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Farmhouse at Southwood House Farm, South Derbyshire

Description: Farmhouse at Southwood House Farm

Grade: II
Date Listed: 28 August 2013
Building ID: 1414940

OS Grid Reference: SK3582621476
OS Grid Coordinates: 435826, 321474
Latitude/Longitude: 52.7897, -1.4702

Locality: South Derbyshire
Local Authority: South Derbyshire District Council
County: Derbyshire
Postcode: LE65 1RG

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Listing Text


Farmhouse originating in the C17 or possibly earlier, with C18 and C19 extensions.

Reason for Listing

The farmhouse at Southwood House Farm, originating in the C17 or possibly earlier, with C18 and C19 extensions, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Architectural interest: it is a good example of the evolution of a gentleman’s farmhouse over at least three centuries, retaining evidence of each historical phase;

* Plan form: the C17 three-unit plan form of the north-east range, including the position of the boxed-in stair, is still clearly legible; and the configuration of the early C19 south-west range has remained intact;

* Interior: the surviving C17 and C18 fixtures suggest that it was a house of some status, and the early C19 joinery and fittings, notably the oak staircase, moulded cornices, panelled window surrounds and fireplaces are of good quality design and craftsmanship;

* Group value: it has group value with the Grade II listed early C19 garden wall with bee boles which, along with the other (unlisted) buildings on the farmstead, form an important architectural and historic context for the farmhouse.


Southwood House Farm has evolved in various stages since at least the C17. In 1538 Thomas Tacker acquired Southwood, along with Repton Priory and other property belonging to the Priory. On his death in 1549, the property passed to his son Gilbert who then died in 1563. It has been suggested that Southwood was built by Gilbert during this period, although the only fabric that may survive from the original house is the cellar, the stonework on the south-east gable end and the stone quoins on the north end. Gilbert’s son, Gilbert II, inherited the majority of the property in 1563, and at the time of his death in 1612, his brother Thomas II was living at Southwood House. In the early-mid C17 the house was substantially or almost wholly rebuilt as a three-unit dwelling. The Tackers left Southwood in 1688, after which the Woodward family lived there as tenant farmers until 1864. They too carried out building work, probably raising the upper floor in the late C17 or early C18. There is finely-jointed brickwork of this period in the south-east gable end up to the first-floor level. The later C18 brickwork above this indicates that further work was subsequently carried out. A parallel south-west range was added in the 1830s, and is perhaps associated with a payment of £62 to William Woodward for improvements at his house in June 1835. Later in the C19, single- and lower two-storey extensions were added to the north-west end of this range. After the Woodwards left in 1864, Southwood had a number of different tenants before the first of three generations of Dumelows arrived in 1905. The farmstead is part of the Calke Estate now owned by the National Trust which lets out the farmhouse as a holiday home.


MATERIALS: C18 handmade bricks mostly laid in Flemish bond with some brickwork having no discernible bond. There is a small quantity of Mount Sorel rubble stone in the south-east gable end. The south-west elevation is rendered and painted white. The roof is clad in plain clay tiles.

PLAN: Double pile house under an M-shaped roof. The front north-east range, dating to the C17 and C18, has two storeys and an attic, and a C19 single-storey former dairy at the north end. The early C19 south-west garden range has two storeys and later C19 additions at the north end.

EXTERIOR: The front (north-east) range has three irregular bays with brick dentilled eaves and two wide C19 ridge stacks with oversailing courses and circular clay pots. The right hand bay is very slightly recessed, the set back being in line with the chimney. There is a building line between the left and central bay, bearing the same relation to the left hand chimney, although it is not setback and the line is only apparent in the brickwork at first-floor level. The right hand end has large gritstone quoins which indicate the original extent of the C17 house. The first bay is lit at ground and first-floor level by horizontal windows with C20 timber casements under C18 segmental brick arches. To the right is a C18 six-panelled door, the small upper two panels now glazed, under a pedimented shallow hood supported by shaped brackets. The second bay is lit on the ground floor by a C20 bay window with a brick plinth, and on the first floor by a horizontal window with a C20 timber casement under a C18 segmental brick arch. The third bay has a C20 three-light casement window with a flat brick arch, and a small window above with a C18 segmental brick arch. To the right is a single-storey scullery and dairy, added in the mid-late C19, which has dentilled eaves. It has a door and window, and another door and two windows on the right return, all of C20 date. The left (south-east) gable end of the front range shows various phases of development, including some Mount Sorel rubble stone at the lowest stage, finely jointed early C18 brickwork at ground-floor level, and later C18 brickwork above. It is lit at ground and first-floor level by windows similar to those on the front elevation, except the segmental brick arch on the ground floor is not C18.

