Number 1, Myddylton Place has a complex and fascinating history. The site itself, an area once known as Hogg’s Green, dates back some 700 years while the house itself dates back to 1497. The building comprises several different buildings that almost certainly have played very different roles. The building is made up of three distinct parts: a merchant’s house, a long store that became a maltings in the 18th century and separated from the rest of the building by a wagon way, a weather boarded loft now converted to a beautiful holiday cottage. Until two years ago the house was owned and occupied by the Youth Hostel Trust; since then it has undergone a painstaking restoration by its current owners, Julia and Tony Chapman.
1, Myddylton Place sits on a corner position on Bridge Street that forms the main thoroughfare into the medieval town of Saffron Walden and is built around a quadrangle surrounded by other medieval, timber-framed buildings.
The Merchant’s House
The remains of a medieval hall house with a steep pegged tile roof can be found on the corner of Bridge Street and Myddylton Place. The house’s main feature is the overhanging upper storey complete with decorated corner post but most interesting of all are the two medieval shop window openings that front Bridge Street. The mortices in the windows indicate that shelves would have once been fitted there for the purpose of selling goods. It was once thought that it could have been used for the sale or store of saffron but this is now thought to be highly unlikely due to its large size. Adjacent to the window is a narrow shop doorway complete with chamfered frame and buttresses. The interior of the house has a high quality recessed high end with crenellated dais beam and moulded side screens.
Alongside the doorway is the bay window of the hall house. Much of this part of the building has been rebuilt but inside there still exists part of a beautiful medieval hall complete with carved partition and evidence of a raised dais. During the 17th century the walls were lined with deal paneling and a fireplace constructed, complete with blue and white 17th century Dutch tiles.
The Store House or Maltings
The store house is rather unusual in that for a storage building it has a great deal of decorative detailing, projected upper floor and richly decorated windows, extremely unusual for a building of that purpose. From the detailing it is clear that this part of the building was purpose built to show off the owner’s wealth.
The building also has a barley shaft from the 18th century when this part of the building was converted to a maltings. The ground floor windows are also louvred to provide ventilation. This part of the building is closely studded with beautiful diagonal tension braces in much of the upper floor.Wagon way
The Wagon Way
The Wagon Way would have been part of the original barn and is open to the eaves.Alongside it is the third bay of the barn, which is weather boarded in typical Essex fashion. Saffron Walden has several other good examples of similar wagon ways such as the one at The Old Sun Inn. This wagon way forms a magnificent and attractive entrance to: