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A Grade II Listed Building in Barrow upon Humber, North Lincolnshire

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Latitude: 53.6822 / 53°40'55"N

Longitude: -0.3758 / 0°22'32"W

OS Eastings: 507371

OS Northings: 421863

OS Grid: TA073218

Mapcode National: GBR TTTV.FR

Mapcode Global: WHGFY.6Q90

Entry Name: Downholme

Listing Date: 14 April 2015

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1420666

Location: Barrow upon Humber, North Lincolnshire, DN19

County: North Lincolnshire

Civil Parish: Barrow upon Humber

Built-Up Area: Barrow upon Humber

Traditional County: Lincolnshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lincolnshire

Church of England Parish: Barrow-upon-Humber Holy Trinity

Church of England Diocese: Lincoln

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Barrow upon Humber


Vernacular house, timber-framed origins, with C17, C18, and C19 extensions and alterations.


Vernacular house, timber-framed origins, with C17, C18, and C19 extensions and alterations.

MATERIALS: stone pads and plinth, rendered brick, possibly with some encased timber-framing, gabled roofs built of re-used timbers, clad with C20 orange pantiles. Some tamped ‘Lincolnshire ash floor’ remains extant.

PLAN: the house retains evidence of an evolving plan-form; the original plan, possibly an open hall with a small detached kitchen to the rear, the insertion of a central chimney stack saw it become a baffle-entry house. The front door position was subsequently moved off-centre with the creation of a through passage entry, probably coinciding with the addition of a rear outshut stair. Extension in the first half of C19 saw the addition of the rear kitchen range.

EXTERIOR: south (front) elevation: two-storey, two-bay, elevation, with mid-late C19 four-light timber sash windows with partially exposed sash boxes and brick sills to both floors. The two ground floor windows have stucco keystones. The front door is off-set to the west; it has a recessed. stepped moulded door surround, a plain stucco frieze and a timber pediment with dentil decoration. The base of the wall has exposed brickwork and a pad stone at the south-west corner.

West (side) elevation: the rendered double-pile west elevation has an external chimney stack attached to the gable of the front (south) range, with a two-light timber sash window with partially exposed sash box to the south-west corner of the ground-floor and a small blocked window to the attic. The gable of the two-storey, rear (north) C19 range has a doorway to the kitchen and is flanked by a plain glass window and a four-light ‘Yorkshire’ sash window to the first-floor.

North (rear) elevation: the two-bay rear (north) range has a pair of four-light sash windows to both floors. It does not extend across the full width of the house; it butts up against the C18 cat-slide extension and a late C19 low single-storey storeroom with a mono-pitch roof. The storeroom also does not extend to the boundary of the property and a short length of the rear wall of the cat-slide extension is exposed and has a window opening to the ground floor. The first-floor of the rear wall of the cat-slide is exposed above the C19 storeroom roof and is pierced by a four-light ‘Yorkshire’ sash, and a twelve-light sash window with crown glass panes and an exposed sash box.

East (side) elevation: is now predominantly obscured by, and abuts Down Hall; however, the east wall of the C19 larder does not abut Down Hall, and is exposed to its full height.

INTERIOR: ground floor: the front door leads directly into the entrance passage, which has the rear wall of the central chimney stack forming its east wall. At its furthest extent, the passage gives access to the rear outshut by an off-set open doorway and is flanked to the west by the door to the drawing room and to the east by the door into the parlour. The ceiling of the passage has not been under-sailed and a massive plain chamfered beam, with chamfered and stopped floor joists is exposed, supporting the first-floor along the central east-west alignment; the eastern end of the beam rests within the central chimney.

The drawing room (south-west ground-floor room) is situated to the west of the passage; the central beam seen in the passageway is exposed once more in the ceiling and spans the full width of the room. Timber mouldings have been nailed to its side surfaces of the beam and to the walls to form a cornice, while the floor joists of the room above are under-sailed by a tongue and grooved panelled ceiling. A late-C19 cast-iron fire place with tiled surrounds and hearth is set into a grey marble mantle-piece supported on simple scroll brackets, occupies the centre of the west wall.

The parlour (south-east ground-floor room) is entered through an early-C18 three-panelled door in the north-west corner. A beam with a sunken scroll moulding and straight stops spans the full width of the room. The ceiling is plastered and a moulded picture rail is situated close to the ceiling level. The central chimney breast is situated against the west wall; it has a modern four-centred brick-arched fire place set within its depth of the chimney stack, off-set to the south. The fire place has a stone slab hearth and situated immediately in front of it in the floor is a brick lined floor safe. The location of the former baffle entry is situated to the south of the chimney stack and witness marks in the south wall indicate the position of the blocked doorway.

