with two opposed entrances 18 ft. wide on the N. and S. If the earthwork is a barrow it may be that excavated in 1875 or 1876 and found to contain cremated bones, flints and 'various urns'. (C.M.; C.A.S. 8vo. Publ. XVI (1878), 13; Fox, A.C.R., 328, No. 42. One of the 'urns' may be that illustrated in C.A.S. Procs. XII (1908), 322, Fig. 6)
a(75) Barrow (TL 58955955), 300 yds. W. of Lower Hare Park on a small rise at 140 ft. above O.D. Diam. 40 ft., ht. 1 ft.
Since investigation was completed, air photography has revealed the following additional ring ditch:
d(75 A) Ring Ditch (TL 57216010), 700 yds. N.E. of Chalk Farm, on a gentle N.-facing slope at 100 ft. above O.D. Diam. 50 ft., ploughed out. (Photographs in N.M.R.)
d(76) Roman settlement (TL 55956355), lies immediately N.E. of the Priory on chalk marl on the edge of the fens at 20 ft. above O.D. Deep ploughing has revealed large quantities of Roman pottery, mostly Nene Valley colour-coated and Horningsea type ware and some pieces of Samian. Flint, clunch and roofing tiles have also been found.
b(77) Probable Roman remains (TL 52666706) found in 1942 near the N.W. end of Swaffham Bulbeck Lode, on peat fen at 4 ft. above O.D., on either side of a large rodden marking an earlier course of the River Cam. A complete pot of the 1st century A.D. was apparently associated with 13 large blocks of Barnack stone. It is uncertain whether the stone was in situ; it is likely to have been newly quarried and part of the cargo of a barge which sank near by. (O.S. Record Cards)
Medieval and later
For Moated Sites at Burgh Hall, Downing College Farm and Lordship Farm, see (4), (16) and (17).
For Earthworks at Swaffham Bulbeck Priory and Lordship House, see (2) and (3).
For Cut and Wharf at Merchant's House, Commercial End, see (39).
d(78) Moated site (Class A1(b)) (TL 55556278), lies immediately N.E. of Downing College Farm in Denney Plantation on chalk marl at 20 ft. above O.D. It is one of a line of three moated sites (see also (16) and (17)), all close together, whose ditches were originally filled by a long diversion of the Gutter Bridge Ditch (cf. Bottisham (61–67)). The site consists of a rectangular enclosure of just over one acre, bounded on all sides by a ditch 30–35 ft. wide and 5–6 ft. deep, now dry. The N.E. side has been partly filled in. The interior is uneven, but with no trace of former structures. (V.C.H. Cambs. II, 41.)
d(79) Ditch and Basin (TL 6566319), lies on the W. side of Commercial End and behind (56) and (57). The remains consist of a large rectangular depression, 100 ft. by 40 ft. orientated N.-S., and 3 ft. deep. Part of it has recently been filled in. It is now connected to the S.E. end of Swaffham Bulbeck Lode by a modern drain which follows the line of a canal 25–30 ft. wide existing in 1800. The site appears to be that of an old basin and wharf at the head of the Lode, which was perhaps replaced in the 17th century by the later basin and wharf to the N. (see (39); C.R.O., Enclosure Map, 1800).
a(80) Enclosure (TL 582594; Fig. 22), lies around the site of Upper Hare Park House and gardens on the crest of the chalk ridge at 150 ft. above O.D. It consists of a rectangular area orientated N.-S., covering at least 25 acres and bounded on all but the W. side by a low bank; where best preserved, it is 15 ft. wide and 2 ft. high with traces of a slight external ditch. The W. side has been destroyed by modern ploughing. It is the site of the warren established c. 1605 by the Crown for the keeping of hares, and was apparently bounded by a pale, presumably set on the existing bank; in 1631, £200 was spent on repairs and maintenance. When it was sold in 1650, as part of the estate of Charles II, it was said to be in two parcels of 30 acres and 4 acres in the parishes of Swaffham Bulbeck and Borough Green. It was returned to the Crown in 1660; by 1768 it had become the site of the stables of the Duke of Bridgewater and later of the Earl of Aylesford (see (18); J. P. Hoare, History of Newmarket (1886), I, 228; II, 4, 12, 76).
d(81) Settlement remains (TL 55556208), formerly part of Swaffham Bulbeck village, exist immediately N. of Burgh Hall on the W. side of High Street. They consist of two rectangular depressions, each 40 ft. by 20 ft., orientated N.-S. with a number of slight banks, scarps and platforms to the W. and bounded there by a low bank. This was the site of two houses and their outbuildings in 1800. Flint rubble, bones and pottery of the 13th to 17th centuries have been found in three places along High Street: S.E. of the church (TL 55626218), now built over; S.W. of Burgh Hall (TL 55456185); and E. of Burgh Hall (TL 55606195), now built over. These sites indicate that the village formerly extended S. of its present nucleus. (C.R.O., Enclosure Map, 1800.)
bcd(82) Swffham Bulbeck Lode, first recorded in 1279 (Rot. Hund., II (1818), 484), is probably of Roman origin. It is an artificial watercourse about 3⅓ miles long extending in a N.W. direction across the Fens from Commercial End (TL 55596322) to the River Cam (TL 52196725) (Plate 6).
