This old farmhouse, with its beautiful chimney, and its interesting buildings and outbuildings, has provided the village with important facilities in its past. If you observe the house from the road, you will see that it is divided roughly into four sections, but all adjoining. From left to right they are
(1) The barn, (2) The Primitive Methodist Chapel, (3) The double fronted part of the house, (4) A small single storey wooden building.
[This information was written in 1981, and some elements are out of date]
|(1) The Barn. |
[this section describes the barn in 1981]
From the front, the barn appears to be like many another old, black wooden building, but the view from the rear is truly surprising, for it is obvious that it dates back from centuries ago. It is typically Suffolk in character, with its pitched roof and great high door. Inside, it is divided into two halves, with steps leading up from one half to the other. It is constructed of marvellously strong, old oak timbers, one of which has a carving on it.
The outbuildings, also at the rear of the house, again provide much of interest. The stables, which are unchanged, are divided into three - one for storing hay, one a manger and the third a stall. In the manger there is a strong old feeding trough which runs the length of the wall, and in the second an old, wrought iron hay rack. The floor of the stables is made of small-hewn, oblong bricks, again a sign of the age of the building. Nearby, there are other outhouses, including a work- shop and a brew house. The workshop contains many interesting items - several pairs of shears with different shaped handles, oil cans, a large kettle stand, a scythe with its original thick» strong handle, obviously made from a branch of a tree as it still retains this shape, and a double Beatrice burner; this is really unusual - it is a kind of mini portable oil stove, used for cooking - the original of the present-day Belling stove. The brew house was used years ago, when everyone in the village came to brew their own beer if they wished to do so. In the yard there stands an old pump in perfect working order.
|The whole building is constructed of intricate King Posts. The barn has three small, high windows at one end. The whole of this building is quite enchanting for it is in its perfect, original state.|
The view up Matthews Lane
In 2010, Matthews Barn was put up for sale. This is the description from the sales catalogue
Matthews Barn, Evergreen Lane, Great
Bradley, Suffolk, CB8 9LL
Guide Price: £565,000 Ref:10022645
Description: Estimated to have origins dating back to the late 16th century and built of a substantial Oak timber frame construction beneath a later slate roof-line, this magnificent barn conversion was tastefully converted approximately four years ago, resulting in a fabulous home of the highest quality and possessing a most light and airy atmosphere whilst displaying a wealth of stunning features and characteristics including exposed timbers and studwork (some displaying ancient writing), polished oak and Travertine flooring, oak joinery and windows. Listed grade II as being of specific architectural and historical interest.
Matthews Barn provides outstanding accommodation currently in brief comprising; reception hall with stone flooring, cloakroom complemented by stone sink and tiling, utility room with sink and granite work surfaces. The kitchen breakfast room is a particular feature being fitted with a superb range of units complemented by an excellent range of high quality appliances including oven, halogen hob, combination oven / microwave, dishwasher, fridge / freezer and wine cooler. The kitchen further benefits from attractive Travertine stone flooring with under floor heating. Open studwork leads to the main fully vaulted reception area creating a superb room for entertaining currently used as dining, seating and study areas beneath a very grand bespoke oak staircase with open walkway complemented by French Oak doors opening to the rear gardens and terraces. A pair of Oak doors open to a particularly spacious sitting room providing an excellent reception room with dual aspect windows, doors to rear gardens and a fireplace with wood burning stove.
On the first floor the fine oak staircase leads to the stunning landing area overlooking the main reception room and leads to the master bedroom suite with extensive built in cupboards, exposed timbers and a quality en-suite shower room. There are three further bedrooms and a stylish family bathroom with free standing curved bath and quality stone tiling. Matthews Barn is presented to an extremely high standard and successfully combines the latest in modern home technology with the features of a more individual character property and the agents would thoroughly recommend an internal inspection in order to fully appreciate both the scale of accommodation and overall personality of this outstanding home. Matthews barn is approached through electric high wooden gates providing an excellent level of security opening to a private driveway providing parking for a number of vehicles. The rear gardens are a lovely feature being predominantly laid to lawn with views over open farmland and further enhanced by a large stone terrace creating a wonderful outdoor entertaining area enjoying the garden views.
