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Long Barn at Vaynol Farm

A Grade II* Listed Building in Pentir, Gwynedd

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.2037 / 53°12'13"N

Longitude: -4.1906 / 4°11'26"W

OS Eastings: 253780

OS Northings: 369640

OS Grid: SH537696

Mapcode National: GBR 5M.22JB

Mapcode Global: WH546.LQNV

Entry Name: Long Barn at Vaynol Farm

Listing Date: 3 March 1966

Last Amended: 22 September 1997

Grade: II*

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 4184

Building Class: Agriculture and Subsistence

Location: The long barn stands at the centre of the Vaynol Farm buildings, the gable end facing the E approach drive. The farm lies to the N of Vaynol Old Hall.

County: Gwynedd

Town: Bangor

Community: Pentir

Community: Pentir

Locality: Vaynol Park

Traditional County: Caernarfonshire

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History

In the medieval period Vaynol was in the hands of the Bishops of Bangor. It eventually came into in the hands of the Williams family of Cochwillan and elsewhere, and was held until the last member died without issue in 1696.

The Long Barn is of two C17 phases. The first, of 1605, is substantiated by a datestone reading '1605/ W*W/D' over the barn doors on the S side, indicating that it was initiated by William Williams, and his second wife Dorothy Dymock. The second phase relates to its extension to the W in the 1660's (another, weathered, datestone reading 'Sr GW/P [?]' placed over the second S door). This refers to Sir Griffith Williams and his wife Penelope, daughter of Lord Bulkeley. The fine cupola was probably added in 1899, the date the clock was installed.

Exterior

The barn is built of local stone rubble, with a slate roof. It is 42m long and 9m wide, making it possibly the largest intact barn of this date in Wales, comparable in size to major estate barns of the same period in England. It is for a combination of uses, including hay barn, granary and stores. The thick, slightly battered walls have off-centre cambered headed doorways both sides, and 2 tiers of slit ventilators. The NE gable has a 2-light stone mullioned window, opening to an internal dovecote. The early date stone is placed over the doors. The mid C17 extension is of 2 storeys, including 3-light sliding sash granary windows; with the datestone below the right hand one. Adjoining on the N side is a small rubble enclosure with a rounded wall into which the stables, at right angles, were mucked out. The clock cupola stands on a raised hipped apron roof, and is boarded, with a corniced lower stage, arched lower openings to the upper stage, and a swept lead roof terminating in an iron weathervane.

Interior

The 9-bay interior is impressive, retaining the largely original roof structure, comprising tie and collar beam trusses with lapped vertical struts and 3 tiers of purlins. Stone flagged floor to the barn, and timber lintels over the wall vents. It is storeyed beyond the full height stone wall at the SW end, with roughly hewn ceiling beams and some cylindrical piers. A fine staircase rises to the 4-bay attic, echoing the main stair of Vaynol Old Hall, having turned balusters and pronounced newel finials; it is probably assembled from redundant parts of that staircase after it was moved in the late C17 remodelling of the Old Hall. The granary hoppers have been removed but the drive shaft remains. The original clock in the clocktower is still in use; manufactured by W Potts and Son of Leeds in 1899, and started on the 3rd of February of that year. Dove cote at the NE end.

Reasons for Listing

Graded II* as a well preserved and exceptionally impressive example of a large-scale sub-medieval barn, and for its group value among the listed buildings of Vaynol Park.

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