The three-bay garden (south-west) range has two rebuilt gable stacks with oversailing courses and two clay pots. The regular fenestration consists of recessed eight-over-eight pane sashes with slender timber glazing bars and projecting sills, except for the first-floor window in the central bay which is a six-over-six pane sash. The centrally-placed six-panelled door has a straight-headed fanlight with geometrical glazing bars. It has a classical fluted doorcase with a panelled soffit and jambs and a shallow flat canopy. To the left, in the angle between the garden range and front range, is a small, low two-storey gabled wing with an added conservatory porch.

INTERIOR: This retains a high proportion of joinery, fixtures and fittings including fireplaces, six-panelled doors, moulded cornices and skirting boards. On the front range, the door opens into a long passage with a brick-lined floor which leads through to the early C19 garden range. The room occupying the front left of the house has a cased-in beam, a new timber floor and a C20 fireplace with a tiled surround. An earlier cellar with stone walls has been found under this room (not inspected). On the right of the passage the sitting room/ former hall has a deeply moulded early C17 cross beam which spans onto the inglenook wall and must have originally spanned across the passage as it is not stopped at either end. The joists are reused timbers with earlier mortice holes. The large inglenook, which now contains a C20 brick fireplace, has a plain deep bressumer with simple chamfer and stop and a moulded mantle shelf. On the left side is a C18 salt cupboard with H-hinges, and on the left a small window looks into the next room. In the rear wall (originally the outside wall) is a two-light, four-pane window with an early C18 moulded ogee surround and sill. The next room, which occupies the front right corner, is the kitchen which has a plain chamfered beam with no stops and later joists. The boxed-in back stairs are in the rear corner. There is an opening in the original gable wall of the kitchen giving access to the dairy which has a brick floor and low level brick shelves on arched supports.

The first floor of the front range has three rooms accessed via a rear corridor. The front left room has a cased-in beam and a C19 fireplace. The painted surround has reeded pilasters, a fluted and dentilled frieze, and a moulded mantel shelf. The semi-circular cast-iron insert has a small dog grate and a blue-patterned tiled surround. The middle front room has two white-washed early C18 chamfered beams and an early C19 fire surround which has moulded pilasters and capitals with a diagonal cross motif, and a garlanded hob grate. The room in the front right corner has a roughly chamfered beam and joists, all whitewashed. The attic has three rooms with whitewashed through purlins and plank and batten doors.

The early C19 garden range has a central stone flagged entrance hall which has roll moulded skirting boards and a plaster centrepiece of swirling foliage on the ceiling. The oak dog-leg staircase has a closed string with carved ends, a round newel post and knop, and stick balusters supporting a moulded handrail. The hall is flanked by two reception rooms with moulded skirting boards, plastered cornices and cased-in beams with roll moulded edges. The windows have large moulded surrounds with incorporated shutters and panels below. The room on the right of the hall has a replica plain fire surround with semi-circular cast-iron insert, whilst the room on the left has a C19 plain timber fire surround with a diamond centre piece and semi-circular cast-iron insert. To the left of this is a third room, added in the later C19 which has one cased-in and one plain timber beam, and leads to a modernised bathroom and conservatory porch. The first-floor landing has a plaster palmette centrepiece in the ceiling and is flanked by two rooms which both have timber panels below the window but no shutters. The room on the right has a deeply moulded reeded plaster cornice and roll moulded skirting board, and a small replica cast-iron fireplace. The room on the left, converted to a bathroom, has a plainer skirting board and cornice, and the fireplace has been blocked up. On the left is a smaller room with no surviving features.

SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: The small paved area at the front of the north-east range is enclosed by a low brick wall which contains a stone drinking trough.

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