Situation: Matthews Barn occupies a pleasant setting along a quiet no-through lane situated close to the centre of village. Great Bradley is a most sought after and picturesque village situated amidst rolling countryside and is situated approximately 8 miles from Newmarket, 17 miles from Cambridge and 16 miles from the historic market town of Bury St Edmunds.
To download a PDF copy of the sales brochure then click on the link given here
(2) The Primitive Methodist Chapel
This building is reached by two steps leading up from the road and it has shutters at the windows which were removed when services took place. It is a smallish, square room which has been used for a store but, once inside, it is easy to imagine how it used to be. It has a continuous bench fixed to the walls of three sides of the room, where the congregation would sit, and on the fourth side the organ would stand and the minister would conduct the service. The room is whitewashed and because, years ago, whitewash flaked off the walls, the walls immediately behind the benches are lined with a very fine rush matting, still in excellent condition. The most interesting item of furniture, not at all connected with the chapel but merely stored there, is an arm chair with FIVE legs. The fifth leg supports a footstool which can be drawn forward from the base of the chair
It would be relevant to mention here what is known and remembered about the chapel. In 1891, the chapel was already established, for the Martin family were leading Methodists. Services were held each week, and the Harvest Festival and Anniversaries were also celebrated there. 40 children attended the services at that time and, after the Harvest Festival, it was usual for the produce to be sold off to the village the next day. Indeed, Mrs. Martin remembers her son being born on the day when one such produce sale was being held in the barn next door. The Rev. Rose from Haverhill was the last minister to take services there, and the Chapel closed in the 1950s. After this time, when no Post Office existed in the village, the pensions and stamps were brought out from Newmarket Post Office once a week and issued from the old chapel. This 'sub-office' was open for one hour on a Friday morning.
3) The House
This old farm house, which the tithe map of 1842 shows as being owned by George Smith, Corn Merchant, is surely one of the gems of the village. It has a large cellar (which is occasionally damp underfoot because it has a spring running up into it), complete with a-wine, rack; two staircases, one at each end of the house; six bedrooms, including two attic rooms each reached, again, by 2 separate staircases, one narrow and almost spiral. The Martins' present-day kitchen once housed a bread oven; the peel, the long-handled shovel used for taking loaves out of the oven, still exists. One cupboard halfway up the "spiral staircase" reveals another gem. The walls of this cupboard are papered with old newspapers dating back to the end of the Boer War, each item of immense interest, e.g. the mention of Pretoria and the War nearing its end (1902), advertisements for a set of dentures for 1 guinea or a single tooth for 2/6d,and Enfield motors and cycles. On passing from one bedroom to the next, one notices a cupboard in one corner. This cupboard reveals the bricks of the huge chimney breast, maybe 3'- 4' thick, which rises through the house. The wall at the back of the cupboard has been boarded over but, if this were removed, it would be possible to walk through to the next door bedroom alongside the chimney breast. This is evidence that the downstairs rooms must contain great inglenook fireplaces which, at this time, are concealed by comparatively modern ones although these, in themselves, are quite interesting as they probably date back to the turn of the century.
(4) The single storey wooden building
This was a second kitchen, the most interesting feature being the double arched fireplace made of brick, in which Mrs. Martin remembers there being a cast iron grate. Note the huge chimney from the outside, which is quite overwhelming for the size of the building.
The house was, at one time, divided into two, hence the two kitchens. It is known that an official of the Primitive Methodist Chapel occupied the left-hand side of the house when the chapel was so frequently used. Note also the tiny square shuttered window between the chapel and the house. From the inside, the shutter can be removed to let in the daylight and to let out the steam, for in the area behind this window there is a copper house, complete with the perfectly preserved old copper used on wash-days
Two views of Matthews Farm: From January 2005
and in 1900, with Miss Jolly in the garden