British Listed Buildings

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Pen-Y-Wern, Shropshire

Description: Pen-Y-Wern

Grade: II
Date Listed: 7 January 2013
Building ID: 1412415

OS Grid Reference: SO3066478854
OS Grid Coordinates: 330664, 278854
Latitude/Longitude: 52.4033, -3.0206

Locality: Shropshire
County: Shropshire
Postcode: SY7 0BX

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Listing Text


A farmhouse, now house, built c.1650, extended and aggrandized in 1747.

Reason for Listing

Pen-Y-Wern, a former farmhouse of c.1650 that was aggrandized in 1747, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Architectural interest: as a well-preserved example of a Welsh Marches vernacular farmhouse dating from the mid-C17;

* Materials: it is constructed from good quality local materials and displays evidence of the local building tradition in its detailing;

* Intactness: it retains a significant proportion of its historic fabric and numerous early features relating to its mid-C17 phase of development;

* Legibility: despite some external alteration, the original lobby-entry plan is still readable;

* Craftsmanship: it retains a largely complete C17 roof structure which displays a high-level of craftsmanship;

* Fixtures and fittings: it preserves a significant proportion of internal historic fabric of mid-C17 and mid-C18 date including an inglenook fireplace, chamfered ceiling beams, room partitions, plank and batten doors and timber floor boards;

* Specialist function: it retains an intact, stone-lined, 'wet' cellar dating from the mid-C17.


Pen-Y-Wern Farmhouse is believed to have been built around 1650, possibly reusing earlier material. In 1747 the house was extended and aggrandized by the Whittall family who, during the C18, also built two large barns to the south and west of the house, creating a courtyard plan farm complex. The Whittall family's association with Pen-Y-Wern continued throughout the C18 and C19, until Thomas Whittall sold the farm in 1882. In the 1950s the barn to the south of the farmhouse was demolished and replaced with a modern structure.


Farmhouse, now house, built c.1650, possibly reusing earlier material, extended and aggrandized in 1747 by the Whittall family.

MATERIALS: the house is constructed from coursed stone rubble with a roughcast rendered right-return, a slate roof (originally stone tiled) and brick stacks.

PLAN: the house was originally of a lobby-entry plan with a heated room to the right-hand side of the stack, an unheated room to the left-hand side and a dairy at the right-hand end with a heated room (formerly the parlour) behind it. In 1747 the plan was altered when a central doorway and staircase were created.

EXTERIOR: of two-and-a-half-storeys with a 'wet' cellar, the principal elevation of the house faces west across a courtyard. The right-hand section comprises a continuous outshut extension of 1747 which projects beyond the building line of the c.1650 section to the left. To the c.1650 section there is a blocked, lobby-entry doorway flanked, to both floors, by casement windows to the left-hand side and horned sashes to the right-hand side; the sash to the ground floor being of six-over-six panes whilst that to the first floor is of three-over-three panes. To the outshut addition there is a plank and batten door with two, glazed lights, over which is a datestone inscribed with the date '1747' and, though partially de-laminated, the initials 'W' (for the Whittall family) and 'WH' are still discernable. To the right-hand side of the doorway there are two casement windows of two lights. All windows to this elevation have timber lintels and stone sills; the exception is the ground floor casement window to the c.1650 section which has a replacement stone lintel.
The left-hand return is blind whilst the right-hand return has fixed casement windows of two lights to the first floor and attic.
To the ground floor of the rear elevation there is, from left to right, a horned sash of six-over-six panes, a cross window, a plank and batten door and, at the left-hand side, a fixed casement window of two lights. The first floor contains a late-C20, horned sash of three-over-three panes to the right-hand side and a casement window of two lights to the right-hand side. All windows to this elevation have stone sills and wooden lintels; the doorway also has a wooden lintel.

INTERIOR: a stone-flagged floor extends from the doorway through to the principal living area (formerly the heated room of the original lobby-entry plan house) to which there is a large, stone-built, inglenook fireplace with a large timber bressumer; buried beneath the late-C20 heath are 4 knives and 40 nails which are believed to represent the contents of a former witches bottle. On the opposite side of the fireplace is the former C17 unheated room which was divided into two separate rooms in the C20; the room to the right-hand side of the fireplace has a doorway with a plank and batten door. To the left-hand side of the fireplace there is the original lobby-entry doorway which was converted into a storage cupboard during the C20. The second living area (formerly the parlour), which shares a spine wall with the former dairy, has a C18 fielded and panelled door and large, timber floorboards. A C20 kitchen now occupies the former dairy. All ground floor rooms contain large, stop-chamfered ceiling beams. A central staircase, created from re-used timber, and apparently in the original position, provides access to the first floor bedrooms which have plank and batten doors, stop chamfered ceiling beams and large, timber floorboards. The attic, which is accessed by a second, original, timber staircase, contains a roof structure of predominantly C17 date, comprising principal rafters with trenched purlins. Of three bays, the two end bays have curved wind braces whilst the central bay has long-passing braces, possibly representing re-used timbers from a late-medieval building. Most of the C17 timberwork displays shallow carpenters' marks. The common rafters are of machine-sawn timber, added during the C20 along with some additional collars for strengthening purposes. A doorway underneath the ground-floor staircase provides access to stone steps which lead down to a stone-lined 'wet' cellar with a stone-flagged floor enclosed by a water-filled, stone gully. To the west wall there are two, large, stone steps leading up to a blocked doorway which originally provided direct access to the dairy. The floor over the cellar is carried on large, chamfered beams, some showing evidence of previous use in the form of mortice holes and carpenters' marks.

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