Haybarn Cottage C 1895

Haybarn Cottage is a 17th Century single storey, timber framed and plastered building in the form of an ‘L’ plan. It has an attic, gabled dormers a thatched roof, leaded casements and a plank floor. It is now mainly red brick faced. It was once owned (but not lived in) by Mary Constable, John Constable’s sister

  • 1815-65 – Mary Constable acquired the cottage on the death of her father in 1815 and owned it until her own death in 1865
  • By 1932 Haybarn Cottage had been purchased by Thomas Parkington who also acquired the field on the western side of the last descending slope of Flatford Lane, its home meadow, outbuildings and a broad strip of land extending down the length of the eastern side of the lane.
  • In 1942 Thomas Parkington died and left Willy Lott’s House, Flatford Mill, Haybarn Cottage and 15.7 acres of land to the National Trust.
    • Because Thomas Parkington had died insolvent (technically) the National Trust had to buy Flatford Mill, Willy Lott’s House and Haybarn Cottage out of general funds at a cost of £3,700 .

To help the National Trust out financially Dr Eric Ennion bought Haybarn Cottage from the National Trust for £600. 

This helped the Trust to offset the cost of purchasing the rest of the estate.

In 1945 Dr Eric Ennion  established the first Field Studies Centre at Flatford Mill.

Haybarn Cottage C 1890

When Thomas Parkington’s financial affairs were finally resolved, there was more than enough to reimburse the National Trust which Thomas’ widow did in 1948 minus £600 already paid to them by Eric Ennion for Haybarn Cottage.

1943 – The National Trust Properties book for 1949 states that ‘covenants over Haybarn Cottage were given to the National Trust in 1943 by Dr Ennion’

Haybarn Cottage and some of the surrounding land changed hands several times over the following years.

  • C 1960s – 80s Sonny Potter owned Haybarn Cottage (and the adjacent field which became a car park in 1979/80) which he left to his daughter Erica Potter (born 1965)
  • In 1991 Erica Potter sold Haybarn Cottage and 1000 year lease on the car park to Frank Fuller who ran the car park until 2011.
  • In 2011 Frank Fuller sold Haybarn Cottage to the National Trust. The Trust also bought him out of the 1000 year lease on the car park which meant that the car park charges benefited the National Trust for the first time
  • 2011 – Today, Haybarn Cottage and the field in which the car park is situated, are now owned and run by the National Trust
Haybarn Cottage - pencil sketch by John Constable
Pencil Sketch of Haybarn Cottage attributed to John Constable