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Stables and residential annexe, and old calf shed, Michelmersh Manor Farm

A Grade II Listed Building in Michelmersh and Timsbury, Hampshire

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Latitude: 51.0364 / 51°2'11"N

Longitude: -1.4993 / 1°29'57"W

OS Eastings: 435202

OS Northings: 126462

OS Grid: SU352264

Mapcode National: GBR 74N.ZQX

Mapcode Global: FRA 76RC.V0D

Entry Name: Stables and residential annexe, and old calf shed, Michelmersh Manor Farm

Listing Date: 31 March 2015

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1425608

Location: Michelmersh and Timsbury, Test Valley, Hampshire, SO51

County: Hampshire

District: Test Valley

Civil Parish: Michelmersh and Timsbury

Built-Up Area: Michelmersh

Traditional County: Hampshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Hampshire

Church of England Parish: Michelmersh St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Winchester

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Large C16 or earlier agricultural range, possibly stables for riding horses and accommodation for the monastic manor, encased in brick in the late C18 and C19, and attached to it a late C18 or early C19 open-sided barn, possibly a hay barn.


Stables with an upper floor, possibly arranged as accommodation, at least C16 in date, the walls replaced in brick in the late C18 or C19.

MATERIALS: red brick laid in English bond, replacing a substantial timber-framed structure of which the roof, a fragment of the wall frame, and partitions survive. The roof is clad in corrugated metal sheeting*.

PLAN: in seven unequal bays of one and a half storeys aligned south-east to north-west. The southern four bays are currently (2015) fitted out as accommodation; the southern bay may have been built as accommodation. The northern bays are used as farm storage, and have an upper level floor in the sixth bay.

EXTERIOR: the main elevation faces south-west onto the farmyard. At the southern end the building has a stepped brick plinth, perhaps to allow for the sloping ground level or marking a change in status. The building includes a number of blocked or partially blocked openings which were original to the brick phase of building; current window openings are primarily C20*, though some, beneath cambered arches may be C19. On the rear, north-east elevation there are blocked vertical slit openings and a primary brick doorway. The southern end of the building, where the ground level drops away, appears to have been rebuilt in brick, denoted by straight joints in the fabric. The gable is weatherboarded and the roof above is half-hipped. At the north end of the building, the northernmost post of the wall frame is in situ, and the tie beam is braced to it with a slightly ogival arch brace; the central stud is original, the other studs are later. It has a straight gable, the rafters meeting at the ridge. This, combined with empty mortises in the frame suggest that the building was once longer. The truss is lined internally in wide boards laid horizontally.

INTERIOR: for identification purposes the trusses are referred to numerically from the south-east to north-west (see Edwards, 2015). The trusses are of queen strut form and most also have, or had, a central strut. The roof is of clasped purlin construction, predominantly with curved wind braces, and is most complete on the northern face of the roof. Although the method of construction is not consistent through the building, the high proportion of early common rafters suggests that the trusses are not reused. The tie beam between the southern and next bay has been cut away to provide added headroom. The collar is slightly cambered and chamfered on both sides, with raking struts to each side. On the ground floor of the southern bay parallel axial beams have approximately 1 1/2 inch chamfers with plain run out stops and horizontally laid joists. The higher quality of finishes at the southern end of the building may denote that this section was intended as accommodation rather than agricultural use. In the third and fourth trusses the collars have been doubled, with two timbers laid side by side, apparently to strengthen the roof. Wind braces in the third bay are approximately 2 1/2 inches thick as opposed to 1 1/2 inches found elsewhere in the building. In the fifth truss, at the northern end of the current residential section, the principal posts have been replaced but studwork is in situ below the tie beam. The tie beam is numbered V and struts are numbered on both faces of the truss although not consecutively. Truss seven was originally closed between the tie beam and collar; it is now also closed below the tie beam but with later studwork.

Small barn, possibly an open-sided hay barn, now a stock shed. Pre-1840, possibly later C18 or early C19, with later alterations.

MATERIALS: timber-framed with modern metal roof cladding*.

