Former farmhouse, with a late C16 and C17 or early C18 core, encased in brick in the late C18 and C19, and altered when part of the de Rothschild estate, from later C19.
Reason for Listing
Straws Hadley Farmhouse, which is of late C16 and C17 origin, altered in the C19 and C20 is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural interest: accumulated timber frame, plan and fittings from late C16 to C18 implying a house of some standing, which was subsequently altered, cased in brick and remodelled as an estate farm;
* Historic interest: historic farm on the southern edge of Wingrave, later improved and extended as part of the de Rothschild state.
The earliest section of Straws Hadley Farmhouse, the western rear gabled wing, appears to date from the later C16, although elsewhere the farmhouse is largely of C17 origin, albeit considerably altered subsequently. The farm lies on the edge of the scarp at the southern edge of the village where, according to the enclosure map of 1798, land associated with it extended in a broad strip to the south of the farm. In the mid to later C19 Wingrave became part of the de Rothschild estate and Straws Hadley Farm remained part of the estate until it was sold off in the 1920s or ‘30s. Like other farms in the estate, which was noted for its stud farms, Straws Hadley was improved in the later C19, with additional outbuildings and stabling. The farmhouse has since been extensively renovated reusing historic fabric from the house and possibly from elsewhere. The farm continued as a working farm until at least the 1960s. The farm buildings have since been converted to domestic use, are separately owned, and are not subject of this assessment.
MATERIALS: timber frame encased and in part replaced in brick, tile roofs.
PLAN: a long range in three irregular bays aligned east-west and a pair of gabled rear wings aligned north-south. The western gabled bay, where the timber frame is typical of the late C16 or early C17, was probably the crosswing of an earlier building of which the main range has been rebuilt. The current main range is of at least two phases, of which the most clearly defined is the distinction between the central and eastern bays but where the timber frame in both areas suggests a later C17 origin. The eastern gabled bay may date from the C18. The plan is no longer typical of a C17 vernacular house, having two staircases inserted across the building.
EXTERIOR: one and a half storeys, with a cellar beneath the western bay. On the main range there is a distinct break in the roof line to the east of the axial stack. The roof has a deep hip to the west and is gabled at the east where there is an internal gable end stack. There is a further small internal stack to the rear of the western bay and a stack between the gabled bays. Although the stacks have been repaired, the axial stack includes narrow brick. On the south elevation, the brick cladding is likely to be of later C18 date but has been repaired and replaced in the C19 and C20. There is a distinct break in the plinth and in the wall to the east of the axial stack, where there is also a dentil cornice. There is disturbance in the brickwork surrounding the entrance in the western bay, which has been additionally buttressed, probably in the later C19, in stretcher bond brickwork. A shallow-pitched roof between the substantial buttresses framing the entrance provides a porch. The door is of broad vertical planks in a plain architrave. Windows are late C20 three light casements with leaded latticed lights, beneath broad, shallow cambered brick arches. The ground floor openings have been altered, being reduced in width, and in one case blocked below the window in coursed tile. The eastern bay has been opened up to accommodate a conservatory. Dormers have tile-hung cheeks and gables and similar three-light casement windows, some in altered openings where the cill has been dropped. The north-facing elevation and gabled wings have an entrance and symmetrically-placed plain timber casements of three or four lights, also beneath cambered arches. Part of the west elevation is clad in stretcher bond brick.
INTERIOR: in the earliest wing of the building, the western gabled bay, the timber frame survives on the upper floor and in small areas of the ground floor where the axial beam and some joists are chamfered with pyramidal or bar stops. The internal partition on the first floor is infilled in wattle and daub between pegged studs. The roof above this section, which is only visible below the collar is of side purlin construction, and is mostly of machine cut timber of probably C19 date. The eastern gabled bay is of separate and later construction, possibly as late as the C18, and butts onto the earlier wing. It has a chamfered cross beam which is C17 in character, and a rebuilt inglenook fireplace, which reuses a moulded mantel shelf. The roof is of machine-cut softwood.
The east-west range is of three bays, each bay divided by lateral stairs, of which the eastern set rises against the stack. This section of the house has been restored on both floors reusing historic components and introducing new timber but within the framework of the historic building. On the ground floor the eastern bay has a longitudinal ceiling beam with a run-out chamfer. Slender timber framing is exposed in the central bay which has a large inglenook fireplace with a re-set bressumer and an exposed ceiling with stop-chamfered beams and joists. Doorframes to the entrance passage incorporate moulded timber sections which were formerly laid horizontally. Doors on the ground floor have three broad oak panels with moulded muntins and strap hinges. The timber frame is not visible on the ground floor of the western bay and may have been replaced in brick.
Slender scantling timber framing is exposed on the upper floor. At first-floor level two small internal windows, each of nine rectangular leaded lights, look out onto the western stair well. The roof of the main range is of side purlin, queen strut construction, where the central collar has been strengthened and the purlins are supported by added struts where the roof has been altered. The eastern bay is of different construction to the central and western bays.
The cellar is lined in brick which includes narrow brick, typical of the late C17 or early C18, in the internal wall beneath the stack. It is reached by a vertically boarded door with strap hinges.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.