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Stockyard III, Leighton Farm

A Grade II* Listed Building in Forden with Leighton and Trelystan (Ffordun gyda Tre'r-llai a Threlystan), Powys

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.6399 / 52°38'23"N

Longitude: -3.1215 / 3°7'17"W

OS Eastings: 324208

OS Northings: 305270

OS Grid: SJ242052

Mapcode National: GBR B1.6N5G

Mapcode Global: WH79Q.0XV2

Entry Name: Stockyard III, Leighton Farm

Listing Date: 20 March 1998

Last Amended: 20 March 1998

Grade: II*

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 19512

Building Class: Agriculture and Subsistence

Location: On the W side of Leighton Farm with a farm road on N and W sides. On E side is Stockyard II and Hay Storage Building; to S are further stockhouses.

County: Powys

Town: Forden

Community: Forden with Leighton and Trelystan (Ffordun gyda Tre'r-llai a Threlystan)

Community: Forden with Leighton and Trelystan

Locality: Leighton Farm

Traditional County: Montgomeryshire

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History

Early 1850s and probably designed by the Liverpool architect W.H. Gee for John Naylor's Leighton Farm, the model farm of the Leighton Estate. It was built contemporary with Stockyards I and II. John Naylor had acquired the Leighton Estate in 1846-47 and embarked on an ambitious programme of building, principally Leighton Hall, church and Farm, which was largely completed by the mid 1850s. Naylor continued to extend and improve the Estate until his death in 1889. His grandson, Captain J.M. Naylor, sold the Estate in 1931, when Leighton Farm was bought by Montgomeryshire County Council.

Leighton Farm was a model farm where rational farming methods were employed using techniques derived from science and industry. It was characteristic of its period but especially notable for its scale. Apart from the rationalisation of farm design, its principal aims were to provide better shelter for livestock and fodder, the recycling of manure as fertiliser, and mechanisation, principally in the form of turbines and hydraulic rams.

The main farm complex is roughly square in plan and enclosed by perimeter roads (although important buildings were added beyond it). The farm was a piecemeal development but it is structured either side of a central E-W axis in which a threshing barn was built with hay and fodder storage buildings either side of it, all of which were linked by a broad gauge railway. On the N and S sides of this axis stockyards were built, served by 2 N-S service roads in addition to the perimeter roads. By 1849 4 small yards (Stockyard IV) had been built S of the Threshing Barn with a Stable fronting the road, these 3 elements forming the central block of buildings. On the E and W sides, fronting the road to the S, houses were built (on the W side with an office and further livestock sheds behind). After 1849 3 stockyards (Stockyards I, II, III) were built on the N side of the main axis. By 1855 there had been additions beyond the perimeter road, with the building of a Mill and Pig and Sheep houses (which enclose 2 further stockyards) on the N side and a further stock shed with yard on the W side. In the late 1850s a Sheep-Drying Shed and a further Fodder Storage Building in line with the main E-W axis had been added, followed by a Root Shed at the south-east corner of the complex in the 1860s.

The buildings were carefully designed to achieve a strong visual impact when approached from the roads to the N or W. The landscape was carefully controlled so that Leighton Farm could not be seen from the main Buttington to Forden road to W, alongside which was a mixed woodland plantation. The main entrance to the farm was intended to be from the N side where there is an imposing gateway and lodge beside the church. The pig and sheep houses in particular create a grand facade when approached from the N, but Stockyards I and II, the Fodder Storage Buildings, Stable and Poolton at the south-west corner, are all designed to impress when viewed from the outside.

Exterior

Consisting of a yard bounded by a curved cow shed on the N and W side which culminates to S in a hay shed which has an E wing, forming S end of yard. (The E side is defined by the W range of Stockyard II.) Of brick with slate roofs, on a random rubble plinth. The yard is entered from N side through full-height corrugated-iron doors. To the yard the cow house is open-sided with timber posts on concrete bases (now partly boarded up). The hay shed to the S has coped gables on moulded kneelers. To the yard it has 2 round-headed doorways with boarded doors, while its E wing has 2 similar doorways (one infilled) and an inserted full-height opening on E side. To W, facing the farm road, the hay shed has a central coped gablet which has a round-headed doorway above the plinth, and a boarded door with weatherboarding above. Flanking the doorway are 2 blind windows under segmental heads each side. (The hay shed and its W wing have skylights.)

The yard has a central dividing wall of brick which is continuous with the N wall of the hay shed. On S side of dividing wall the yard is laid with blue bricks.

Interior

The cow house and hay shed have king-post roofs with raking struts. The cow house is divided into bays by brick partition walls. The boarded doors in the hay shed slide on horizontal runners.

Reasons for Listing

The Leighton Estate is an exceptional example of high-Victorian estate development. It is remarkable for the scale and ambition of its conception and planning, the consistency of its design, the extent of its survival, and is the most complete example of its type in Wales. Leighton Farm is one of the principal foci of this development and is a Victorian model farm of national importance, representing the pioneering use of new technology, displaying a highly-structured layout and achieving an impressive architectural unity. Listed Grade II*, Stockyard III is an integral part of the farm complex and has well-detailed buildings retaining their early character.

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