High House was built in the mid-1500’s to equally divide the Manor of West Thurrock between two daughters. Originally built of timber with wattle and daub infill, the house was later covered in brick in the 1600’s, with many building being added over it’s long history.
The Stable Block at High House consists of a large stable, carriage house and a cottage for the coachman. Whenever the family of the house wanted to be taken somewhere by the horse-drawn coach the driver could be reached quickly and have the coach ready.
The Dovecote is one of the best known examples of a dove house and is found within the grounds of High House. It is a clear show of power and affluence for the families that lived there, as the dovecote provided eggs and meat throughout the year. The status of the dovecote makes it a great social reference for the region and era.
High House has the fortune of having a timber-framed barn dating from the 1700’s that was incredibly well preserved, as is most of the farm within the grounds of High House. The barn was built to store and thrash the wheat crops grown and harvested in the local fields that would have been used to make bread and beer.
The buildings that join the barn are known as the cart sheds with the granary the last building on the end. The cart sheds were built to store all the agricultural implements that would have been used on the farm including ploughs and hay carts, which were eventually replaced by tractors over the years.
This little building at the edge of High House was used as its name suggests as a workshop for the farmstead. The evolution of the workshop’s usage likely coincided with the industrial revolution, ushering in a new era on the farm with tractors and other automation.
The gardens of High House are a great cultural reference, giving us several markers in social history. As tastes and fashions changed, and as the affluence of the house’s owner increased, the gardens evolved with the times, leaving a great history and heritage for Thurrock and England itself.