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Pooty Pools Farmhouse, Barns, Stables and Granary, Chelmsford

Description: Pooty Pools Farmhouse, Barns, Stables and Granary

Grade: II
Date Listed: 12 April 2013
Building ID: 1410196

OS Grid Reference: TL6227306720
OS Grid Coordinates: 562284, 206727
Latitude/Longitude: 51.7358, 0.3488

Locality: Chelmsford
Local Authority: Chelmsford City Council
County: Essex
Postcode: CM1 4NW

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Listing Text


A C16 farmhouse remodelled in the C19 and extended in the C20. Two barns of the late-C17 and late-C18, stables and a granary around a yard to the north.

Reason for Listing

The farmhouse, barns, granary and stables at Pooty Pools Farm, a steading with origins in the C16 and C17, are listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Architectural Interest: the farmhouse has considerable aesthetic merit, conferred in part by the distinctive jetty. Both the farmhouse and barns illustrate craftsmanship in the construction of the timber frame and the use of good quality timber, attesting to the likely status of the steading;

* Intactness; despite some remodelling, the farmhouse and barns retain a significant proportion of their original fabric;

* Interior: notable features survive in the farmhouse including jowled posts, moulded bridging beams, the roof structure and the C16 stack. The earliest plan-form remains legible;

* Historic Interest: the structure of the barns demonstrate the evolution in agricultural practices during one of the most influential periods for the industry in English history;

* Group Value: the farmhouse, barns, stables and granary have a historical and functional relationship, conferring considerable group value to the ensemble.


It is thought that there may have been a building on the site since approximately 1275 when Richard De Putter is documented as living at Putterpoles in Roxwell. There is little known about the history of the farm, but the steading was once part of the Skreens Estate; a number of leases and sales particulars of the C18, C19 and early C20 located in the Essex Record Office refer to Pooty Pools Farm. The first edition Ordnance Survey Map of 1874 shows the farmhouse and outbuildings (apart from those of the C20) as they currently are and the steading is described as Pooty Pools Farm.

The current farmhouse is a C16 continuous-jetty house. It was remodelled historically, probably in the C19, when apparently the C16 parlour at the north end became the kitchen and an entrance hall, and the service end at the south became a polite sitting room. The absence of exposed timber in the southern room on the ground floor may suggest some renewal of the timber frame. In the C20 bathroom and storage facilities were created at the rear of the historic building on both floors and a two storey rear wing was built to accommodate a staircase. The recent inspection of the roof indicates that the earliest roof form has been altered by the insertion of softwood members over the original structure.

The farm buildings are located slightly to the north and are later in date than the house. On the east side of a linear yard, there is a barn of the late C17 joined to the south by a second barn of the late C18 and to the west by a small stable of the C19. C20 sheds lie further to the south of the second barn. On the west side of the yard is a C19 granary and shelter shed and C20 cartlodges. The C17 barn has C20 infill structures between the midstreys.



Timber framed, pargetted with chevron decoration and a tile covering to the roof.

A continuous-jetty house the interior of which in its earliest configuration probably comprised a central hall with the parlour to the right (north) and service end to the left (south).

A two storey building of four bays on a brick plinth with a hipped roof with gablets; the off-centre C16 ridge stack has been rebuilt from roof height and there is an additional stack at the left (south) end. At the west facing façade, the jetty is ornamented with five moulded timber brackets. There are three, late C18 or early C19 ten-over-ten flush sash windows at the ground floor and two five-over-ten flush sash windows at the first floor. The entrance door is C20 and the right hand, first floor casement window is a C20 replacement. The south elevation has a flush three-over-six sash window at ground floor and two C20 casements. The rear elevation has a two-storey projecting rear wing and various C20 casements on both ground and first floors. There is a single storey C20 outshot with a pent roof at the north elevation.

On the ground floor, jowled corner posts and midrails are exposed in the far right-hand room. In the central room there are chamfered axial and transverse bridging beams of substantial scantling with stops. The transverse beam has the date ‘1795’ carved into it, but this is not the date of construction. All structural elements in the southern room have been encased. There are no exposed studs. On the first floor, there are jowled corner and storey posts, tie beams with straps and wall plates in the north-west, north-east and central rooms. The tie beam in the latter is slightly cranked and has one arched brace surviving, both ends of the tie beam resting on substantial jowled storey posts. In the southern room, the south-east corner post is exposed.

The roof structure comprises coupled principal rafters and clasped purlins. There are two windbraces to the rear pitch, and one was observed on the front pitch. The right-hand and left-hand room cross walls are apparent, and consist of timber studs with wattle and daub partitions. The substantial C16 stack survives to the ridge height.


Late-C17 barn joined at an angle to the south by a late-C18 barn.

The barns are timber framed with a generally replaced weatherboard cladding and corrugated metal covering to the roofs.

The late-C18 barn lies to the north of, and at an angle to, the C17 barn, forming a cranked plan.

The late-C17, 5 bay barn has a tall midstrey facing west onto the yard, with double doors hung on strap hinges. To the right are C20 infill sheds beneath pent roofs. The adjoining C18 barn to its south is also of 5 bays, with an additional angled bay which links the two barns together. It also has a west-facing midstrey, broader and shorter than the earlier barn, with double doors hung on strap hinges.

The late-C17 barn has a timber frame of substantial scantling with face-halved and bladed scarf joints, straight primary bracing including wall posts and wall plates, and a side purlin roof with coupled principal rafters. Some of the common rafters and studs have been replaced. The late-C18 barn is of lighter scantling with bolted knee braces to the tie beams. The wall posts, wall plate and most studs remain, but there has been some replacement.


To the rear of the farmhouse is a separate wash-house. Attached to the west of the late-C17 barn is a C19, weatherboarded and timber framed stable with asbestos roof covering and stable door with strap hinges and latches. On the west side of the yard is an early-to-mid-C19 granary with a later shelter shed attached to the west elevation. The granary is timber-framed with brick panels, some weatherboard cladding and a tiled and corrugated metal covering to the roof, which varies in height.

The shelter shed attached to the granary, the shed attached to its south, the cartlodge and workshop further to the south are later in date and much altered and are not of special interest.

Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.