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Dilton Vale Farmhouse

A Grade II Listed Building in Westbury, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.2437 / 51°14'37"N

Longitude: -2.2014 / 2°12'5"W

OS Eastings: 386035

OS Northings: 149410

OS Grid: ST860494

Mapcode National: GBR 1TL.VND

Mapcode Global: VH978.SZKZ

Entry Name: Dilton Vale Farmhouse

Listing Date: 31 March 1978

Last Amended: 8 March 2013

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1181249

English Heritage Legacy ID: 313153

Location: Westbury, Wiltshire, BA13

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Westbury

Built-Up Area: Westbury (Wiltshire)

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Westbury

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury

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A house dated 1763, with early C19 and C20 alterations, that formed part of a former fulling mill and spinning factory.


MATERIALS: rubble stone and brick with stone dressings, with pitched roofs covered in treble Roman tiles (probably replacing former plain tiles, as recorded by the Wiltshire Buildings Record), and two brick ridge chimneys.

PLAN: a central two-storey core, mainly of mid- and late C18 date, with a lower two storey extension at its north ends and a cat-slide extension along the north-west elevation of c1800. The lean-to garage at its south end dates from the late C20.

EXTERIOR: the southeast front elevation is of red and purple/black brick headers set on a moulded stone plinth, with rustic stone quoins, a moulded stone string over the ground floor, and stone window dressings. It consists of three bays each with three light casement windows to the first floor, and at ground floor level it has three light sash windows, the centre light taller, with a moulded architrave with beaded inner edges. The report of 2010 claims that the 'serliana' style window frames have almost certainly been imported from elsewhere. The doorway, formerly in use as the main entrance, is situated off centre to the left, and has a plain moulded stone architrave, also with beaded inner edges. It has a flat moulded stone hood resting on cut stone brackets. The timber door has six panels, the upper two glazed. To the left is a narrow brick remnant of an attached full height bay, incorporating earlier timber framing in the gable end, probably of the former mill (see below). Attached is a lower lean-to (the garage) added in the late C20. To the right is a lower two-storey stone built extension, with brick quoins, and with one range of window openings. The north-east gable end of the central core has a stone tablet reading "J.T. 1763", set above brick dove holes. The irregular rear north-west elevation has a mix of C19 and C20 casement windows.

INTERIOR: the interior dates almost entirely from the mid-to late C20, with the occasional survival of late-C18 and C19 plaster work, including parts of the timber floor boards and a plain late-C19 timber fire place surround at first floor level. The main core of the building has a timber coupled rafter roof which mainly dates from the second half of the C18. Remnants of timber framing to the south gable end, visible at attic level, suggest that the core of the building was indeed added to a pre-existing south-range.


The current Dilton Vale Farmhouse, dated 1763, probably formed part of a former late-C17 fulling mill and spinning factory that was owned by John Watley. In the mid-C18 ownership passed to John Turner of Chapsmanslade, who probably built the present kitchen block of the farmhouse to the north-east end, which carries a date stone with his initials. In c1812-20 it was owned by Edmund Hooper and later, in 1838 by Hannah Hooper. In 1840 it was described as a mill, house and garden, with the mill probably attached at its south end. Historic map evidence indicates that the footprint of the current building has not changed substantially since 1818, although the south wing, believed to have been the mill, has been replaced with an attached garage in the late C20.

Dilton Vale Farmhouse is shown on two photographs of the c1930s. In 1960 a substantial fire, which started at ground floor level, caused considerable damage to the interior, but the roof of the house survived. In 1993, the then owner Mr Bennet, who was born in the house and survived the fire as a child, was interviewed by staff of the Wiltshire Buildings Record during their recording of the building at that time. Mr Bennet stated that in c1940, the lean-to attached to the west end of the farmhouse was in use as a separate dwelling, and that the current kitchen was formerly in use as a dairy. He also said that the fireplace in the ground floor living room at its west end had contained two bread ovens, and that it had a newel type staircase next to it. He also confirmed that he had built the partition wall between the living room and the hall.

There have been suggestions that the architectural detailing of Dilton Vale Farmhouse is similar to that of Byne House (1755) and The Chantry (1750-60) both situated in Warminster and listed at Grade II* since 1952, and that Dilton Vale Farmhouse may have been designed by the surveyor or architect to the Longleat Estate. Research undertaken in 1993 by the Wiltshire Buildings Record, and more recently in 2010 on behalf of the owner, has found no evidence to confirm this.

Reasons for Listing

Dilton Vale Farmhouse, Old Dilton Road, Westbury, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Intactness: the exterior remains substantially intact, as does the roof structure and much of the internal layout;

* Architectural Interest: this C18 building's exterior displays unusual and good-quality architectural detailing with an interesting use of characteristic local materials;

* Historic Interest: as a good example of a vernacular house dating from the late C18, associated with a former fulling mill and spinning factory, an industry for which this part of Wiltshire is well known.

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