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Outbuilding, About 30m West of Higher Southtown Farmhouse, West Pennard

Description: Outbuilding, About 30m West of Higher Southtown Farmhouse

Grade: II*
Date Listed: 17 October 1985
English Heritage Building ID: 267689

OS Grid Reference: ST5576337803
OS Grid Coordinates: 355763, 137803
Latitude/Longitude: 51.1378, -2.6337

Location: Southtown Lane, West Pennard, Somerset BA6 8NS

Locality: West Pennard
Local Authority: Mendip District Council
County: Somerset
Country: England
Postcode: BA6 8NS

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Explore more of the area around West Pennard, Somerset at Explore Britain.

Listing Text


(North side)

(Formerly listed as:

Outbuilding. Early to mid-C17. It was converted to a cottage between the mid-C18 and mid-C19.

MATERIALS: Timber-framed on coursed and squared lias footings; the upper part of the south gable wall is of brick. The timber-framing comprises oak timbers of relatively slender scantling with straight or barely-curving tension braces and an infill of rod and daub. The roof is clad with corrugated iron sheeting, but was previously thatched and has a brick end (south) stack.

PLAN: It is built on a north-south axis with a small stream running parallel with its west side. It is of one and a half storeys and is now largely enclosed by secondary agricultural sheds which were added to its south and east sides from the late C19 onwards. It is a two bay building; originally open to the roof, with a fireplace at the south end.

EXTERIOR: The principal (east) elevation has a central doorway that has an oak frame with simple chamfer and a plank and ledge door on wrought-iron strap hinges. It is flanked by windows; a two-light mullioned window to the left which retains the remains of timber glazing bars and a plank and ledge shutter on the inside; and to the right (north) a three-light opening which has mullions with ovolo mouldings and iron glazing bars, some with panes of leaded glass. The lower part of the north gable wall is obscured by a privy and a small shed, the former added in the late C19, but there is a two-light mullioned window at first floor. The west elevation retains a mullioned window of two-lights that is largely covered by vegetation, and a simple unglazed opening that appears to be a later insertion. The south gable has a small first floor opening to the right of the stack, which probably dates from the building's refurbishment in the C18/C19.

INTERIOR: This is dominated by a large inglenook in the south gable wall. It has a chamfered lintel with run out stops, carried on a stone jamb to the left side. The whole of the stack has been rebuilt in brick above the level of the fireplace. The back of the fireplace has a large opening with a truncated pyramidal head that is blocked with brick; it includes a secondary smaller opening under a segmental head, the size of a typical bread oven doorway, and a later insertion. This is also blocked. The east jamb of the fireplace has also been partly rebuilt in brick but there is evidence that there may have been an original opening, close to floor level, which may have been a raking hole. On the surviving evidence the larger blocked opening within the fireplace has been interpreted as the remains of a possible furnace or boiler for a maltings vat, or a smoking chamber. The first floor is carried on an axial chamfered beam and appears to have been introduced during the building's refurbishment in the C18 or C19. The roof timbers include two re-used late medieval trusses: at the north gable end and in the centre of the building, and two rows of trenched purlins. There is a single set of windbraces between the purlins on the south side of the central truss, but only slots remain on the north side.

HISTORY: Higher Southtown is an ancient settlement. The outbuilding is situated on a platform to the west of the farmhouse, and detached from the historic farmyard which is sited in front (south) of the house. The house itself, which is listed at Grade II*, has late medieval fabric and shows evidence of high quality modernisations from the C16 through to the early C18. Evidence in the fabric of the outbuilding indicates that it originally had an industrial rather than a domestic use. Some time between the mid-C18 and mid-C19 the building was refurbished as a cottage; this involved a major rebuild of the chimneystack and the introduction of a first floor.

SOURCES: Keystone Historic Buildings Consultants, Outbuilding at Higher Southtown Farm, West Pennard, Somerset (2008)
J. Dallimore, The Cottage, Higher Southtown Farm, West Pennard (1986), Somerset Vernacular Architecture Group
Mendip District Council, Buildings at Risk Register (2006)

REASON FOR DESIGNATION: The outbuilding west of Higher Southtown Farmhouse is listed at Grade II* for the following principal reasons:
* An exceptionally rare example in the South West of a pre-1700 timber-framed building located in a non-urban setting
* Despite the C18 or C19 refurbishment which does add further interest, it has a substantially complete timber-frame
* The architectural detailing, close-studded framing, and quality craftsmanship indicate a structure of high status
* Overall it is very well-preserved both externally and internally
* It forms a very good group with the Grade II* farmhouse at Higher Southtown Farm with which it has strong historical associations

This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.

Source: English Heritage

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