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Barn approximately 50 metres north of Clacton Grove House

A Grade II Listed Building in Little Clacton, Essex

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Latitude: 51.8338 / 51°50'1"N

Longitude: 1.153 / 1°9'10"E

OS Eastings: 617330

OS Northings: 219723

OS Grid: TM173197

Mapcode National: GBR TQD.Y16

Mapcode Global: VHLCY.X5WJ

Entry Name: Barn approximately 50 metres north of Clacton Grove House

Listing Date: 4 July 1986

Last Amended: 6 March 2015

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1337145

English Heritage Legacy ID: 119957

Location: Little Clacton, Tendring, Essex, CO16

County: Essex

District: Tendring

Civil Parish: Little Clacton

Traditional County: Essex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Essex

Church of England Parish: Little Clacton St James

Church of England Diocese: Chelmsford

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A barn probably of the early-C19 or earlier.


A former threshing barn, probably of the early C19 or earlier.

MATERIALS: timber framed with weatherboarded cladding, part rendered, and a corrugated-iron covered roof.

PLAN: a large barn of 7 bays, with two asymmetrical, gabled midstreys projecting to the south.

EXTERIOR: the timber-framed barn rests on a 5–course plinth of C18 red bricks generally laid in stretcher bond, with C20 patching in Flemish bond; the plinth at the south elevation is higher. The wide, weatherboard cladding exposed at the west gable end and front elevations is feather-edged. The double-doors to the midstreys rest on a plinth suggesting that carts drew up to the entrance for loading/unloading rather than accessing the interior. The west elevation has a planked pedestrian door at the ground floor and taking in door at the apex, both with strap hinges. The rear elevation has two vehicular entrances with double doors corresponding to the midstreys opposite; both entrances have been heightened, resulting in a localised alteration to the roof structure. Two window openings have been inserted into the rear between the two doors. At the rendered east gable end there is a window at the apex and a planked pedestrian door with strap hinges at the ground floor, near to the front corner. The roof is covered with narrow-furrowed, corrugated-iron sheeting.

INTERIOR: generally the timber is of good quality, with little evidence of re-use, but there are some hewn branches inserted into the frame. The wall and cross framing has a significant scantling, jointed and pegged, and comprises wall posts, wall and sole plates and close studding with diagonal straight bracing. The tie beams are present, one pair with added bolted and shaped knee braces, others with metal strapping. One tie beam, some of the straight bracing and the part of the sole plate in the south wall frame have been replaced; corrugated-iron sheeting has been attached to the lower part of the south wall frame between the midstreys. A timber runner, possibly for a later partition or hopper, is nailed onto a wall post between the two midstreys on the south wall frame, and is clearly a later addition. The roof has coupled rafters with clasped purlins, collars and ridge pieces; some of the collars are machine-sawn planks. The narrow battens that support the corrugated-iron sheeting appear to be later in date.

The midstreys have midrails, additional bolted or nailed straight corner braces at the entrances and some interior weatherboard cladding. Both have coupled rafter roofs with side purlins and ridge pieces. The west midstrey has an in-situ loft platform at the gable apex, and additional beams inserted later at just above midrail height. The remnants of raised threshing floors to the rear of the midstreys are apparent.


Clacton Grove House is identified with a building known as Cokks in 1490, appearing as Cockes in Norden’s map of Essex in 1594; a portion of medieval timber frame survives in the present house, which supports the assertion that a medieval steading occupied the site. Cockes was part of the estate of the Lords Bayning until it was sold to John Freeman of Colchester in 1719, in whose family it remained for over 100 years.

Neither the barn nor the house are identified on the Chapman and Andre map of 1777 or Verron's map of 1796; possibly implying that the house, and perhaps any ancillary structures, were dilapidated and therefore not surveyed at either time. The land was farmed by John Sparling between 1784 and 1829 and between 1829 and 1851 by Thomas Hicks, as a tenant of Ann Freeman. Grove House and farm, including the barn, are identifiable on the 1839 Tithe map, described as ‘mansion, gardens etc’, suggesting a steading of status, with the remodelled Cockes Hall, known as Clacton Grove House by 1874, at its heart.

The old series of Ordnance Survey (OS) mapping for the site, dating to between 1803 and 1848, clearly shows the steading in a similar configuration as present, although the house known as Clacton Grove has a rather different footprint. The barn, however, is apparently in the same position, but possibly curtailed slightly at the east end. The first edition 1:2500 OS map of 1874 shows the barn, aligned east-west, as the most substantial of the buildings, with the main yard to the south (front) flanked by single storey ranges (probably mid-C19 in date) to the east (cart-sheds) and west (stable). To the east of the main yard was another yard and what appear to be pens lying to the rear of the barn. The whole was enclosed with a wall, with two detached brick buildings of unknown purpose at the southern arm of the wall. The second edition OS map of 1897 shows a similar arrangement, but the pens to the rear of the barn are gone. In 2014, the range on the east side of the main yard is no longer standing (demolished in the late C20); the stable block has been repaired but is not in use; the two detached buildings to the south are adapted for new uses and the main yard and yard to the east are gardens.

The heyday of barn building was the period 1700 to 1850, but in the period after 1750, as output increased and more land was ploughed up for cereal production, there was a shift towards outdoor stacking and the creation of stack yards. Barns were extended by one or two bays and arch braces replaced by knee braces. This historic alteration is evidenced in the barn at Grove Farm, where bolted knee braces were added to one bay division. The timber runners for a later sliding partition added to the wall post at the 4th bay from the west and the heightening of the rear vehicular openings may be associated with the increasing use of threshing machinery and resulting changes to crop storage. A hay loft is suggested by a taking in door at the west gable apex, but the loft itself is no longer present.

The barn appears little altered in more recent times: the sole plate of the southern wall frame has either been replaced or boxed-in and rendered internally: a few timbers have been replaced, notably a tie beam and some of the collars to the roof trusses, and brickwork in the plinth has been replaced in patches. An exterior render has been applied to the rear and east elevations in the C20.

Reasons for Listing

The barn at Grove Farm, probably of the early-C19 or earlier, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural interest: the vernacular roots of the Grove Farm barn’s architecture are manifest in its well-crafted timber frame, executed with good quality materials and skilled carpentry;
* Intactness: although there has been some renewal of timbers, and some evidence of reuse, the barn retains a significant proportion of its original fabric;
* Group value: by its proximity and historical association with Grove farmhouse, listed at Grade II .

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