Take a tour of Bridge Cottage here via pictures taken by photographer Mike Harvey-Penton.
Mike and his wife Liz ran an art gallery in Bridge Cottage, Uckfield, before the Grade II listed building closed in September 2014 for refurbishment.
Liz and Mike Harvey-Penton outside the newly restored Bridge Cottage, Uckfield.
The couple were back again for the official opening of the restored building last month and Mike has since had the chance to look around on his own. He shares his pictures here.
The most spectacular space in Bridge Cottage – the Hall Chamber, created by removing a second floor to reveal the rafters. New wood contrasts with the old. This space could be used for wedding ceremonies.
The floor in the Hall Chamber wouldn’t have existed when Bridge Cottage was first built in the 15th Century. The central space would have been open from floor to ceiling and there would have been a central open hearth.
A view of the newly exposed rafters in the Hall Chamber.
The second floor of Bridge Cottage has been retained to the south of the building and a former doorway has been retained to give a ‘minstrel’s gallery’ view of the Hall Chamber from above.
A new meeting room next door and to the south of the Hall Chamber. It is now called the Hazel Room. When originally built it could have been a servants bedroom, while on the opposite side of the central hall would have been the private chambers of the owner.
Another view of the Hazel Room, with the window to the left looking down on the Bridge Cottage forecourt.
Another set of stairs leads from the Hall Chamber floor up to the room giving the ‘minstrel’s gallery’ view over the Hall Chamber. This won’t be open to the public.
Stairs leading to the second floor and the ‘minstrel’s gallery’.
Heading back downstairs again from the Hall Chamber.
The wall on the left was once an outside wall of Bridge Cottage. A lean-to was added in the middle of the 18th Century.
Evidence of a former bread oven.
The Oak Room on the ground floor. It was originally a service area and can now be booked as a meeting room. This chimney was a later addition to the house, as was one in the neighbouring main hall.
Another view of the Oak Room which has windows looking out over the Bridge Cottage forecourt, left, and over the river.
The fireplace in the Central Hall. Originally the Central Hall would have been open to the rafters with a central hearth. This fireplace and two floors were later additions to the property. The second of those floors has now been removed to once again give a view of the rafters.
Peering up the chimney from the Central Hall.
Entry to Bridge Cottage is now via a gift shop built in place of a lean-to which was demolished during restoration of the building. Above the gift shop is a Heritage Hub, a room housing Uckfield Preservation Society’s historical archive.
The Heritage Hub where collections of historic material gathered by Uckfield Preservation Society are housed. Visits to the archive can be arranged by appointment.
Tucked away out of sight is the ground source heat pump which provides all the heating in Bridge Cottage during winter, and helps keep it cool during the summer.
A new extension attached to the back of Bridge Cottage houses a kitchen.
Outside views of Bridge Cottage
Members of the Brighter Uckfield Campaign recently spent a morning cutting back ivy, trees and bushes on the banks of the River Uck next to Bridge Cottage to improve the view from the new garden.
Uckfield News pictures below show the view now from the town bridge and another view from the other end of the cottage, also including the wooden town crier sculpture.
Previous Uckfield News stories about Bridge Cottage:
Bridge Cottage is ‘fantastic’ say guests at official opening
Bridge Cottage is left to its ghosts before buildings arrive