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Lower End Farmhouse and well head

A Grade II Listed Building in Thornborough, Buckinghamshire

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Latitude: 51.998 / 51°59'52"N

Longitude: -0.9244 / 0°55'27"W

OS Eastings: 473941

OS Northings: 233828

OS Grid: SP739338

Mapcode National: GBR BZ4.M3Y

Mapcode Global: VHDT9.X1PN

Entry Name: Lower End Farmhouse and well head

Listing Date: 22 August 1983

Last Amended: 29 March 2016

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1232732

English Heritage Legacy ID: 408127

Location: Thornborough, Aylesbury Vale, Buckinghamshire, MK18

County: Buckinghamshire

District: Aylesbury Vale

Civil Parish: Thornborough

Built-Up Area: Thornborough

Traditional County: Buckinghamshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Buckinghamshire

Church of England Parish: Thornborough

Church of England Diocese: Oxford

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Farmhouse C15, altered late C16-early C17, and C21.


Farmhouse. C15, altered late C16-early C17, and C21.

MATERIALS: the house is built from limestone and brick with clay tile and slate roofs.

PLAN: the farmhouse stands on the south-west side of Lower End with principal elevation facing north-east. It is rectangular on plan with a lobby entrance and includes a later narrower extension which has been added to the east, which has a more recent outshut added to the rear.

EXTERIOR: the farmhouse has three bays and two storeys with additional attic rooms. An eastern extension has been added which has a single bay and storey, also with an attic room. The earliest phases are built of roughly coursed stone with timber lintels to the windows and a later single pitch clay tile roof with two brick stacks. The extension is brick-built on the north-east elevation and has a slate roof with single stack. All windows are timber casements with leaded lights and clay tile sills. The extension also has hipped slate dormer windows on both elevations. On the north-eastern elevation, in the central bay, a modern lean-to porch with a hipped slate roof provides entry, and is built adjacent to a shallow buttress. The rear south-west elevation is similar to the front, but it has a smaller open timber porch standing on stone piers, with a tiled pitched roof. The main clay tile roof at the rear is punctuated by three C21 metal conservation-style flush roof lights.

INTERIOR: there are three main rooms on the ground floor. The principal room has a large inglenook fireplace with a substantial timber bressumer and thick chamfered bridging beams with stops. An entrance hall has been partitioned on the south side of the room with a stained glass panel added in C20, and on the north side an early external opening has been enclosed by a porch. The dining room area to the south also has chamfered beams. This area has a recessed panel with a wall painting made up of patterns and lettering which research has identified as late C16 or early C17, built into what remains of the dividing wall. The northernmost room has a corner fireplace, and a deeply chamfered ceiling beam with lamb’s tongue stops on the inner end. The kitchen has a large fireplace with a rounded brick-built chimney breast and timber bressumer. Original rooms on the ground floor are heavily beamed with low ceilings and substantial wall thickness. Modern timber stairs rise from the southern partitioned area to the first floor where a corridor with internal blind window runs broadly east to west providing access to bedrooms and later bathrooms. A new staircase has been constructed into the attic space and partition walls installed to create further bedrooms and bathrooms in the new roof space. A single small casement window remains at this level in the western end gable.


In the rear garden area adjacent to the rear entrance of the farmhouse, there is a square raised wall well head formed of limestone laid in rough courses, which is probably contemporary with the earliest section of the farmhouse.


Lower End Farmhouse has C15 origins, and was extended in late C16-early C17, and partially rebuilt in C21 after a fire. It is present on the earliest published Ordnance Survey map of 1843, and it may have been part of a wider farm complex including a dairy to the north-west which has since been converted to a separate dwelling, and a linear run of barns which are included in the current Lower End freehold.

Internally, empty joints in the central section ceiling beam suggest that two rooms have now been united to form one large room, and the entrance hall and stair have been inserted. A large inglenook fireplace and a C16 wall painting also suggest that this was the earliest section of the house. A slight projection of the western bay may point to this being a later addition. A doorway from the central section to the kitchen has a timber frame and steps up over the cill beam to a higher floor level. This, along with an adjacent blind window, suggests that this wall was originally external and that a separate adjacent building has subsequently been altered and integrated into the main house plan. A porch was added to the front elevation in 1988. On the second storey of the front elevation to the left of the porch there is a distinct change to the stone coursing, which may point to a window remodelling at some time in the building’s history. A roof fire in 2008 destroyed the timber roof structure, which included a full cruck (recorded in 2004), and a thatched roof. This has now been replaced with modern timbers and a clay tile roof with inserted heritage style flush windows on the rear pitch. At the same time, the two main house chimneystacks were also substantially rebuilt.

Reasons for Listing

Lower End Farmhouse, of the C15, altered late C16-early C17, and C21, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural interest: despite the replacement of the roof in 2008, a significant proportion of this C15 and later farmhouse remains including external walling and internal timber floor frames;
* Interior: the plan-form is legible and important features including the inglenook fireplace and the C16 painted wall panel fragments add considerably to the special interest of the building;
* Group value: stands adjacent to two farmhouses (College House and Huntingate Farmhouse), a cottage (Old Bridge House), and barn (Range along the road to west of Huntingate Farmhouse), all listed at Grade II.

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