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Farmhouse at Home Farm, Northampton

Description: Farmhouse at Home Farm

Grade: II
Date Listed: 20 June 2014
Building ID: 1420394

OS Grid Reference: SP7672258751
OS Grid Coordinates: 476730, 258752
Latitude/Longitude: 52.2216, -0.8782

Locality: Northampton
Local Authority: Northampton Borough Council
County: Northamptonshire
Postcode: NN4 7BS

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Listing Text


Farmhouse built between 1830 and 1855.

Reason for Listing

The farmhouse at Home Farm, built between 1830 and 1855, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural interest: it is a good example of Regency architecture on the stylistic cusp of the early Victorian period, distinguished by ornate details such as the decorative ironwork porch and the fenestration with its attractive glazing bar pattern. The nationally significant architect William Pilkington (1758-1848) may have had a hand in its design;
* Plan form: it has a carefully planned layout comprising parallel polite and working ranges, the different functions of which are articulated by their architectural treatment;
* Interior: it has good quality fittings and detailing, including a handsome staircase, finely grained joinery, doors with moulded panels, and sash shutters in panelled cases. The survival of the service rooms, with their bells, larders, fitted cupboards and benches, and particularly impressive fixed dresser, adds considerably to its interest;
* Historic interest: it reflects the contemporary interest of landowners in establishing improved farmsteads on their estates, and although the farm buildings are too altered to be listed, they make an important contribution to its architectural and historic context;
* Group value: it is located on the estate of the Grade II* listed Delapre Abbey, and within the eastern boundary of the Registered Battlefield of the 1460 Battle of Northampton.


Home Farm is part of the Delapre Abbey estate which originated c.1125 as one of only two Cluniac nunneries in England. It was dissolved in 1538 and the estate was acquired by the Tate family of London who retained portions of the monastic buildings in the creation of their new house. The estate was sold to the Bouverie family in 1764 and remained with their descendents until 1946 when it was acquired by the Borough of Northampton. The model farm, now known as Home Farm, was built for the bailiff between 1830 and 1855 by the second Edward Bouverie (1767-1858). Farmstead design during this period was governed by economy in labour and buildings, together with some architectural embellishment. Home Farm follows a typical layout comprising a double quadrangle with the farmhouse at the south end, the barn at the north end, and east and west foldyards. The north pile of the double-pile farmhouse was designed as a dairy and for carrying out professional farm business. The farmstead incorporated in its layout a stone threshing barn which is the sole survivor of a cluster of barns in Barn Close depicted on an estate map of 1767.

The Bouverie family commissioned many of the renowned architects of the day to carry out work on their estate, including the design and modification of outbuildings and outlying farms, such as the C18 Grade II listed Hunsbury Hill Farm. William Pilkington (1758-1848) was commissioned by Edward to provide the library and farm buildings at the Abbey at the same time as the model farm, and a similarity in their design and materials, notably the red brick, Welsh slate, and internal roof design, suggests that Pilkington may have been involved with the model farm too. Pilkington was the pupil of Sir Robert Taylor whom he succeeded as Surveyor to the Grafton estate in London. In 1781 he was appointed Surveyor to the Board of Guardians and he also became District Surveyor to the parishes of St Margaret and St John in Westminster, Surveyor to the Sun Fire Assurance Office and to the Charterhouse, as well as taking on private commissions for additions and modifications to country houses, such as Batsford Park in Gloucestershire and Calverton House in Buckinghamshire.

Home Farm was still a working farm until c.1987 and has since been used as an equestrian centre. The farmhouse has been subject to few alterations, amounting to some of the grates having been either removed or boarded over; and the insertion of a bathroom in the east side of the first-floor corridor. The single-storey range with three arched openings attached to the east gable end, formerly a carriage house etc, have had their openings bricked up and smaller doors inserted.


Farmhouse built between 1830 and 1855.

MATERIALS: red brick of various hues laid in English bond and Welsh slate roof covering.

