History in Structure

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Former farm building to the south-west of The Old Barn

A Grade II Listed Building in Speldhurst, Kent

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.1597 / 51°9'35"N

Longitude: 0.2136 / 0°12'49"E

OS Eastings: 554886

OS Northings: 142382

OS Grid: TQ548423

Mapcode National: GBR MPJ.6TD

Mapcode Global: VHHQC.N39S

Entry Name: Former farm building to the south-west of The Old Barn

Listing Date: 12 December 2014

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1423150

Location: Speldhurst, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN3

County: Kent

District: Tunbridge Wells

Civil Parish: Speldhurst

Traditional County: Kent

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Kent

Church of England Parish: Speldhurst St Mary the Virgin

Church of England Diocese: Rochester

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Penshurst

Summary

Early C18 stable or other animal housing with hayloft above, reusing earlier timbers.

Description

Early C18 stable or other animal housing with hayloft above, reusing earlier timbers. Some C20 alterations.

MATERIALS: timber-framed, mainly clad in weatherboarding, with a half-hipped tiled roof.

PLAN: one storey and attic, in two bays, originally with animal accommodation on the ground floor and a hayloft above.

EXTERIOR: the north-east side is no longer weather-boarded and has exposed timber-framing with a midrail, and a lower attic floor with closely spaced studs. The midrail and studs are pegged and have a series of carpenters' marks. There is C20 plasterboard infill. The ground floor has end diagonal braces, two door openings and two small C20 window openings. The south-east end has an original hayloft opening with a C20 casement above and two small C20 window openings beneath. The north-west end has a C20 casement in the gable and a smaller C20 window opening below.

INTERIOR: the northern ground floor bay retains some original stone floor surface and a nailed plank partition to prevent wall damage by animals. Two sections of walling have C20 block-work. There is a wooden partition between the two bays with a plank door. C20 blockwork has been added on the north side. The southern ground floor bay has the wall frame exposed on the east side but C20 blockwork has been added on the north side. There is further block-work on the west side and the south wall is mainly C20. Part of the floor has been covered in C20 concrete.

The former hayloft above has curved jowls to the bay posts and central queen struts with ties, clasped collar purlins and rafters without a ridge-piece. One of the rafters appears to have come from an earlier common rafter roof and some others are also probably reused. The wall-plate on the north-east side is reused and possibly smoke-blackened with three sets of sockets for diamond-mullioned windows and deep grooves. There is a smaller similar reused timber on the south-west side with sockets for a diamond-mullioned widow. There are secondary diagonal braces at the gable ends.

History

This is an early C18 farm building, probably originally stables with a hayloft above, built reusing earlier timbers. It appears to be shown on Mudge's map printed in 1801, together with a former barn to the north-east and the farmhouse to the west. It is shown with its current footprint on the 1867 First Edition 25" Ordnance Survey map. It is shown there as part of a farmstead called Barden Furnace Farm which included the farmhouse to its south-west, oasthouses to its north-west, a large barn to its north-east, and some other smaller farm buildings. This building is currently in the same ownership as the large barn, which has been converted into residential accommodation, but the other farm buildings and former farmhouse are now (2014) in separate ownership.

The evidence that animals were housed here is provided by the kick boards surviving on the ground floor, the sloping ground floor for drainage, the survival of some of the original stone surface and the gable opening in the loft above at a suitable height for loading hay from a cart. The building would probably have housed heavy horses for the farm originally, or even oxen. However between 1800 and 1840 the number of oxen teams still in use suffered a very steep decline in most areas.

Reasons for Listing

This former farm building, an early C18 stable or other animal housing with hayloft above, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural interest: an early C18 farm building constructed of local materials, an oak timber frame, clad in weather-boarding with a tiled roof, incorporating reused medieval or C16 timbers;
* Degree of survival: the timber-frame survives substantially intact together with the original plan form;
* Interior fittings: this building retains a ground floor wooden partition, kick-boards and a sloping floor with some original stone flooring, all evidence of its animal housing use;
* Regional type: a good example of a south-eastern stable or other animal housing with hayloft above;
* Group value: part of an C18 or earlier farmstead.

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