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Row of three cottages, being to the north end of the building known as Wayside Cottage (which is not incuded in the listing)

A Grade II Listed Building in Vernhams Dean, Hampshire

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Latitude: 51.2962 / 51°17'46"N

Longitude: -1.4856 / 1°29'8"W

OS Eastings: 435963

OS Northings: 155356

OS Grid: SU359553

Mapcode National: GBR 71L.P72

Mapcode Global: VHC2D.6PH6

Entry Name: Row of three cottages, being to the north end of the building known as Wayside Cottage (which is not incuded in the listing)

Listing Date: 6 May 2011

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1399927

Location: Vernhams Dean, Test Valley, Hampshire, SP11

County: Hampshire

District: Test Valley

Civil Parish: Vernhams Dean

Traditional County: Hampshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Hampshire

Church of England Parish: Vernham Dean St Mary the Virgin

Church of England Diocese: Winchester

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Row of three early C19 rural, workers' cottages, built within a late C17 or early C18 house which had been altered or extended by a bay to the north in the C18. The cottages were part of a larger complex known locally as the Barracks.


MATERIALS: knapped flint with red and red/brown brick and tile dressings. The hipped slate roof is of early C19 date. Longitudinal, internal brick stacks, set forward from the ridge. C17/C18 internal partitions are of masonry and stud work. Early C19 internal studwork partitions and ceilings are infilled with reed, and lime plastered. Floors are of brick paviors.

PLAN: the three cottages are laid out with a distinct and identical, although mirrored, plan and with identical fittings. Each is a single cell comprising a main ground floor room heated by a large stack and to the rear a smaller room from which a timber stair rises against the party wall. Entrances are at the rear, although the central and southern cottages also share a roadside entrance. The earlier two-cell building appears to have had a through passage, probably opening into a hall/kitchen on one side and a separate parlour on the other while aspiring to a near symmetrical street frontage, and with a further bay to the north.

EXTERIOR: the roadside elevation has long and short quoins of narrow, late C17/early C18 red brick, and a plinth of similar worn, ovolo moulded brick and tile. The northern bay has been added or altered; although the plinth continues, a straight joint separates the bays at the rear, where the central bay has brick quoins similar to the roadside elevation; the roadside elevation and north return have been patched and repaired using larger, later, red brick.

The entrance on the east elevation, to the north of the southern bay, appears to cut through the plinth, has a later brick, buttressed surround and a timber lintel and a plank door. Ground floor windows, under segmental arches, have three-light metal casements in timber frames, while on the first floor windows are of two lights in reduced openings. The window south of the entrance has a wrought iron casement, probably of C18 date, with diamond leaded lights fixed to iron saddle bars and with an iron handle and a pair of latches. Other windows are early C19, square-paned, cast iron casements. Above the entrance is evidence of a small blocked window, possibly an oculus (small round window). The northern and rear elevations are plainly detailed with red and red/brown brick dressings to the window and door openings. Ground floor openings also have segmental arches; some surrounds have been altered in vertically laid brick. Windows are similar cast iron casements with the exception of one ground floor window which has diamond leaded lights. The entrance to the northern cottage breaks through the west wall which has subsequently been repaired in C20 blockwork. The central and southern cottages share an entrance on the west elevation which leads to a small lobby, and is opposite the roadside entrance. The northern jamb of the entrance has been repaired externally, although internally it is of worn, early brick. The north elevation has a single window on each floor.

The through passage, which was blocked by a cross wall which was inserted when the house was converted to cottages, was subsequently altered to create a separate entrance to the main room in the southern cottage. Stacks are built of early, narrow brick except for one flank of each which is of larger early C19 brick. The northern stack is rebuilt at first floor level and curtailed. Each ground floor fireplace has a reeded mantelshelf on moulded brackets. The southern cottage has a large freestanding cast iron stove. The partly-exposed reveal of the late C17/early C18 window opening of the southern cottage is roll moulded; elsewhere window openings are rendered. This window has cyma moulded timber mullions, possibly replaced in the early C19; elsewhere, windows have plain chamfered timber mullions. Ground floor rooms have brick paviors; those in the main room of the southern cottage are laid in herringbone pattern. Stairs rise from the rear room of each cottage.

