Former farmhouse. C17 or early C18, enlarged probably in the early C19 and again in the mid- to later C19.
Reason for Listing
Freemantle Farmhouse, a late C17 or early C18 farmhouse, extended in the C19, is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural interest: substantial late C17 or early C18 farmhouse, the plan dominated by a staircase extending from ground floor to attic;
* Materials and craftsmanship: local tradition of craftsmanship, responding to new ideas from wider cultural circles;
* Group value: associated with a large C18 aisled barn, listed Grade II.
Freemantle Farmhouse forms part of a farmstead of C17 or early C18 origin that was enlarged during the C19. It appears on Taylor's 1759 map of Hampshire and Milne's 1791 map of Hampshire. The house remains in domestic use, as a tenanted house (2013), but no longer serves as a farmhouse. It lies to the south of the farmyard, separated from it by flint and brick garden walls, and overlooking the garden to the south. It is likely that the original entrance faced north, opening onto the yard.
The farm stands on downland which in the C18 and early C19 saw an increase in affluence which was reflected in the local architecture, both in the number of new farms and the number of improved vernacular farmhouses, some of which were refronted. Judging from the earliest sections of the house and the large C18 aisled barn, Freemantle Farm was clearly of some standing in the late C17 or C18.
The earliest sections of the farmhouse lie in the east-west range overlooking the garden and the attached north-west range, now the kitchen. From the brickwork in the north-east range, which is of two types, it appears that the house may have been enlarged in the early C19, filling in the north-east angle to create a rectangular footprint. At a later date in the C19 it appears that the upper floor of this range was rebuilt, along with the similarly detailed north-facing bay, while an east porch was also added. The final addition, present by the end of the C19 (2nd Epoch OS map, 1897), was a single-storey service range to the west. From the C19 to the present day the house has been adapted; the original wings have been subdivided internally to create internal passages, while the north-south wing has been opened up to create a single room.
The house does not follow the standard asymmetrical vernacular layout of the earlier C17, usually determined by a large internal stack, yet the garden front is not symmetrically planned in a way common to the C18. The use of both axial and transverse ceilings beams of similar date also suggests that structurally the house was at a transitional stage. The plan is dominated internally by a substantial staircase set roughly centrally which runs from ground floor to attic. The building is deep enough to contain a stair that appears to have been designed to be seen, but without the need for an external stair bay. It is possible that the entrance opened directly into a small lobby facing the stair.
Historic Ordnance Survey maps, from 1877 onwards, show that the farmstead was established in its current form, round a yard, by the mid- to later C19. It is enclosed to the west by the aisled barn (Grade II) and to the east by C19 and C20 stock sheds. To the north it is enclosed by a later C19 brick range. The east end originally housed the man who looked after the cart horses while some of the west end was used as stables for those horses. After the death of the last horse some fifty years ago, the accommodation was occupied by a shepherd, while most of the rest of the building became calf pens. The farm has been extended during the C20 and early C21, adding new buildings.
MATERIALS: south and west ranges in red-brown and grey brick, mostly in Flemish bond. C19 northern ranges in red, grey and brown brick, to match the earlier brick, the lower floor in Flemish and Sussex bonds, the upper floor in red and grey brick in header bond, and with red brick dressings. Plain tile roofs.
PLAN: the earliest component of the house comprises an east-west range in five asymmetrical bays and a three-bay north-south range forming an L-shaped plan. To the west it has a deep hipped roof, to the east the gable has an internal stack, to the north is an internal stack that was possibly the main stack of the original building. An external stack has been added to the southern bay of this range. The north-south range is of two storeys, the east-west range of two storeys, with a large cellar beneath the central and eastern bays. Centrally-placed stairs in this range, rising above the cellar, give access to a fully-occupied attic floor which connects with the attics above the north-south range.
Probably in the C19, the plan was in-filled to form a rectangular footprint, now a two-bay, two-storey, east-west gabled range, with a prominent gable stack, facing the approach from the lane. A new entrance, beneath a porch, was created in a linking passage between this and the original house. A shallow one-and-a-half storey north-facing service bay provided a large kitchen fireplace backing onto the original main stack and a second, service, stair. Enclosed between the ranges was a pantry/larder. To the west is a slightly later single-storey three-bay service building with a gable end stack.
EXTERIOR: the eastern and central bays of the south-facing garden front and the east return have a stepped, chamfered brick plinth that has in part been rendered at a later date. The plinth is cut by the inserted cellar window at semi-basement level. To the left of the entrance and to the west elevation the plinth is shallower. Both south and west elevations have a plain brick storey band.
Eight-over-eight pane sash windows with slender mid- to later C19 glazing bars have rendered reveals and cills and single course soldier arches. First-floor windows are set under deep plain eaves. The entrance, to the second bay, has a C20 door of four glazed panels beneath a shallow segmental arch; this within a brick porch with a gabled roof which is boarded out internally and has a brick pamment floor. The west elevation has single- and three-light timber casements and a large, offset, late C19 external brick stack.
The later C19 two-bay, two-storey wing has a tall gable stack which is corbelled out at first floor level and has a pair of diagonally set moulded shafts. The ground floor has a deep moulded plinth and storey band; the upper floor is in alternating grey and red brick header bond. Windows are three-light timber casements, on the ground floor beneath flat arches in diagonally-set red brick. The lower, north-facing gabled bay is similarly treated.
The eastern entrance is beneath a gabled porch in grey brick with flush red brick dressings and a tiled roof. It has pointed outer and inner arches, the latter moulded, with a plain glazed overlight above a moulded, four-panel door, the upper panels glazed. The roof has deep, exposed rafters and purlins; the floor is of stone slabs with a renewed, concrete threshold.
The north-facing entrance, beneath a C20 porch, leads into the late C19 single-storey wing in red brick with timber casements.
INTERIOR: the principal area of interest, the earlier wings, is dominated by the stair which runs from ground floor to attic. It has a late C17 or early C18 dog-leg frame, with square newels and heavy moulded rails and a plain closed string. The lower flights have replaced balusters and are painted. The upper flight, to the attic is generously proportioned for such a stair, and also retains its original wavy splat balusters. Shallow moulded dado rail to the lower flights; in the upper flight, the wall has been taken back to the frame.
Ground floor rooms have transverse chamfered beams; first floor rooms have axial chamfered beams, with one and a half to two inch chamfers with run out and lambs’ tongue stops. Doors are mostly later C19 or early C20, of six and four panels; some have reused HL hinges. A broad six-panel door in a moulded architrave leads into the north kitchen where the cupboard door has a latch of late C18 or early C19 form, again probably reused. Some windows in the C19 wing have vertical shutter boxes. Rear stair with stick balusters, large kitchen fireplace opening with timber mantelshelf. The pantry/larder has a tile floor and stone slab shelves on arched brick bases.
A four-panel door beneath the main stair leads to a brick-lined cellar with a brick and timber cross wall. Stairs supported on a brick arch, have plain square newels, a deep rail with a rounded profile, and broad flat balusters, of later C18 type. Brick steps have been repaired recently. The cellar has been reinforced, adding brick piers to support the floor above, which has deep transverse beams and vertically laid joists.
The early ranges have heavy scantling oak roofs of side purlin construction, with close-set rafters, jointed and pegged at the ridge, with no ridge piece. Within the attic, an oak, plank door has narrow tapering strap hinges of late C17 or early C18 type and a wooden latch. Dormers have been inserted in the rear roof.
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.