PLAN: the double-pile farmhouse is at the south end of the farmstead and has an eastern range of attached outbuildings, formerly used for a carriage, carts and storage.

EXTERIOR: the south pile forms the polite frontage which faces away from the farm buildings towards the garden. It has three gabled bays, the central one lower and narrower, under wide eaves showing the exposed feet of the wall plates and purlins. The corners of the building and the central bay are defined by brick pilasters, and a horizontal band of raised brick runs across the fa├žade at the level of the gable feet. The centrally placed double-leaf wooden door has a lower panel and two upper glazed panels under a segmental arched overlight. This is sheltered by a highly decorative cast-iron fretwork porch with slender corner columns and an architrave surmounted by brattishing. The regular fenestration consists of double-hung two-over-two pane sashes under segmental brick arches consisting of a double row of headers. The windows have distinctive narrow margin lights at the top, bottom and sides, as well as a vertical central margin light. The one-bay left and right returns are lit by identical windows.

The plainer north pile forms the working frontage and faces towards the farm buildings. It is longer than the south pile, being seven window bays wide, and has a pitched roof with raised brick eaves. The regular fenestration consists of three-over-three pane double-hung sashes under segmental brick arches consisting of two rows of headers, as do all the brick arches on the farm buildings. From the left the apertures are arranged as follows: window, door, window, door, window, a former door replaced by a window (but retaining the overlight), window. The door in the second bay has four flush panels, a three-light overlight and a bootscraper on the right hand side. The centrally placed double-leaf door in the fourth bay has four narrow moulded panels and a three-light overlight. The first floor is lit by five windows positioned over the ground-floor windows.

Attached to the west gable end is a single-storey one-bay projection under a pitched roof with raised brick eaves. It is lit by a multi-pane casement with a segmental brick arch, followed by a wooden plank door with a single glazed panel. The door and its wooden canopy are not original. Attached to the east gable end is a single-storey range under a pitched roof with raised brick eaves. From the left it has a narrow doorway with the remains of a plank and batten door, and four wide segmental arched openings, now partly bricked up with red brick or breeze block with inserted doors or windows. This is followed by a vertical wooden plank door and a multi-pane casement window.

INTERIOR: the layout is based on a cross axis running north-south and east-west which meets in the staircase hall. The former axis aligns the garden entrance of the polite frontage to the working entrance of the north frontage; and the latter axis forms a corridor which provides access to the polite reception rooms flanking the staircase hall in the south pile, and the former dairy/ service/ farm business rooms in the north pile. The reception room on the east side, and the corresponding bedroom, have parallel doors in the central spine wall, connecting them to the rooms in the north pile.

The fixtures, fittings and joinery are of good quality and survive with little alteration throughout the house. The staircase hall and service range have flagstone floors whilst the polite rooms retain wooden floorboards. The windows have either horizontally sliding shutters or vertically sliding shutters (also known as sash shutters) which are housed below the window in panelled boxes. The four-panelled doors to the polite rooms have moulded panels whilst those to the service rooms have plain panels, some retaining spring latches or brass lock cases with knob handles. The doorframes, deep skirting boards with single roll moulding, and picture rails survive, some painted white and some grained. The handsome open well single-flight staircase has a closed string, turned balusters and newel posts surmounted by ball finials which continue as a balustrade around the landing. The painted timber fireplaces survive in most of the rooms, and are relatively plain although substantial in size. Those in the reception rooms are more ornate with jambs in the form of classical columns and wide mantelshelves. One fireplace retains a register grate with a round-arched opening embellished with a floral pattern and three others are known to survive behind boarding. There are original fitted cupboards in some bedrooms as well as an enamel sink and bath of probable early C20 date. The service rooms retain wide openings indicating the former position of ranges and many of their original fittings, including wine storage shelves, an impressive pine dresser (fixed), work benches, cupboards, slender beams with hooks, and a row of service bells.

SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: a low red brick wall with semi-circular coping of vitrified brick extends from the south-west corner of the farmhouse to enclose the garden.

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