Building record MCC339 - The Rose and Crown Hotel, Old Ipswich Road, Colchester


14th century building, on the corner of Old Ipswich Road (now Old Coach Road) and East Street.


Grid reference TM 00913 25359 (point)
Map sheet TM02NW


Type and Period (1)

Full Description

The Rose and Crown Hotel incorporates the substantial remains of a timber framed aisled house probably dating from c.1300 or early in the 14th century.

RCHME survey of house. Three tenements, at west corner of the Old Ipswich Road, was built in the 15th century with cross-wings at the east and west ends and a wing projecting towards the north. In the 17th century this wing was extended and an addition made at the back. The upper storey projects at the south end of both cross-wings and on the side of the north wing. Inside the building the north has an original king-post roof-truss'.<1>

DOE Survey. C15 building with cross wings east and west and a C17 wing extending north. Extensively restored and converted by Grace Faithful Roper and many features not original. The upper storey projects on the front of the cross wings and all the timber-framing is exposed.<2>

A watching brief was held during groundwork for an extension onto The Rose & Crown' pub facing the Old Coach Road. Work involved the demolition of an existing extension and the reduction of the site ground level by 0.6m. Removal of the extension revealed the north gable of the pub, which was photographed. It also revealed part of a front wall footing which was constructed of unfrogged medieval bricks. Most of the reduced area was obscured by redeposited topsoil. At the south-eastern corner of the site a north-south section against the Old Coach Road revealed a two distinct layers of earlier road metalling, consisting of 13 cm of gravel above a 25cm layer which continued beyond the bottom of the excavated area.<3>

Detailed building survey of The Rose and Crown, East Street. Undertaken in July 1997 by Adam Menuge for RCHME. The Rose and Crown incorporates the substantial remains of a timber framed aisled hall house probably dating from c.1300 or early in the 14th century. The building was three bays in length: the central bay formed a hall open to the roof, while the west bay, probably the upper end, was storied from the outset. The timber frame, of which substantial elements survive up to tie-beam level, incorporates passing braces and a mixture of notched-lap and mortice-and-tenon construction. The existence of the building in a suburban location is of some interest. The earliest alteration noted was the provision of a small wing or turret projecting northwards from the west bay. This may have houses a stair giving access to the upper end chamber. In the course of the 15th century this was incorporated in a slightly taller cross-wing corresponding to the full width of the upper-end bay and having a jetty to the front. A narrower, but otherwise similar cross-wing was built over the lower end bay at about the same time, but the hall retained its aisled form throughout the 15th century. Probably towards the end of the century a single-bay range was added beyond the lower end. This was of two storeys, jettied to the front, and has a crown-post roof. In the mid 16th century a brick stack was inserted in the hall together with an upper floor. This entailed raising the front aisle to two-storied height, and the construction of a new roof. The rear aisle may have been raised at the same time, but was separately roofed with a gable to the north. Between 1937 and 1939 the building was extensively restored by Grace Faithful Roper, at which time most features relating to the building's 18th and 19th century phases were also removed. Modern work to the north dates from the 1980's.<4>

Stenning (2003) states that the Rose and Crown, 'seems to have similar general characterisitics to Songers (see MCC3782, aisled hall dated to the first half of the 13th century), but the early work is now subsumed in later rebuilding, including the imposition of cross wing over the southern end bay'. The hall appears to have consisted of only one bay.<5>

Sources/Archives (5)

  • <1> Monograph: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. 1922. Royal Commission on Historical Monuments (England): Essex, (North-East). Volume III. No 226.
  • <2> LIST: Department of the Environment. 1971. List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest: Borough of Colchester (Essex). TM 0025 SE 7/65.
  • <3> Unpublished document: Colchester Archaeological Trust Ltd. 1985-1995. Colchester Archaeological Trust Unpublished Archive. 1/93b.
  • <4> Unpublished document: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. 1997. RCHME Interim Report of Rose and Crown Hotel.
  • <5> Article in serial: Stenning, D.F.. 2003. Small Aisled Halls in Essex. Vernacular Architecture, 34:1, 1-19. p.5 & Fig 7.

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Record last edited

Jun 28 2018 8:26AM

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