Earlier in December I spent a delightful four nights in this cosy, characterful property which has been for many years part of the Landmark Trust owned/managed collection. It occupies a central location in the small Suffolk town of Clare right opposite the church and shares its location with the small local Museum.
Before my trip I had every intention of taking a couple of days out to visit Saffron Walden, Gainsborough’s House in Sudbury and a number churches and picturesque villages in the south Suffolk/north Essex area. But in the end I parked my car outside the Ancient House at 4pm on the Monday and next moved it to drive up to Norwich at 10am on the Friday.
The Ancient House is a Grade 1 Listed 14th century house with a late 15th century east wing and a 17th century west wing. When in the 1920s an American offered to buy the building and ship it back to America it was bought and presented to Clare Parish Council. The first letting by the Trust was in 1999 following repairs and renovations between February and July that year. The History Album for the Ancient House shows lots of pictures of the restoration work that was undertaken.
It’s been known as The Ancient House since 1810. Without a local source of stone in the area oak and clay was used for buildings and plaster added to the exteriors for protection. The decorating of this plastering is called Pargeting.
There are two types of pargeting : raised and incised. The Ancient House has both. Vegetable dyes have been mixed with the plaster to colour it and rakes and combs and moulds used for the decoration.
Read more about the history of the house here.
Beneath the Bedroom Window is the former owner’s Coat of Arms and two carved leaf-clad woodwoses (wild men of the woods)
Let me show you around this lovely Landmark and then around the pretty and interesting small Suffolk town of Clare.
The Cosy Sitting Room with Log Burning Stove
The Ancient House Library
Welcome to The Ancient House, do come inside!
Curtain Fabric Especially Designed for each Landmark
Writing Christmas Cards and Watching the World go by
The Unusual Ceiling Panelling
Bedroom with Sliding Timber Shutters
Sloping Bathroom Floor
In Summer there is a Garden to enjoy – but I think I would still prefer to return in winter