Building surveys

Dr Annabelle Hughes an historical consultant on ancient buildings undertook the house survey on behalf of the project. In all, with the help of two local volunteers who assisted with some houses, Dr Hughes surveyed 30 houses widely spread throughout the parish.

We would like to thank all the house owners who kindly cooperated with us and allowed Dr Hughes not only to explore throughout their houses but also to clamber into attics and roof spaces to establish whether timbers were blacked with soot from medieval open fires, or whether construction techniques suggested a later date of construction.

Other records included on the site.
In addition to the surveys undertaken by the project Dr Hughes has allowed us to use material from an earlier survey she had undertaken of Monger’s Farm.

Gallops Farm was surveyed by R. T. Mason before it was demolished and published in Sussex Archaeological Collections, his report has been included.

Plans and pictures of other houses now lost, possibly most notably the original Conyboro House, survive in the archives at East Sussex Record Office and have been included in the building survey section of the site.

Limitations
It must be emphasised that the survey is not fully comprehensive. But, despite the limitations, it has given us a remarkable insight into the survival of ancient houses within the parish.

Our fieldwork has suggested areas where medieval houses once stood and external observation allows us to suggest that other buildings are in origin timber framed, and possibly quite early, those results have been included on the map.

Summary of results
Most significantly the oldest surviving buildings cluster in the vicinity of Barcombe Cross and further to the north, an area where the substantial manorial copyholders owned their land. The documentary work and the fieldwork, undertaken as part of the villa excavation, suggest that there was no significant medieval settlement by the church other than Court House (the manor house).

Building surveys

An introduction to timber-framed
construction
by Dr. Annabelle Hughes