Ancient House

Mr Powell the muffin man
Postcard: courtesy of Clare Ancient House Museum

Mr Powell, the Muffin Man was a Clare trader; his photo is held by the Clare Ancient House Museum.  This small gem of a building is owned by Clare Town Council, leased to The Landmark Trust who let it out for holidays lets and give one section free of charge to the Museum.

The Museum arranges displays of Clare history: the de Clares, Magna Carta, local education, photographs……..

The Ancient House in Clare is one of the finest examples of pargeting in the country. There’s another Ancient House in Ipswich, built in 1670, decorated with scenes from the four continents as then known.  Our Ancient House is much older, dating from the 14C, but its pargeting may have been about the same date as Ipswich’s.  It was given to the town in 1938 by Charles Byford, whose descendants are still local landowners, still giving today, most recently to the Clare Castle Country Park Trust.

Entrance is only £1 for adults; free for children up to 16 and Friends of the Museum. Unfortunately there is no wheelchair access.  Open in the season (Easter to end of September):

Wikipedia logo
Wikipedia: Ancient House

Thurs, Fri & Sun – 2-5; Sat & Bank Holidays 11.30-5

Wikipedia has a short article on the Ancient House.  It is listed as one of “Suffolk’s hundred best buildings”, Tim Buxbaum, IMEM 2014.

Location: High Street, Clare CO10 8NY
Links: Historic England listed I
Book: Suffolk: West, The Buildings of England, Bettley & Pevsner, Yale 2015. ISBN 978 0 300 19655 9, p192
Caution: the name Ancient House is used by many buildings across England, particularly in Suffolk (11 others).

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