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Colchester Archaeological Trust

CAT Report 534: summary

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Historic building record of Old Hall, Church Road, Boreham, Essex: 9th October 2009
by Leigh Alston MA

Date report completed: December 2009
Location: Old Hall, Church Road, Boreham, Essex
Map reference(s): TL75910950
File size: 13889 kb
Project type: Building recording on a barn and ancillary farm buildings
Significance of the results: *
Keywords: farmhouse, barn, post-medieval, modern

Summary. Old Hall is a grade II-listed late-medieval farmhouse which is generally believed to occupy the site of the main Domesday manor of Boreham. However, its isolated location some 250 metres south-east of the parish church does not accord with the description of the manor house given by Philip Morant in 1763, and the name was probably transferred here when the original Old Hall was rebuilt and renamed Boreham Manor in the late 18th century.

The farmhouse lies 70 metres west of Church Road and was originally approached through its farm yard in the typical manner of the Middle Ages. The northern side of this yard is now formed by a large 11-bay ‘Napoleonic’ barn of the late 18th or early 19th century which extends to 39.2 metres in length (128.5 ft). This timberframed and weatherboarded structure is currently roofed with corrugated asbestos but was originally thatched and probably contained an additional 3 bays to the west before its subsequent truncation. It possessed twin threshing floors, each with a southern porch, and consists chiefly of re-used timber from at least two earlier barns. The western porch is an intact 17th-century structure with trenched braces which survives from the previous barn on the same site, and archaeological evidence of medieval farm buildings may lie below the present yard surface. Although of considerable significance to the historical context of the listed farmhouse, the barn has been too extensively altered in both the 19th and 20th centuries to merit listing in its own right.