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Colchester Archaeological Trust

CAT Report 767: summary

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Historic building recording at King’s Farm Barn, Bishops Lane, Alphamstone, Essex - March 2014
by Chris Lister
(with contributions from -)

Date report completed: May 2014
Location: King’s Farm Barn, Bishops Lane, Alphamstone, Essex
Map reference(s): TL 8624 3483 (c)
File size: 4,011 kb
Project type: Historic building recording
Significance of the results: *
Keywords: barn, high farming, timber-framed

Summary. A programme of building recording was carried out by the Colchester Archaeological Trust on a timber-framed threshing barn at King’s Farm, Alphamstone, Essex, in March 2014. The work was commissioned by Andrew Stevenson Associates on behalf of the owners, Mr and Mrs Franco. The barn dates to 1856-76 but nearly 50% of the timbers used in its construction have been sourced from an earlier structure(s) on the farm, possibly dating to the 17th century. Although it is a late example of an Essex threshing barn, it has merit as part of the High Farming tradition of the 19th century, a movement that saw the replacement of earlier post-medieval farm layouts with modern scientifically-planned farms and embraced new agricultural ideas and techniques. The incorporation of bullock yards into this particular arable farm’s layout pre-empted the diversification that became necessary for the survival of Essex farmers in the late decades of the 19th century and shows how King’s Farm, although relatively small in size, was at the forefront of the Victorian drive to modernize agriculture.