A side door in the west wall of the north range allows access directly into the kitchen, which has a substantial beam in the ceiling aligned north-south spanning the room. A chimney stack projects out from the west wall, the fireplace has a bracketed timber mantle-piece. A door in the north-east cornet of the east wall allows access into the former C19 larder and a door in the south-east corner of the kitchen allows access into the outshut passageway leading to the staircase and the rest of the house.

The simple pine ‘dog-leg’ staircase has plain square-section baluster and a polished timber handrail. The under-surface of the stairs is panelled in tongue and groove timber. A section of stone plinth walling beneath the staircase has been suggested as evidence of a former detached kitchen in the area now occupied by the C19 larder. A three-panelled early-C18 door, situated in the eastern wall adjacent to the base of the staircase, gives access to a storeroom with a step down to a brick-lined floor and a slop-stone sink.

first floor: the staircase leads to a landing that provides access to either side to the C19 bedroom and a small bathroom. The bedroom is over the kitchen and is heated by a small C19 cast-iron fireplace in the west wall. Immediately in front of the stairs, an open doorway leads through the rear wall of the front-range and allows access into two bedrooms, one to either side of the central chimney stack. A cupboard can also be accessed against the north wall of the chimney stack from the landing. Both bedrooms have a large exposed rough hewn beam supporting the ceiling. A shared ‘walk-in’ cupboard is situated against the southern side of the central stack, and can be accessed by doors from each of the two bedrooms. The west bedroom is heated by a small C19 cast-iron grate set in a plain pine fire surround. All of the doors except one on the first-floor are early-C18 three-panelled doors with a variety of ‘H’ or ‘L’-hinges and drop latches.

Roof and attic: the roof of the front-range has common rafters supported by a clasped purlin to each side together with an occasional collar. The brick-built central chimney stack rises up through the ridge. The exposed internal face of the early-C18 brick gables have tumbled brickwork to the verges and the west gable has a small boarded up attic window. The roof over the rear-range has re-used timber common rafters with nailed, plank purlins clasped at each gable end by a collar.


Downholme is a vernacular farmhouse; it is thought to be the original Down Hall, the principal residence of one of the Manors of Barrow. The current structure appears as a vernacular farmhouse retaining evidence of a succession of improvements and alterations over the centuries. It probably originated as a timber-framed building, possibly with a detached kitchen to the rear. A central brick chimney stack appears to have been inserted in the C17 to form a two room baffle-entry house with the main door in the south-east elevation. The outer walls have been rebuilt or encased in brick during the C18, possibly at the time the house was heightened to two-storeys with the staircase accommodated in the rear outshut beneath a cat-slide roof. Probably at the same time, access to the house and its internal arrangements were altered by the blocking up of the baffle-entry doorway and the creation of a new off-centre main entrance, leading into a cross passage created on the western side of the chimney stack, by reducing the width of the south-west ground-floor room and the insertion of a stud passage wall. Around 1840, a new two-storey kitchen range with bedroom was added to the rear of the house, giving the appearance of a gabled double pile-plan. In 1877, John William Beeton, an eccentric farmer, merchant, and entrepreneur, built a substantial three-storey house called Down Hall against the east wall of Downholme, effectively making it a semi-detached house. At the same time, the south-west ground floor room was modernised as a comfortable drawing room with fittings and fixtures that matched those used in Down Hall. Since that time, Downholme has remained relatively un-altered.

Downholme farmhouse is built on the site of a C7 monastery and associated cemetery, founded some time between 669 and 672 AD by St Chad, Bishop of Lichfield. The monastery was destroyed by the Danes in 870 AD and was not re-built.

Reasons for Listing

Downholme, dating to the late-C16, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural interest: a good example of vernacular architecture retaining locally distinctive forms and features;
* Evolution: an excellent example of the way vernacular farmhouses evolved over time and were adapted, reflecting changes in society and status between the C16 and C19.
* Date: Downholme is largely the product of C18 alterations to an earlier house, the last substantial additions date to the first half of the C19;
* Survival: sufficient historic fabric survives for the development of the structure to be easily appreciated;
* Period features: the retention of period features, including the floor safe, which is rare, significantly contributes to the special interest.

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