History

The crown post
The crown post

Crossways Farm was originally a one-storey medieval hall house, dated by its crown post (an oak beam of a particular style supporting the roof – see photo) to the late 1300s or early 1400s. A later, also medieval, extension was added to the west end of the house (where the guest accommodation and the only mullion window in the house are located) and a first floor and chimney were put in. The soot from fires predating the chimney is still present on many beams near the chimney. In the 20th century an adjacent barn was converted and joined to the main house, giving it its current L-shaped layout. In its 2.5 acre grounds is a stable block/barn which is also Grade II listed.

mullion window
The mullion window

Historically the farm included the houses of Cross Green Court and Cross Green Cottage, both at the junction of Brettenham Road and the B1115 between Stowmarket and Hadleigh. It is likely that all three houses were renamed when they were sold off as separate properties, as was the farm’s land, during the late 1920s. I knew the house only as Cross Green House, until recently I stumbled across two references to Crossways (or Crossway) Farm, and eventually discovered through some detective work that this was its previous name, most likely dating from the late 19th Century. Intrigued by its history, and in keeping with its newly increasing resemblance to a farm, I decided to change the name back to Crossways Farm.

The first official mention of the name Crossways Farm appears in Kelly’s Directory of Suffolk in 1912 – unfortunately it was not named on the earlier ordnance survey maps, whereas various other farms in Hitcham were. Prior to this, it was referred to as the ‘tenement of Jodwyns alias Parminters’. Though spellings were always fluid, the name Matilda Jodewyne appears in the 1251 Hitcham survey in the Ely Coucher Book. In 1327 the surname Joldwine/Joldwyne only occurred (in Suffolk) in Hitcham. The will of ‘William Parmeter of Hitcham’ was referred to in 1439.

So as to keep these historical associations, I have named the guest rooms after these people. I feel very fortunate to be in possession of an almost complete list of owners of the farm since 1569 (available during your stay), thanks to local historians Edward Martin and David Turner.