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History / Pendean Farmhouse
Pendean Farmhouse, timber framed, built 1607.
Pendean Farmhouse  Fireplace decorated with ruddling
and pencilling
Storage room on
1st floor
Pigsty Table laid for  a meal
Pendean is a timber framed house from West Lavington in West Sussex. It has been dendro-dated to 1609. This type of three-unit lobby entry house with an internal axial chimney stack & back to back fireplaces was the successor to Bayleaf (a yeoman open hall house) & was common throughout the country. There is no longer a clearly defined upper and lower end. The main living room (still called a hall) separates the service room (in this case a milkhouse or dairy) from the kitchen. Upstairs only the central chamber is heated. By the early c17th brick was becoming common as an infill for timber framing. A comparable example is the Titchfield Market Hall (1619). There was a substantial brick & tile making industry in the Woolavington & Graffham area from c.1590 until c.1740.

We think that the house was built for Richard Clare, a yeoman farmer, because in that year he bought the lease to Pendean from John Coldham. The occupants of Pendean had 40 acres of land plus rights of pasture for 100 sheep & 14 bullocks upon the commons. The main grain crops were wheat, barley & oats. In the c17th the farm had a number of agricultural buildings, including a barn or barns and stables. We hope to recreate a complete farmstead in the future.

In contrast with medieval houses Pendean has no open hall, instead a brick chimney heats two of the ground floor rooms and one of the upper chambers and a vent lets smoke into a smoke chamber for curing meat.  The interior rooms are fully furnished with replica furniture.  This very atmospheric exhibit is used for our Period Workshops and is often used for filming historical documentaries and dramas.

Suggested Topics

  • Unit 2 What were homes like long ago?
  • Unit 8 What were the differences between the lives of rich and poor people in Tudor times?

Workshops Featuring this Building

Life in Stuart Times  Fire and Shelter module and Apothecary module Details
Life on a Tudor Farmstead  Apothecary Module Details

Other Information

Fireplaces The Museum's buildings contain examples of the development of fireplaces from a simple open hearth through smoke bays to chimneys.  A tangible example of design evolution. Details

Detailed Research

For more details of the social and economic history of Pendean and the surrounding area click here