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Batts Farm

A Grade II Listed Building in Ashington, West Sussex

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.9461 / 50°56'45"N

Longitude: -0.3908 / 0°23'26"W

OS Eastings: 513141

OS Northings: 117523

OS Grid: TQ131175

Mapcode National: GBR HKX.Q05

Mapcode Global: FRA B62L.TVQ

Entry Name: Batts Farm

Listing Date: 11 December 2014

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1422843

Location: Ashington, Horsham, West Sussex, RH20

County: West Sussex

District: Horsham

Civil Parish: Ashington

Built-Up Area: Ashington (Horsham)

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Sussex

Church of England Parish: Ashington St Peter and St Paul

Church of England Diocese: Chichester

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Summary

Batts Farm is a timber-framed house likely to date from the C16, with subsequent alterations and additions. The C19 and C20 fabric is of lesser special interest.

Description

Batts Farm is a timber-framed house likely to date from the C16, with subsequent alterations and additions.

MATERIALS: the building is principally of timber-frame construction, clad in red brick at ground floor and hung peg tiles at first floor. There is a sandstone plinth to the south and sandstone in the large end stack to the east; otherwise the stacks are of brick construction. The roof is covered in peg tiles, and doors and windows are timber, and of varying date.

PLAN: the building has two bays (east and west) and is one-and-a-half storeys high, lowering to a single-storey to the south under a catslide roof which runs the width of the building. The roof is gabled to the east and half-hipped with a gablet to the west; there is a distinct 'kink' in the centre of roof, between the two bays.

The building is served by three stacks – one substantial end stack of probable C17 date to the east, and two smaller stacks of probable C19 date to the west and north. At ground floor the west bay is divided into two rooms, one to the north (served by the north stack), and one to the south (served by the west stack). To the north of the west bay is a single-storey C19 outshut extension from where a largely straight stair leads up to a small landing within the west bay. From here, the two upper rooms, one over the west bay, and one over the east bay, are accessed.

EXTERIOR: the single-storey brick and stone entrance front is to the south, beneath the catslide roof. The off-centre door is surrounded by a C19 open brick porch, and to either side is an irregular arrangement of multi-light casement windows. The wall of the east bay has a diagonal brick buttress. Each of the two first-floor rooms is lit by a single gable-ended roof dormer; these are likely to be late-C19 insertions.

The north elevation is more irregular, with the C19 outshut extending out from the west bay. The east bay has a window at ground and first floors (the proportions and position of that on the first-floor appear to match those of a corresponding window in the west bay, now blocked by the outshut). A small circular window to the far left of the north elevation lights a recess beside the fireplace in the east bay.

INTERIOR: within the building many elements of the timber frame remain visible. Within the east bay is a large fireplace opening with timber bressummer. A substantial axial beam runs from the centre of the bressummer to the cross wall which divides the east and west bays; the framework of this cross wall is partially exposed, and rests on a continuous masonry plinth. Floor joists run at right-angles from the axial beam to the north wall, and to a second axial timber to the south. This timber shows evidence of having held vertical framing members, and is thought to have acted as a wall plate to the original outside wall – the framing now removed, so opening up the east bay to the area beneath the catslide.

The first floor room to the west has a small hearth, served by the north flue; above this hearth is a blocked three-light window with diamond-section mullions. The room to the east is accessed through a round-headed doorway which cuts through the tie beam of the queen post roof truss between the two rooms, and is unheated.

History

Batts Farm is a small house of multiple phases, and detailed study of its construction may in the future reveal a clearer picture of its likely early development. However, its fabric indicates it is of early post-medieval origin, and may have started as a single-bay cottage, with the slightly later addition of a second bay to take broadly its current form as a simple two-bay house. It is also possible that part of the building could have formed one element of a larger building which was subsequently altered and reduced in size. A catslide roof which runs the width of the building to the south, across the two bays, may be a separate later phase. The original orientation of the house is unclear; the catslide to the south suggests that at the time this was built, the front of the house was to the north, however the northerly extension, which is probably of C19 date, suggests that by this time the orientation had been reversed, with the entrance front to the south, as it is now. Also at some point during this period, another stack was added to the north and west, the building was clad in bricks and hung tiles, and the porch was added to the south elevation.

The earliest Ordnance Survey map of 1879, shows that at this time there was a narrow range attached to the west of the building and a small detached outbuilding to the north.

Reasons for Listing

Batts Farm, Ashington, a small timber-framed house of probable C16 origin, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural interest: the house is a good example of a small vernacular dwelling which retains a substantial proportion of its two-bay timber frame;
* Historic interest: in its early form and subsequent evolution, the building reflects aspects of the changing pattern of rural domestic buildings in the post-Medieval period.

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