Explore Headley - Suters

Bought in 1871 by William Suter senior, a paper maker from Standford. Although it has an eighteenth Century facade, it was originally a jettied Wealden Hall-house like the Bay Tree farm house at the Singleton Open Air museum. The north end which can be seen from the churchyard clearly shows its sixteenth century construction.

Suters 2001
Suters in 2001
Suters Drawing
Suters in 1522



Dendro chronology has dated the timber framing to 1520, which coincides rather neatly with a document stating that the Rector, John Fyshe, granted a piece of land to his church wardens on the condition that they built a new house for the use of the Church for recreation on the payment of 5s 6d per annum.
So was this an early Church Centre? Or perhaps it was a Chaplain's house since it agrees with the dimensions in an order given by William de Wykeham to the Prior of Merton that 'such a house should consist of a hall with a chamber parted off at either end'. Each house was to be 40 feet in length and 18 feet in width.

The house has undergone many changes - when times were hard in the community, it was divided first into two 'tenements' (as described in the deeds) then into three until well into the mid 20th Century. It has now been reverted to a single dwelling, with the restoration revealing many features of the original early Wealden. The beams are massive, there are two huge open fireplaces, and a wall painting was uncovered consisting of a frieze of curled acanthus leaves, and an repeat interlace design of red briar roses and buds. Each open flower bears superimposed upon it a bird in heraldic stance with half open wings and one raised claw.