A former farmhouse or smallholder's cottage, dating from the later C18.
Reason for Listing
Stirbridge Farm, formerly a smallholder's cottage, dating from the later C18, is designated at Grade II, for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural interest: the building is a well-preserved, modest vernacular cottage of the later C18;
* Intactness: it retains a large proportion of historic fabric of this date, such as the interior joinery including large chamfered beams and joists, pegged window frames and doors;
* Lack of alteration: the original range of the cottage has not been modernised and largely retains its C18 layout and appearance;
* Materials: the building is, unusually for this area, constructed from rubble stone, rather than the more usual timber-frame;
* Evolution: the building's history is readily legible in the few C19 alterations which have taken place, principally the raising of the front slope of the roof and the addition of the rear outshut, which speak of the changing needs of the occupants.
Stirbridge Farm appears on stylistic grounds to have originated as either a smallholder's cottage or small farmhouse, in the later C18; it was a two-roomed, single-depth range orientated roughly north-south. A building in this location appears on the 1842 tithe map, though it is not named. This was extended by the addition of a full-width outshut to the rear of the cottage, probably in C19. The First Edition Ordnance Survey map (published in 1889) shows the footprint of the existing cottage with extensions to either end, set within quite extensive orchards. One of the extensions has been identified as a former cider house. The buildings are identified as Stourbridge Cottages on this map and the later editions of 1905, 1930 and 1953. By the 1953 map the southern extension had been removed, leaving just the footprint which remains today, but the former cider house to the north remained in situ. This was demolished in the later C20.
MATERIALS: the building is constructed from rubble stone, colourwashed, with some brick to the rear outshut. The roof is covered in plain clay tile, the stack to the main range is of stone rubble, and that to the outshut is red brick. There is a timber-framed partition to the interior of the main range, and a brick partition in the outshut.
PLAN: a two-room, single-depth plan with rear outshut.
EXTERIOR: the C18 house is of one-and-a-half storeys and two bays, with a central entrance doorway and end stack. The main elevation has a central entrance doorway flanked by windows to the ground floor, and two windows above. The door frame and window frames are pegged; the windows are multi-paned timber casements of slightly varying styles, and the door dates from the C19. The front slope of the roof has been raised, with three courses of bricks inserted under the eaves, and the first-floor window have been raised in their openings by the addition of brick courses beneath them, to take advantage of the increased roof height. The C19 outshut to the rear is set under a catslide roof, and has two timber-framed windows and an entrance doorway to the north end. At the southern end, a half-round projection housing a bread oven rises to about 2m in height. The footprint of an earlier extension survives at this end of the house.
INTERIOR: the main range is divided into two by timber-framed partitions on both floors, and the outshut is similarly divided by a brick partition. To the ground floor, the rooms in the main range have large chamfered axial beams and exposed ceiling joists, some chamfered. The southern room contains a fireplace, much altered, with some stone infill and some of brick, with the remains of a timber bressumer over the opening. The current fireplace is a crude stone construction apparently dating from the C20. The plank and batten door between the two rooms in this range may date from the later C18. It is set within a timber-framed partition formed from simple uprights with lath and plaster between them, to one side of the partition only. This room also houses the stair, a C19 replacement behind a plank and batten door of similar date. The floors retain some stone flags. The rear outshut houses a kitchen with early-C20 range, and a former pantry, whose window has an internal sliding mesh screen. The roof of the outshut is exposed, and is formed from common rafters set on single purlins. The first floor of the main range has narrow floorboards. The roof has a single closed truss which separates the rooms, comprising a tie-beam interrupted by the doorway, principal rafters, single purlins, queen posts and collar; there are additional vertical struts between the queen posts, and V-struts above the collar. Below the tie-beam are X-shaped braces to either side of the central doorway. One of the purlins is a much later replacement. The infill to the timber-framing, and the ceiling, are lath and plaster. The southern room has a late-C19 cast-iron fireplace.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.