Though the general course is straight except for a southward bend along the S. third, a number of minor features reflect a history of recutting and realignment. The S.E. 1¼ miles is sinuous (cf. Bottisham Lode, Lode (32)) but thereafter the Lode is made up of three almost straight lengths of 800 yds., 1600 yds., and 1100 yds. This part of the Lode has been recut on these new alignments and the former course is now marked by a winding ditch 12 ft. wide with slight traces of a bank on the N.E., immediately S.W. of the present Lode. The ditch is also the parish boundary between Lode and Swaffham Bulbeck and was known as the Old Lode in 1800 (C.R.O., Map of Bottisham and Swaffham Fens). This recutting was apparently carried out soon after 1664 by the Bedford Level Commissioners, though their original instructions were also to recut the S. end of the Lode (C.R.O., R59/31/11/1 and 2). The work proved unsatisfactory for in 1686 and 1689 the local inhabitants complained, and in 1706 they asked that the Old Lode be restored and the New Lode abandoned; their request was not granted, but the Bedford Level Commissioners spent £40 on cleaning the watercourse (C.R.O., R59/31/10/5 and 9, Petitions and Memorials, 1686 and 1706). Further complaints are recorded throughout the 18th century, and both the Bedford Level Commissioners and the local inhabitants cleaned out the Lode periodically and heightened the banks, often ineffectually. In 1725, 400 chaldrons of clunch were laid on the banks of the Lode but floods in the latter part of that year and in 1726 broke them down(C.R.O., R59/31/7/1 (i)). As late as 1790 floods were still overtopping the banks but by the 19th century greater control was exercised (C.R.O., R59/31/10/36).
The present watercourse is about 40 ft. wide with large flood banks on either side. It receives a constant supply of water by means of the Gutter Bridge Ditch and its feeders, which rise in Bottisham parish and flow N.E. to the S.E. end of the Lode. At the extreme S.E. end of the Lode are the remains of an old basin (79) and further N.E. a series of canals leading to a later wharf (39). Immediately N. of Cow Bridge (TL 55326353) a flat rectangular area of about one acre is the site of a public wharf allotted to the parish in 1800 (C.R.O., Enclosure Map and Award). There is little evidence for largescale use of the Lode by water traffic at any date and none before 1700. (see Sectional Preface p. lxvi)
bcd(83) Fen Drainage (Fig. 104). Although Swaffham Bulbeck Lode functioned as a fen drain in the medieval period it is probably of Roman origin and was not constructed for this purpose. There is no evidence for medieval drainage, the earliest work apparently being of the 17th century when a large rectangular area of about 411 acres near the S.W. end of the fenland was allotted to the Adventurers (TL 545655). This area was granted in three lots in 1637 following earlier attempts at drainage (C.R.O., R59/31/9/1A), but work was probably not started until 1651 when the allotments were ordered to be divided by 10-ft. wide ditches; it was completed in 1655–6 (C.R.O., R59/31/9/6). The land was originally drained in two directions: the N.E. side was drained by clearing an old watercourse known as Head Lake which flowed N.E. towards Upware along a line now followed by a road from High Bridge Farm (TL 543660); the S.W. side was drained by a new cut which ran N.W. from the Adventurers' Lands almost to Swaffham Bulbeck Lode where it joined a new 12-ft. wide cut, flowing N.E., which also drained the Adventurers' Lands to the S.E. (in Lode, Stow cum Quy, Fen Ditton and Horningsea parishes) before passing under Swaffham Bulbeck Lode in a tunnel and discharging into Head Lake Stream (TL 548674; C.R.O., R59/31/9/5).
This part of the Adventurers' Lands was almost the only fully-drained and cultivated area of fenland in the parish from the mid 17th century to the end of the 18th century. For most of this period the Bedford Level Corporation was responsible and considerable sums were spent by it on clearing the Head Lake Stream (e.g. C.R.O., R59/31/10/7 (1698)). An area of land of about 24 acres between the fen edge and the Adventurers' Lands (TL 555640) was probably drained and divided by 1683 (C.U.L., Ely Church Commissioners Records No. 1383) and certainly by 1800.
In 1767 the responsibility for draining of the area passed to the Swaffham and Bottisham Drainage Commission following an Act of Parliament. The Commissioners abandoned the main drainage channel across the parish from the S.W., and the Adventurers' Lands were subsequently drained by the Head Lake Stream alone (C.R.O., Map of Swaffham and Bottisham Fens, 1800). In 1801 the common fields of the parish were enclosed by Act of Parliament and the common fenland was divided, allotted and drained. The Head Lake Drain was retained for this purpose. In 1821 the Drainage Commissioners constructed the steam-engine pump at Upware (Swaffham Prior (77)) and a drain, known as the Engine or Commissioners' Drain, was cut across the fenland from S.W. to N.E. (TL 53506582–53906628), passing under Swaffham Bulbeck Lode in a tunnel. The Head Lake Drain was then abandoned.
The two main stages of reclamation of the Swaffham Bulbeck fens are traceable, but some minor drains have since been added. The compact shape of the Adventurers' Lands, enclosed by a continuous drain, contrasts with the irregularity of the early 19th-century drainage systems.
d(84) Cultivation remains. The former common fields of Swaffham Bulbeck were finally enclosed in 1801. Nothing remains of these fields except low ridges which were probably headlands between former furlongs, up to 700 yds. long and 30 yds. wide. These occur S. of Cadenham Plantation (TL 569626) and S. of New England Farm (TL 581607). (C.R.O., Enclosure Map and Award, 1800; commercial air photographs in N.M.R.)
d(85) Crop marks (TL 559634), immediately S.E. of Swaffham Bulbeck Priory, are visible on air photographs. They consist of: a ditch, 200 ft. long and orientated S.W.-N.E., which turns sharply at its N.E. end and runs S.E. for a further 150 ft.; indeterminate ditches; possible enclosures; and a circular feature, 50 ft. in diameter, which may be a ring ditch. The remains are unlikely to have been connected with the Priory. (C.U.A.P.)
d(86) Soil marks (TL 55906220) immediately S. of Hill House, on the crest of a low chalk hill at 101 ft. above O.D. Air photographs in N.M.R. show a complex pattern of small rectangular ditched enclosures covering about six acres, cut into by later quarrying.