History in Structure

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The Former Hare and Hounds Public House

A Grade II Listed Building in Marlow, Buckinghamshire

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Latitude: 51.5648 / 51°33'53"N

Longitude: -0.7918 / 0°47'30"W

OS Eastings: 483839

OS Northings: 185795

OS Grid: SU838857

Mapcode National: GBR D5V.YCZ

Mapcode Global: VHDWB.7X7S

Entry Name: The Former Hare and Hounds Public House

Listing Date: 12 March 2014

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1418415

Location: Marlow, Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, SL7

County: Buckinghamshire

District: Wycombe

Civil Parish: Marlow

Built-Up Area: Marlow

Traditional County: Buckinghamshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Buckinghamshire

Church of England Parish: Great Marlow with Marlow Bottom, Little Marlow and Bisham

Church of England Diocese: Oxford

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A medieval cruck-framed building, improved in the C17, modified in the C18 and extended in the C19.

The C19 and C20 rear wings, flat-roofed extensions and added single-storey, north-eastern roadside bay have been altered and extended in the C20 to provide kitchens, bar space and WCs and are not of special interest.


Probably a medieval hall house, which was improved in the C17, most recently a public house.

MATERIALS: timber frame comprising two pairs of substantial cruck blades to what appears to have been a three-bay medieval core. Brick roadside elevation and gable walls, now painted. Plain tile roofs, brick stacks. Rear wings are in red brick with plain tile roofs. Internal timber-framed and lathe and plaster partitions and ceilings.

PLAN: three-bay core, adapted or raised in height, probably in the C17, to provide an upper floor. A brick stack was inserted into the south-western bay, heating the central bay, and is served by two stacks above the ridge, the taller of which appears to be a C19 addition. The main range was extended to the north-east by a one-and-a-half storey bay in the C19 and in the C20 by a single-storey bay. C18 and C19 one-and-a-half storey rear wing, taller than the original core, flanked by lower gabled bays. C20 flat roofed extensions.

EXTERIOR: the roadside frontage is in four bays and one and a half storeys; the added northernmost bay is offset from the main elevation and the upper floor is clad in a plain fascia. Ground floor window openings are C20, masking any earlier openings, and have timber casements. There are wide cambered arched and segmental arched windows to each bay to either side of the stack. The two inner bays have segmental headed doorways (one of which is blocked), with C20 studded doors, flanking a small casement window. Right hand windows are C20 casements. Each first-floor bay has a half-hipped full dormer, with boarded cheeks, tile roof with corner finials, and a C20 three-light timber casement window. The visible section of the south-west gable wall has a tall cambered arch opening, adapted as a window.

INTERIOR: the early structure is evident in the cruck trusses visible on the ground floor, and on the first floor in the substantial tie beam marking the north-eastern end of the early building. The structure is partly enclosed behind later cladding. The earliest three bays have worn and in some places reworked tie beams or transverse ceiling beams of successive dates. Above the stack and in the westernmost bay these have one- to two-inch chamfers and where visible in the westernmost bay, run-out chamfer stops. Intermediate ceiling beams and most joists are replaced or encased. Serving the historic central bay is a substantial, presumably brick, internal stack with a square cut, un-chamfered bressumer above the fireplace opening; the ends of the bressumer are not visible. Elsewhere the ground floor has been opened up removing sections of the original rear wall and the original gable walls. Surfaces are plastered and painted.

Most of the first floor is boarded out, however there is a small section of exposed timber framing to the rear of the stack, and in the central bay, a C17 or C18 door frame with a pintle hinge and slender scantling timber-framed transverse wall. An exposed section of the substantial transverse beam in the northernmost truss of the historic core has a horizontal slot to the upper face, while it appears to continue, forming the threshold between the north-eastern rooms.

The roof is constructed of sawn, paired rafters. Where these are accessible above the northern-eastern bay they are numbered from west to east. There is no ridge piece. The south-western bay, has a framed purlin roof.

The rear extensions have been heavily modified and extended.


The Hare and Hounds public house developed from a medieval cruck-framed building, probably a house. Most likely in the C17, a large internal stack was built and a first floor created. During the late C18 or early C19 the building was re-fronted in brick and extended to the south-west. In the C19 the building was extended by a bay to the north-east, and according to map evidence, between 1877 and 1898, substantial rear wings were added. The rear wings have been altered and extended in the C20 to provide kitchens and bar space.

At the core of the Hare and Hounds is a substantial cruck-framed structure, certainly of two bays, and probably of three. Box-framing came to predominate in this area, and cruck houses, which are also generally earlier, are therefore rarer and towards the southern limit of their distribution here. They are more common in central Buckinghamshire, where there is a nationally high concentration in Long Crendon, and become increasingly more so progressing northwards and westwards. However there are sufficient numbers in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire to provide comparison and the subject has been thoroughly researched over many years (Alcock & Miles, 2013).

In Buckinghamshire most dated cruck houses are of C15 date, and in general die out by the late C16. In these counties there was a tendency, though not exclusively so, for early base crucks to be built in conjunction with aisled hall construction, where they often replaced the central truss; dated examples are found in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire from the C13. Given the location, scantling of the timber and type of construction of the Hare and Hounds, a C15, or possibly earlier date is not unlikely. In these counties there is a preponderance of what has been classified as the W apex truss type, where the cruck blades extend to a collar rather than the apex of the roof. As the trusses are masked by later fabric, further investigation is needed to shed light on the construction of the Hare and Hounds.

Reasons for Listing

The former Hare and Hounds public house, a medieval cruck-framed building, improved in the C17, modified in the C18 and extended in the C19, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural interest: in the evolution of a substantial, medieval cruck-framed building, which was modernised and improved in the C17 and C18;
* Rarity: rare example of an early cruck-framed building in this area.

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