A history of Halesworth, Suffolk, UK, through the ages.


Volume 3


Gothic House and Dairy Farm

One of the most interesting buildings in Halesworth is the Gothic House, which lies opposite the Church in London Road.

Both Gothic House and Dairy Farm (Dairy Farm having the timbered exterior to the right of the co-joined building) were originally two seperate buildings, lying parrallel to each other, and at right angles to London Road. They are now joined together and share a long juttied frontage.

The structure can be traced back to the 15th century, when it consisted of two houses set at right angles to the road. In the 'Halesworth Manor Extent' of 1577, we learn that 'Walter Norton Esquire holds freehold a capital messuage which formerly was two messuages in the tenure of John Bunting and Thomas Baxter and now they are joined together'. It also indicates their joint rent was annually 2s.4d (12p). We don't know who these men were, but there was earlier a tenement listed in the Account Roll of 1375 called 'Buntyng' and in the 1577 Extent are references to Bunting's Lane and Bunting's Fen. It is probable that John Bunting held what is now known as Gothic House, and Thomas Baxter the Dairy Farm.

The North end wing originally had an open hall, possibly of 15th century date, which is the Gothic House section, while the South end wing had the front built around 1500, with the rear part rebuilt later.


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