Farmhouse. Late C16 or early C17 with later additions and alterations in late C17, early C18, C19 and late C20.
Reason for Listing
Grove Farm, a late C16 or early C17 farmhouse with later additions and alterations, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
Architectural interest: a vernacular late-C16 or early-C17 cruck frame, lobby-entrance house with a late C17 box frame and dated C18 brick cladding with evidence of aleration to a two-storey house;
Intactness: the cruck frame survives in part along with much of the box frame of the cross wing, illustrating the conjunction of the two main timber-framing techniques on a single site; of interest since Buckinghamshire represents the most south-easterly county with a strong tradition of cruck frame construction. The lobby-entry plan of the original wing is still readable.
Context: the converted attached ironstone barn and separate farm buildings to the east (all not included in the listing), enhance the agricultural nature of the house.
Grove Farm has a complex history of alteration and addition. A moat-like feature to the south of the farmhouse, marked on the 1881 First Edition Ordnance Survey map, may indicate medieval origins for the site. Based on the cruck construction of the principal range and smoke blackening of some of the timbers, it has been suggested that Grove Farm possibly has late-medieval origins. From its lobby entry plan, it is perhaps more likely to date from the late C16 or early C17. This range was later raised and faced in brick in the early C18 (believed to date from 1737). A box-frame extension to the east, set back from the south elevation of the cruck-framed block, was added, probably later in the C17. Only one bay of this appears to survive. In the early C19 this range was apparently converted to a dairy, when it was rebuilt or extended to the north and also heightened. In the 1860s, the cross range was fronted in brick and extended slightly to the south to provide a uniform frontage, and a brew house was added under a cat-slide roof to the west of the dairy. In the 1970s the house was extensively modified with a new roof structure and windows, demolition or truncation of chimneys, replacement of the front porch and addition of a link building to the south-east. C21 changes include the replacement of the brewhouse cat-slide tile roof with slate and reinstatement of its chimney, and replacement of the 1970s porch.
MATERIALS: timber frame with later red and burnt brick cladding in Flemish bond set on an ironstone and brick plinth. Rebuilt central brick chimney stack. Replacement clay tile roof with replacement slate cat-slide roof to the rear.
PLAN: two distinct two-storey ranges forming an L-shaped plan (the western range of cruck-frame and the cross wing of box-frame construction) with the addition of a modern, single-storey, link range connecting to a converted farm building to the south-west. The western range is of three bays with the cross wing forming a further bay. The original cruck-framed range was probably of only two bays with a third, western, bay added later.
EXTERIOR: the brickwork to the principal range is believed to date from 1737 whilst that of the south elevation of the cross wing dates from the 1860s. The two builds are clearly identified by a straight joint. There are raised eaves and a dog-tooth dentil course supports a brick cornice along the whole front. Windows are symmetrically placed, timber triple-casements with six lights, the upper floor windows cutting through the cornice. The exception to this is the window to the east of the porch which occupies part of a large segmental brick arch (possibly originally containing a doorway) and a canted bay window to the eastern bay, probably inserted in the 1950s. The windows date from a refurbishment in the 1970s, although set in their original openings. A porch with a pitched roof and bargeboards, occupies the space between the second and third bays. The western elevation has a single first-floor double casement with segmental arch. The brickwork on S and W elevations clearly indicates the original roof line.
The fenestration of the northern elevation of the western range has been much altered with most windows in new openings. A regular dentilated brick course runs under the eaves. The early C19 brick gabled cross wing (with casement windows in segmental brick openings to the gable elevation) is adjoined to the north by an 1860s single-storey brew house extension, with a cat-slide roof to the south-west. This has been re-roofed in slate with sky-lights, and a chimney stack and large 18-light casement window have been added to the north elevation. The chimney reinstates (to a different design) an earlier chimney demolished probably in the 1970s. The upper part of the gable of the early C19 dairy is in header bond. The east elevation has a triple casement window directly under the eaves and a double casement in a segmental brick opening below. At eaves level are three courses in header bond, with the middle course projecting to form a cornice but without dentilation. This elevation is joined by a modern single-storey, flat-roofed, link block which adjoins a single-storey range with a pitched tile roof running south from the main house to join a converted single-storey farm building of unclear date (these are not of special interest).
INTERIOR: substantial elements of the timber structure survive including one complete and one partial cruck frame. The room at the west end of the house contains a rough hewn timber spine beam and exposed rafters. The remains of a timber room partition with floor plate and a central door opening are evident. The surviving cruck is the westernmost of the probably three original cruck frames with the westernmost bay apparently a later C18 extension. Both north and south crucks are embedded into the C18 brickwork at the foot of the walls. The inglenook fireplaces either side of the large central stack have been rebuilt in modern brick with reused timber bressumers. A staircase to the upper floor rises on the north side of the main stack. This is of modern construction but probably in the original position. The crucks are exposed in the west bedroom and have a tie beam joining them at ceiling height. Purlins are supported on spurs from the cruck blades and are supported by modern metal wall plates where they join the west wall. The remains of the southern blade of the central cruck frame can be seen to the south-east of the central stack. This has smoke blackening, probably resulting from a fire. The majority of the raised roof structure comprises C19 and C20 replacement timbers although there is evidence of a wind-braced roof in the cross range.
Elements of the box framing of the cross wing can be seen to the east of the main staircase. These include jowelled wall posts and tie beam, studding, joists and collars. Some of the joists are numbered sequentially with Roman numerals. A spine beam is visible in the kitchen. To the south of the kitchen is an internal well with a modern surrounding wall.
SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: To the north of the house is a second well, with a modern brick surround, which originally supplied the brew house, To the south are the remains of a dry stone revetment, possibly to a moat, of undetermined date.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.