Record Details

NHER Number:46506
Type of record:Building
Name:Farm building to west of Abbey Farm Cottage on Monksgate


This two storey farm building was constructed in the mid 15th century as an outbuilding of the Cluniac Priory (NHER 5748), but is now used as a storehouse. The western three-bay portion is timber-framed and weatherboarded and the south side was formerly jettied. In the mid 19th century this western section was partly clad in flint rubble with brick dressings.
However, in the interior the principal room on the first floor retains two square sectioned crown posts and moulded capitals and bases. Shutter grooves for three former mullioned windows have also been identified in this section. The remainder of the building to the east was constructed in the later 15th century and this four bay extension is now entirely of 19th century flint and brick. It also retains a crown post roof, but two of the crown posts and ties have been partly chopped away.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TL 8650 8349
Map Sheet:TL88SE

Full description

March 1971. Listed, Grade I.
Listing Description Excerpt:
"Farm building to west of Abbey Farm Cottage on Monksgate. Listed 1971, grade I.
Outbuilding to Thetford Priory (NHER 5748), now a store. Mid 15th century date. Three-bay portion to west is timber-framed and weatherboarded, the rear (south) side formerly jettied."
Information from (S1).
Please consult the National Heritage List for England (S1) for the current listing details.
Amended E. McDonald (HES), 18 December 2019.

April 1992. Dendrochronological Survey.
Analysis resulted in the production of a felling date range of AD 1532- c. 1540 for three timbers.
See report (S2) for further details.
P. Watkins (HES), February 2014.

1997. Building survey.
English Heritage Survey of Abbey Farm Cottage and Abbey Farm Barn.
See (S12) for details.
P. Watkins (HES), 24 February 2014.

2000. Dendrochronological Survey and Building Survey.
Further dendrochronological analysis. Additional documentary research and fabric analysis also undertaken. The timber samples from Abbey Farm Barn confirm the findings of the study carried out in 1992.
See reports (S3) and (S4) for further details.
P. Watkins (HES), February 2014.

2002. Dendrochronological Survey.
Reanalysis of tree ring data collected at Abbey Farm Cottage and Abbey Farm Barm in 1992.
A further six samples, one from the western half of the barn and five from the cottage, were dated. These are clearly contemporaneous with the 15th century phases identified for the western half of the barn and cottage.
See report (S5) for further details - this report replaces (S2).
A. Cattermole (NLA), 22 August 2008. Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 23 February 2014.

June 2003. Desk Based Assessment.
Proposals to develop Abbey Farm, which constitutes the outer court of St Mary's Priory in Thetford, may affect deposits of archaeological significance (if any survive) within the two extant late medieval buildings and the area of proposed development around the courtyard.
See report (S6) for further details.
A. Cattermole (NLA) 22 November 2004. Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 23 February 2014.

March-April 2007. Test Pitting.
Archaeological evaluation within the Abbey Farm complex. As part of this work a series of test pits were excavated within Abbey Farm Cottage and Abbey Farm Barn in order to examine structural elements.
See report (S7) for further details. The results of this work are also summarised in (S8).
See (S9) for details of proposed alterations.
P. Watkins (HES), 24 February 2014.

April 2008.
Proposal to convert part of the site into 26 homes.
See (S9) and (S10) for further details
H. White (NLA), 20 April 2009

Monument Types

  • JETTIED HOUSE (Medieval to 21st Century - 1450 AD to 2100 AD)
  • OUTBUILDING (Medieval to 21st Century - 1450 AD to 2100 AD)
  • TIMBER FRAMED BUILDING (Medieval to 21st Century - 1450 AD to 2100 AD)
  • STOREHOUSE (Late 20th Century to 21st Century - 1970 AD? to 2100 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status

  • Listed Building

Sources and further reading

---Article in Serial: Groves, C. and Hillam, J. 1993. Tree Ring Dates - List 51. Vernacular Architecture. Vol 24 pp 46-48. pp 47-48.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2008. 'Error' setback in barns homes saga. 18 September.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2009-2010. [Articles on the planning inquiry for the proposal at Abbey Barns conversion].
---Article in Serial: Heywood, S & Smith, R. 1992. A Timber-framed Cluniac Conventual Building. The Annual. The Bulletin of the Norfolk Archaeological and Historical Research Group. vol.1 pp40-44.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1990-1998. [Articles on the proposed plans for the Abbey Barns].
<S1>Designation: English Heritage. National Heritage List for England. List Entry 1297897.
<S2>Unpublished Contractor Report: Groves, C. and Hillam, J. 1993. Tree-ring Analysis of Oak Timbers from the Abbey Farm Cottage and Barn, Thetford, Norfolk, 1992. Ancient Monuments Laboratory. 34/93.
<S3>Unpublished Contractor Report: Bond, R. and Ellis, R. 2000. Abbey Farm, Thetford. An Historical Assessment. English Heritage Historical Analysis & Research Team. Reports and Papers 32.
<S4>Unpublished Contractor Report: Howard, R., Laxton, R. and Litton, C. 2000. Tree-Ring Analysis of Timbers from the Barn and Cottage, Abbey Farm, Thetford, Norfolk. Ancient Monuments Laboratory. 48/2000.
<S5>Monograph: Groves, C. 2002. Tree-Ring Analysis of Oak Timbers from Abbey Farm Barn and Cottage, Thetford, Norfolk. English Heritage Centre for Archaeology Report. 18/2002.
<S6>Unpublished Contractor Report: Penn, K. 2003. An Archaeological Desk Based Assessment of Abbey Farm, Thetford. Norfolk Archaeological Unit. 840.
<S7>Unpublished Contractor Report: Birks, C. 2007. Report on an Archaeological Evaluation by Trial Trenching at Abbey Barns, Thetford. Chris Birks Archaeological Services. CB080R.
<S8>Article in Serial: Gurney, D. and Hoggett, R. (eds). 2008. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk in 2007. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLV Pt III pp 441-452. p 451.
<S9>Unpublished Document: Scholes, S. 2007. Abbey Barns Thetford Structural Engineering Report on the Proposed Alterations. Cameron Taylor Report No. 06288600NST.
<S10>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2007. These monastic ruins are unique. 22 November.
<S11>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2009. Homes plan approved for site of medieval barns. 21 April.
<S12>Unpublished Contractor Report: Coppack, G. 1997. Thetford Priory - Timber Framed Buildings to the West of Abbey House. English Heritage.

Related records

5748Part of: Site of Cluniac Priory (Priory of Our Lady) at Abbey Barns (Monument)
MNO2623Related to: Farm building to west of Abbey Farm Cottage Monksgate THETFORD (Revoked)

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