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Cruck-barn at Seddon's Fold, Prestolee

A Grade II Listed Building in Kearsley, Bolton

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.55 / 53°32'59"N

Longitude: -2.376 / 2°22'33"W

OS Eastings: 375186

OS Northings: 405993

OS Grid: SD751059

Mapcode National: GBR CWVD.D5

Mapcode Global: WH982.G1TB

Entry Name: Cruck-barn at Seddon's Fold, Prestolee

Listing Date: 3 February 1976

Last Amended: 17 February 2016

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1309621

English Heritage Legacy ID: 210532

Location: Bolton, M26

County: Bolton

Electoral Ward/Division: Kearsley

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Kearsley

Traditional County: Lancashire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater Manchester

Church of England Parish: Stoneclough

Church of England Diocese: Manchester

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Summary

A cruck-framed barn of the late C15 or early C16, part-walled in brick in the C17 and stone in the C18, and substantially rebuilt in stone in the C21 for residential use.

Description

Cruck-framed barn of the late C15 or early C16, altered in the C17 and C18 and substantially rebuilt in the C21.

MATERIALS: coursed sandstone with a blue slate roof.

PLAN: low with a steeply pitched roof with S and N gables, part single and part 1½ storeys. Four bays long with entrances in the long walls.

EXTERIOR: the cruck barn is the southernmost building of a farmstead also comprising house (qv), byre (qv) and stable (qv), occupying the highest point at the west end of a tongue of land formed by the westernmost meander of the River Irwell, where it is joined by the River Croal.

The S gable is of varying coursed squared sandstone with blocked ventilation holes, alternating quoins and corbelled eaves. The W elevation has been rebuilt in the same materials as the S and has a three-light mullion window either side of the door, with a deeper northern bay containing one two-light and one three-light mullion window, all windows with dressings of sawn sandstone. The N gable is of regularly coursed machine-cut rock-faced sandstone with a first-floor two-light mullion window with sawn stone surround. The E elevation is of the same materials, with openings matching the W elevation except in the SW corner. There the door is at the southern end and there is a short length of the same walling as the S gable. The roof is of regularly coursed blue riven state and there are two rooflights towards the N end of the W pitch.

INTERIOR: the interior was formerly open with an earth floor and is now converted for residential use; a concrete floor slab* has been introduced and the side and interior walls are plastered with the exception of the S gable. There are three cruck frames, named A-C from the south. Bays A and B are open to the rafters. Crucks B and C are closed with modern partitions* and there is a floor* in bays C and D. The crucks are of Alcock type-A with the blades joined by a collar at the apex. The carpentry is of a particularly high standard and there are oak pegs to the joints. These are mostly of the edge-half-scarf type (an early technique for jointing timbers), with some mortice-and-tenon joints. The apexes carry a diamond-set ridge purlin and there are two rows of side purlins, all hewn. The base of each cruck blade sits in a steel shoe supported on a concrete pad. The crucks all have outer blades carried by wall-tie beams and curved wind braces running from purlin to outer blade, while Cruck A also has a purlin-beam. Wall posts originally ran down from the projecting tie beams of the crucks to the back of the blades but the walls have been widened internally and it was not possible to verify by inspection whether these have been retained within the walls.

There is evidence on crucks A and C for an additional cross beam below the tie beam, c1.2m above the floor. In addition, all of the cross-members of cruck A have grooves and mortices in the soffit for wattle panelling and wall studs, indicating that this cruck was once fully closed, separating the S bay from the rest of the interior. There are also numerous carpenter’s marks.

* Pursuant to s.1(5A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (‘the Act’) it is declared that these aforementioned features are not of special architectural or historic interest.

History

The farm at Seddon Fold dates to at least the mid to late C16 (the earliest reference to a member of the Seddon family living at Prestolee is from 1553), and the cruck barn was erected at the southern end of the site in the late C15 or early C16. Originally, the barn comprised a two-storey S bay, closed off from the rest of the interior and with doors below the eaves and at ground floor; plus three bays to the N with a cart entrance (possibly opposed) in the central bay. The N bay of the barn was altered, probably during the C17. The northern cruck that was removed by fire crews in the C21 was of a different type from and wider than the others but was originally infilled with wattle and daub. It is possible this was reused, perhaps from an earlier farmhouse, and that it was used to enlarge the N bay of the barn by widening it and inserting a floor, at the same time encasing it in brick. During the C18 the southern three bays of the cruck barn were walled in sandstone. The Land Registry records the sale in 1920 of the land including the barn by the Earl of Derby, who owned very large holdings in Lancashire. In the early C21 the barn has been rebuilt following fire damage. It has lost the N cruck and C17 brick but retains three of its four cruck frames and the C18 stone southern end, and the corrugated sheet roof has been slated and the rest of the barn re-walled with reclaimed and new sandstone.

Reasons for Listing

The cruck-barn at Seddon’s Fold, a cruck-framed barn of the late C15 or early C16, altered in the C17 and C18 and substantially rebuilt in the C21, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

*Date and rarity: as a surviving late-mediaeval vernacular barn.
*Craftsmanship and design: displaying particularly good quality carpentry in the extant timber structure including three cruck frames with outer blades.
*Historic importance: as physical evidence for pre-industrial agriculture at a level below the great landed estates, illustrating important aspects of the social and economic history of the nation.
*Group value: for its relationship with Seddon’s Fold farmhouse (NHLE 1309613) byre (NHLE 1067301) and stable (NHLE 1356801), which together with the barn comprise a rare example of a pre-1750 multi-building historic farmstead, which dates back as far as the C15 and is still in use.

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