PLAN AND STRUCTURE: the building is in three bays, aisled to the rear, open to the south-west and north-west and is built against the earlier building. It is shallower in depth than the earlier building but the rear walls are on the same alignment. Rear posts have straight braces and rest on tall concrete or brick bases and in the latter case have timber sole plates. The rear wall, on a brick plinth, has timber posts supporting the wallplate and studs between and is clad externally with wide horizontal boarding. The front posts, one of which is jowled, are also braced but the front of the building has been altered and repaired with reused and more recent timber. It has been suggested that it was built as a hay barn, which typically would be open-sided with deep, projecting eaves to protect the fodder from the weather and the posts set back from the frontage with distinctive brackets to support the wall plate (Roberts, 2011). The roof is half-hipped to the north, has raking struts to the eastern truss and queen struts to the western truss, clasped purlins and straight braces. Most of the common rafters are missing. The roof cladding is supported on a modern structure.

The C20 and C21 openings, fixtures and fittings in the brickwork are not of special interest. The C20 metal roof cladding, internal stairs and partitions protect and enclose the historic structure but do not themselves contribute to special interest.*

* Pursuant to s.1 (5A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (‘the Act’) it is declared that these aforementioned features are not of special architectural or historic interest.


In the medieval period the Manor of Michelmersh was in the possession of the Priory of St Swithun, Winchester and the farmhouse incorporates the solar wing of the Prior's manor house (dated by dendrochronology to 1231/2). The medieval grange included a hall, a chapel, gatehouses, a garden, a large home farm, a dovecote and a granary.

The main building (stables and accommodation) dates from at least the C16; attached to the north-west end of it is a late C18 or early C19 open-sided barn (calf shed). The size and plan of the larger building and lack of smoke blackening in the roof suggest this was an agricultural rather than domestic building, most probably a stable for riding horses, perhaps with accommodation on an upper level as was the case at the Prior's stables at Winchester Cathedral Close. However, it stands at some distance from the manor house and it is possible that the building may have been moved and rebuilt. There is evidence of reused timber in its construction, although the common rafters relating to its current location indicate that the trusses are original to it.

The Tithe map of c1840 shows the range of buildings, with a further range extending southwards at a right angle to it at the north-western end. They form the northern apex of a loose-knit yard where there was a range to the south-east of them. The map also indicates the farmhouse (listed at Grade II*), comprising the solar range to the south and the post-medieval range to the north, and to the west of it the substantial C18 aisled, staddle barn (also listed Grade II*). Other smaller detached buildings may represent granaries or piggeries.

The wider monastic site is designated a scheduled monument (NHLE 1001781) which extends to the south and east of the farmyard, to the west of Manor Farm Lane, and excluding the farmhouse and farm buildings. See also the Hampshire Archaeology and Historic Buildings Record (24456 and 54676).

Reasons for Listing

The former stables at Michelmersh Manor Farm, of C16 or earlier date, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Structural interest: an unusually large C16 or earlier timber-framed service building, potentially stabling for riding horses and accommodation associated with the medieval manor, and adapted in the post-medieval period;
* Plan: seven, apparently unheated, bays with an upper storey at the southern end;
* Date and rarity: one of a few standing later medieval service buildings associated with a rural monastic manor or grange;
* Historic interest: from the C13 the site was held by the Prior of Winchester; the farmhouse includes the C13 solar range (listed Grade II*);
* Archaeological interest and potential: the site of a significant medieval manor and grange, part of which is designated a scheduled monument;
* Group Value:one of a group of significant standing buildings dating from the C13 to C18 that reflect the continuity of occupation and status of the medieval and post-medieval manor and farm.

The attached late C18 or early C19 open-sided barn at Michelmersh Manor Farm is listed for the following principal reasons:
* Structural interest: a light-weight, open-sided, timber framed building, possibly a hay barn, later adapted as a stock shed;
* Rarity and survival: open-sided sheds or hay barns of this date are not common and are more susceptible to change than threshing barns;
*Group value: associated with the C18 aisled staddle barn (listed Grade II*) and the historic farmstead at a site with a long period of occupation from the C13 as a manor and grange.

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