On the first floor, stairs rise to a small lobby against the stack. Each cottage is divided longitudinally, echoing the ground floor plan, although in the northern cottage the partition is set further to the east. All but the southern longitudinal partition and part of the northern transverse partition have been stripped to the studs. Windows are set in deep recessed openings which have been reduced in size internally, to accommodate the early C19 windows. Ceilings on both floors are of lime plastered reed. The roof is of soft wood, probably larch, and of king-post construction, with curved braces south of the stack and straight braces north of the stack. The uniform construction of the principal elements of the roof and the fittings suggests the cottages were built according to an approved pattern using mass-produced components and materials imported from elsewhere.

The southern cottages, which were later amalgamated as a single cottage, known as Wayside Cottage, and the open-fronted barn, aligned east-west are not included in the listing.


When agricultural production increased in the early C19 and in particular during Napoleonic Wars, the local rural population rose rapidly. Reluctant to build on profitable farmland, local landowners often preferred to convert existing buildings into workers cottages such as these. The cellular plan and structure of each cottage is very clearly defined as if following a pattern book exemplar, of a type recommended by the agricultural commentators and reformers. As well as using imported fittings, the use of reed in ceilings and walls is unusual locally but is evident throughout the cottages. Although the cottages were intended as simple accommodation, they are finished to a relatively high standard, being of two full storeys, well-lit and ventilated and with a full stair rather than a ladder.

The three northernmost cottages at Wayside are shown on the 1838/9 tithe map as the eastern range of buildings laid out round the north, east and west sides of a yard, and appear to date from the early C19. However, at the core of the cottages is a late C17 or early C18 building of relatively high status, indicated by the moulded brick plinth on the roadside elevation and blocked opening or oculus over the entrance, which correlates with a building shown on the Upton Enclosure map of 1735. Later in the C19, and certainly by the date of the 1867-83 OS map, the east range was extended southwards adding three more cottages. According to this map the western range had been demolished and the cottages are individually marked, but shown as five rather than six units. The cottages were known as the Barracks, a term widely applied to purpose-built blocks of accommodation, whether for agricultural or military use. Although we do not know for what exact purpose they were built, the Barracks were built on an unusually large scale for a community of this size and suggest growth in the local economy.

The regular, modular system continued into the C19 when the southern cottages which form Wayside Cottage were added. Of two phases, the latest, southernmost section was less well built than the early range. The northern section which appears to be of C18 origin, and with a west elevation similar to the early C18 phase, was altered on the roadside in the C19 so that like the northernmost bay, the front and rear elevations do not correspond. These three southern cottages were amalgamated to form a single house and opened up internally, over-riding the original plan and purpose, which are no longer evident. In the mid-C20 the large open C20 cart shed or open-fronted barn attached to the western end of the northern cottage replaced a row of individual sheds on the site of the northern range.

Reasons for Listing

The three cottages being to the north end of the building known as Wayside Cottage (which is not included in the listing), part of an early C19 complex of rural workers' cottages, which were built within a late C17 or early C18 house are listed at Grade 2 for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural interest: modular, agricultural workers' cottages built within the shell of a well-appointed late C17 or early C18 house and possibly built according to agricultural reformers' recommendations;
* Plan: very clearly defined single-cell two-storey units, each subdivided internally into a larger heated ground floor room and smaller scullery from which the stair rise behind the stack; earlier house, possibly with a through passage giving on to a hall/ kitchen and a separate parlour to each side;
* Materials and fittings: early C19 standardized metal-framed casements and larch roof structure; early C19 lime-plastered reed partitions and ceilings; rare early C18 metal-framed casement window and fittings;
* Historic interest: barrack-like plan of rural agricultural workers' cottages corresponding with the rise in agricultural productivity during the Napoleonic Wars and the consequent increase in local rural population.

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