Former farmhouse exhibiting a complex developmental history where it is possible that the C18 house was built round an earlier core. The house was altered in the later C19, probably in the 1870s; changed hands c1910 when work may have ensued. It was extended in the 1920s and refurbished in the 1950s.
Reason for Listing
Buckets Down Farmhouse is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Materials: C18 brick and timber-framing, including the rear wall and internal partitions; lathe and plaster ceiling;
* Plan: complex evolution of an unusual two-storey three-cell plan with end stacks, rendering the central cell, which contains the stair, unheated;
* Fixtures and fittings: C18 panelled partition to the stairwell and a round-arched alcove, each possibly introduced from elsewhere in the later C19 or early C20; broad plank doors;
* Historic interest: isolated C18 farmhouse, on a site with a longer occupation, that has undergone successive modifications as farming practice and usage have changed.
Buckets Down Farm, historically also known as Bucketts Down, is mentioned in title deeds from the late C16. Two blocks of buildings on the site, one representing the house, are marked on the Ordnance Surveyors' Drawings (1808/9) of the County. The core of the current building may date from the later C17 or early C18 while the brick front and rear timber-framing appear to be slightly later and of mid-C18 date. It is likely that the eastern end of the house was repaired and refitted when the farmyard was enlarged or rebuilt in the 1870s. Until 1910 Buckets Down Farm was a separate small holding. It was acquired by the Woodcott Estate and in the course of the refurbishment of their building stock in the 1920s the outshut at Buckets Farm was added. Although the building has remained largely unchanged since the 1920s, Critall windows were installed in the 1950s or ‘60s. The lean-to bay at the western end of the building has also undergone extensive rebuilding such that its original function is no longer legible.
The later C19 and early C20 flint and brick farm buildings, of which one is dated 1874, are set round a yard which is enclosed to the west by a brick wall. The north side of the yard comprises a range of single and two-storey stables and cartsheds that are currently being converted, with planning consent, to domestic use. Immediately to the north-east of the house is a small late C19 barn or shed and to the west of it a former cowshed. Both are used for storage and have no internal fittings. Buildings and pigsties that formed the eastern side of the yard and were marked on the1872, 1895 and 1910 OS maps have been demolished. The farm buildings are not included in the listing.
MATERIALS: red/brown/grey brick south elevation and, where visible, west return. Flint and red brick east gable wall and western extension. Red brick rear wall and porch. Box-framed internal rear wall and internal partitions. Plain tile roofs.
PLAN: two-storey, three-cell house with a deep continuous rear outshut that was rebuilt or more likely added in the 1920s. Single-bay, single-storey western extension beneath a steeply-pitched roof. External gable end stacks, unheated central cell. Front entrance to central cell, rear entrance to western cell. Unusually, the stairs rise against the rear wall of the central bay above the cellar stairs which descend to the cellar below the eastern cell.
EXTERIOR: the southern elevation is of red/brown/grey brick in Flemish bond with a deep rendered plinth and brick storey band both of which return to the western gable wall. The central bay is set forward slightly. The eastern gable wall is of flint and largely C18 brick, with brick quoins and a shallow flint and brick plinth. It was altered and repaired in the later C19 while the rear section was also altered when the outshut was rebuilt in the C20. The storey band incorporates the external stack which is of C18 brick but repaired and in part rebuilt above eaves height, again probably at the time the outshut was built. Brick eaves brackets were probably added in the 1920s when the house altered. The entrance in the central bay, beneath a C20 brick porch, has a door of four flush, moulded panels in a plain brick opening. Windows are C20 two-light metal-framed Critall casements beneath cambered brick arches. Flanking the entrance are narrow, added, late C19 or early C20 windows. The roof is shaped above the first floor windows in the manner of eyebrow dormers and may have been thatched in the past. The western gable-end brick stack is now internal. Both stacks have been rebuilt above the ridge and have moulded caps.
A deep catslide roof at the rear encompasses the outshut and original front range. The rear entrance has a plank door set beneath a brick porch. Rear and gable wall windows are timber casements. There is a single mid-C20 eyebrow dormer set into the roof. The south-facing flint and brick wall of the western bay incorporates early, probably C18, brick. The wall is rebuilt in brick above storey height and has an inserted window at upper level bringing light to the kitchen. The rear section is of later C19 and C20 date. The western windows are later C20, one in the position of a former doorway.
INTERIOR: the rear internal wall is box-framed in a C18 manner with jowled posts which have been curtailed where the rear roof has been altered. There is no visible frame on the front wall apart from a section of wall plate, which is possibly replaced, in the central bay. Timber-framed internal transverse partitions are of slender scantling; joints on the eastern partition are numbered in vertical marks/ Roman numerals. Exposed ground-floor transverse ceiling beams, also of late C17 or early to mid-C18 type, and in all bays, are chamfered with lambs tongue stops. Built-in against the front wall and internal partition of the western bay is a timber, round-arched alcove or cupboard with a moulded architrave and pronounced blocky key and with later shaped shelves. Straight stairs rise against the internal rear wall to a landing or corridor to the rear of the central first floor room. The main flight is repaired; the lower steps have been rebuilt. The stairs are enclosed behind a raised and fielded timber panelled partition, of later C17 or early C18 type, that also encloses the cellar steps but has been altered to accommodate the stairs. The stairs are unusually wide for such a house. Turned balusters are later C19 or early C20 in C18 manner although the half-baluster may be C18. The moulded rail is a composite, incorporating earlier moulded fabric. Most doors are of three broad moulded planks and have nailed strap hinges. The eastern bay, which was refurbished in the late-C19/early-C20 has panelled or plank doors and on the ground floor an ornate timber mantelpiece. The cellar is brick and flint lined; a small area of render remains in situ; cellar steps are of relatively narrow 2" brick.
The roof: substantial collars are pegged into principal rafters which are cut away to house later machine-cut trenched purlins. While some rafters remain in situ, most are replaced. The lathe and plaster first-floor ceiling survives in situ above the central bay. At the western end of the roof a slender scantling partition at the apex of the gable wall appears to be encased in brick. At the eastern end the upper gable walI is timber framed and brick-nogged in Stretcher bond.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.