Former farmhouse, mid- and mid- to later C17, altered and refurbished later C19 or early C20.
Reason for Listing
Home Farm, Williamscot, of mid- and mid- to later C17, altered and refurbished later C19 or early C20, is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Plan form: late use of the cross passage, with gable wall entrances, a local characteristic, here achieved through the addition of the western cell of the house in the mid- to later C17;
* Materials: good quality coursed ironstone roadside elevation and masonry cross walls, the latter an indicator of pre-C18 date;
* Roof structure: evidence of a steep pitched, formerly thatched roof that preceded raising of the eaves to provide a full height, ceiled, upper floor;
* Fixtures and fittings: newel stair adapted to accommodate an added eastern bay; a moulded stone chimneypiece; a range of C18 fielded panelled doors, some hung on nailed hinges; a later C18 to early C19 door latch and later C19 joinery;
* Historic interest: research and understanding of vernacular buildings in the Banbury area place this building within a regional typology and chronology.
Home Farmhouse appears to date from the mid-C17. It lies on the edge of the designated battlefield site of the Battle of Cropredy Bridge of 1644. The easternmost bay, which contains the through passage, appears to have been added shortly afterwards, and certainly by the end of the C17. The eaves have been raised, enlarging the building from one and a half storeys to two full storeys, and the stacks rebuilt above the ridge.
The main interest in the building lies in its evolution and plan form. Masonry cross walls, here present between each cell, suggest a mid- to late C17 date, since they tended to be obsolete by the early C18. The late use of the cross passage is a local characteristic, here achieved through the addition of the western cell of the house. Equally, gable end entrances are also a local characteristic, allowing access to the house from the passage, and here clearly cutting through the former gable wall. Adaptations to the stair interestingly reflect this slightly later modification to the plan. Material evidence within the building is supported by research and understanding of vernacular buildings in the Banbury area (Wood-Jones 1963), which place it within a regional typology and chronology.
The 1875-1887 OS map shows an outshut at the rear where there is now a late C20 glazed conservatory, and a small extension to the rear of the western bay, where internally there appears to be a blocked opening possibly a fireplace. Attached to the east of the farmhouse were barns or outbuildings, where there is now a single-storey car port.
Farmhouses in the area reflect the wealth of the yeomanry and husbandry class of farmers during the Commonwealth in the mid- C17, in an area where the quality of farmland was able to provide income. As was the case elsewhere in the country, with the re-entrenchment of the gentry and later the enclosures, this category of building became socially downwardly mobile. In other parts of Oxfordshire (Kirtlington for example) records show how the punitive taxation system that was introduced under the Regency eradicated the middle/lower strata of the farming community, forcing them to sell their land to the (now landed) gentry and re-establishing the status quo.
MATERIALS: the front elevation of the central and left-hand bays are of coursed ironstone, the courses diminishing in size towards the upper floor and smaller in size in the upper courses where the eaves have been raised. Left-hand, easternmost bay also in coursed ironstone, with a slight blue colouring to the stone, laid in alternating narrow and deeper courses. Rear and gable walls in ironstone rubble, the gable walls are extended and raised in ironstone rubble, the rear wall raised in later C20 brick. Tile roofs, brick stacks.
PLAN: three cells, in two phases: the central and right-hand cell each a single bay; to the left or east, a two-bay cell that includes a through passage to the right. The central bay has a large internal stack backing onto the through passage. On both floors an entrance has been created in the former eastern gable wall adjacent to the stack. Winder stairs rise to the rear of the main stack, over the inserted gable wall entrance, and appear to have been altered to serve the added western bay. The right-hand cell is divided asymmetrically in two lengthwise and the north-facing room has an internal gable-end stack. The left-hand cell also has a large internal gable-end stack flanked by cupboards.
EXTERIOR: two-storey, three-bay facade with entrance to the passage under an added, C20 porch between the first and central bays. Windows, in slightly enlarged plain openings and with timber lintels, have three-light metal-framed casements, mostly C20 Critall windows, with the exception of the central ground floor window which is a late C19 or early C20 metal-framed casement with contemporary fittings. Stone steps rise to an unusually wide door of three-over-three moulded panels beneath a timber lintel, and built to fit the passage. Disturbance to the stone fabric to right of the door.
The rear wall is raised in brick. Small stair window and C20 timber and metal-framed casements and C20 door beneath timber lintels. East and west gable walls raised and the pitch of the roof reduced. Rebuilt brick stacks, the main stack being taller and with a rendered base.
INTERIOR: masonry cross-wall between the central and right-hand bay and a substantial masonry wall, originally a gable wall and now internal, to the right (west) of the passage. Windows throughout are set in deep embrasures with low cills. Central cell has a large, four centre arched moulded stone chimneypiece to a stone stack. To the rear, a winder stair; at landing level stairs are offset to provide access to the main house and left-hand bay; lower section of a chamfered newel post has two mortise holes for former tenons. Stone slab floor where exposed in the hearth and below stair. On the ground floor, a pair of two-panel doors, raised and fielded on one side, the door to the rear pantry having pronounced raised and fielded panels, the stair door hung on nailed HL hinges. Other doors of four and six panels. Substantial spine beam on the ground floor with c 2" chamfer; slender chamfered spine beam on the first floor at the same level as the side purlins. Wide floor boards where exposed in the right-hand upper room.
Left-hand cell in two bays, divided by a masonry wall to form the passage, which rises considerably from the road side to the back of the house. Timber cill to the left-hand room where the floor level is lower, while the floor level within the central bay is higher than the passage Substantial chamfered spine beam with a 2" chamfer. Joists have a narrow chamfer and long moulded stops. Large inglenook fireplace with timber bressumer and flanked by cupboards, all refurbished in mid- to later C20. First floor of this bay is level with the head of the stairs. Single tier of side purlins and boxed collar and braces. Gable-wall cupboard has plank door on H hinges and a late C18 /early C19 latch.
Within the roof space are two pairs of steeply-pitched principal rafters, between the central and right-hand bays and forming the central truss of the left-hand cell; the added collar extends to the outer roofline. The roof has otherwise been replaced and repaired in machine-sawn timber.
Attached to the rear of the house is a later C20 glazed conservatory which is not of special interest.
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.