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First floor dwelling with agricultural ground floor

A Grade II Listed Building in Dalston, Cumbria

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Latitude: 54.841 / 54°50'27"N

Longitude: -2.9858 / 2°59'8"W

OS Eastings: 336787

OS Northings: 550017

OS Grid: NY367500

Mapcode National: GBR 7DLG.CF

Mapcode Global: WH808.3LG6

Entry Name: First floor dwelling with agricultural ground floor

Listing Date: 16 February 2015

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1421404

Location: Dalston, Carlisle, Cumbria, CA5

County: Cumbria

District: Carlisle

Civil Parish: Dalston

Built-Up Area: Dalston

Traditional County: Cumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Dalston St Michael

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle

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First floor dwelling with agricultural ground floor incorporating an earlier single-storey building, of C17 or C18 date.


First-floor dwelling with agricultural ground floor incorporating an earlier single-storey building, of C17 or C18 date. The rear (north) elevation is partially obscured by a later barn projecting to the north, and this later barn is not included in the listing.

MATERIALS: red sandstone rubble and river cobbles with ashlar dressings and a Lakeland slate roof.

PLAN: rectangular two-bay building with walls a maximum of 0.5m thick and an external stair giving access to a pair of first-floor rooms. The building is oriented east to west parallel to the main road westwards through the village of Dalston.

EXTERIOR: the two-storey, narrow-walled building is oriented east to west, parallel to the main road westwards through the village of Dalston. The main (south) elevation is rendered with a pitched roof of stone slates laid in diminishing courses, and there is a left gable stack. The western half of the building has a ground-floor entrance with a small, rectangular opening to the left and a large blocked opening to the first floor. There is also a first-floor entrance accessed via a set of external stone steps, much worn, with a door leading into a store below. The eastern half of the building has a ground floor entrance with a small, rectangular opening to the right and a single ventilation slit to the left; this part of the building also has an entrance set at a lower level and also accessed by the external stair. All openings have sandstone ashlar jambs and lintels, and doorways are fitted with wooden, narrow boarded doors with strap hinges.

The left return is un-rendered with prominent quoins; the rear of a pair of corbels supporting the inserted first-floor fireplace are visible as are a pair of small rectangular openings of later C20 date. The right return is rendered with a later C20 opening near the apex. The rear (north) elevation is partially obscured by a later barn projecting to the north. The western half of the building projects slightly northwards and has long and short quoins to both corners. There is a large first-floor opening and an inserted later C20 ground floor opening. The eastern half of the building appears to be butted against the western half and is later. It has long and short quoins to the left corner and has first-floor window and a C20 ground-floor opening. This part of the building has been raised in height preserving the eaves of an earlier single-storey building as a stone band.

INTERIOR: divided into two rooms by a stone wall at both ground- and first-floor level. The ground floor western room has the exposed structure of the floor above, which consists of sawn rafters and narrow boards indicating replacement at a later date. A pair of stone corbels supporting the first-floor fireplace are visible in the west gable immediately below the floor structure.

The ground floor of the eastern room has a number of large beams, possibly of relatively early date, running north to south and supporting slighter rafters and the boards of the floor above; many of the latter are particularly wide and therefore considered to be earlier in date.

At first-floor level the western room has a simple red sandstone fireplace and flue set against the centre of the west gable and all walls retain traces of whitewash. The eastern room has a lower floor level than that to the west and the presence of a scarcement along its north wall indicates it has been raised in height. Its western wall also preserves the visible remains of an earlier gable end with a blocked rectangular opening at the centre and there is a recently blocked opening that formerly gave access through to the western room. The pegged, double purlin roof structure, which appears to span the full length of the building, is formed of a triangular truss within each room supporting a lattice of slender and insubstantial laths, which may have originally supported a heather thatch roof.


This is an evolved building which is first depicted on the Tithe map of 1852, with the same footprint as the present day. It has been suggested that the building in its present form resembles a Cumbrian bastle of late C16 or early C17 date, and with a heated first-floor living space over an agricultural ground floor and a first-floor entrance about half-way along one long wall reached by a (later) external stone stair; the external appearance of the building is consistent with this suggestion. However, the defining and key characteristic of a defensible bastle is the presence of thick walls of usually about a metre thick; the walls of this building are considerably thinner than this at a maximum of 0.5m. Therefore, without further survey, it is only possible to conclude that the building has a combined domestic and agricultural form but that it does appear to conform to the type of bastle-derivative buildings seen elsewhere in the north of England. It is clearly an evolved building of several phases, some of C18 date but its origins could certainly lie in the C17. Analysis of the rear elevation indicates that the quoined western part of the building is earlier than the eastern part, as the latter appears to have been built up against the former. It also appears that the eastern part was formerly a single-storey building which has been raised in height preserving the formerly lower eaves as a string course. This is confirmed by its first-floor interior of the eastern compartment, which preserves the former eaves line of the single-storey building as a scarcement or ledge and also retains evidence of the its former west gable in the building's partition wall.

A small pigsty formerly attached to the extreme right of the south elevation has been recently demolished after it was struck by a car.

Reasons for Listing

This combined dwelling and agricultural building of C17 or C18 date is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Date: a well-preserved building of probable C17 or C18 date characteristic of the bastle-derivitive buildings seen elsewhere in the north of England;
* Significant original fabric: the building retain most of their original fabric and roof structures, pierced by many original openings and also incorporates the remnants of an earlier single-storey structure from which it evolved;
* Plan form: the plan of the building is clearly preserved and readable and where remodelling has taken place, this evidence of evolution is easily readable;
* Interior survival: the dwelling retains a stone fireplace and original roof structure and to the ground floor there are original rafters and blocked openings.

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