Early Wing at Brook Hall, Wiltshire

Built as lodgings in the 15th century, the Early Wing at Brook Hall was converted into cowsheds in the 18th century. With the walls once more stable, the roof repaired and the supportive structural scaffolding removed, the owners are planning to return the building to a similar use to the one it was built for.

Where: Brokerswood, Wiltshire

Years on register: 1998 - 2018

 

Photo of Early Wing at Brook Hall in 2012. The facade is covered in scaffolding.
Emergency propping scaffolding went up in in 2002 and 2012 (shown) © Historic England

The oldest part of a large 15th-century complex

The early wing at Brook Hall is a Grade I listed medieval Lodging Range. It forms part of a group of buildings around a courtyard that also includes a Grade II listed farmhouse. It's the most significant surviving part of a large late-15th-century complex and predates all the standing buildings now around it.

The range was built as domestic quarters. It provided three separate lodging accommodations, each with its own entrance from the courtyard. The range was probably converted to full agricultural use in the 18th century. By the 1870’s the ground floor was a cowshed and the first floor used for storing and maturing cheese.

See Brook Hall on the National Heritage List

Over time, significant structural movement lead to cracks and a loss of bonding in the masonry of the south and west walls. Historic England has been involved in the building for over 20 years and started monitoring the movement in 1998.

Statutory powers used to get structural support in place

In 2002 the Local Authority used its statutory powers to ensure that shoring scaffolding was put up to provide essential structural support. This was extended in 2012 as the building continued to deteriorate.

Photo of Early Wing at Brook Hall in 2017. The windows are missing and doors look precarious.
In 2017 work was complete on stabilising the building, but further work had to stop due to roosting bats. © Historic England

How we made a difference

In 2014 the Lodging Range and surrounding buildings came under new ownership. Historic England worked closely with the new owners developing proposals for the building’s full repair and a viable future use. We knew the building well and could provide specialist knowledge about the repairs needed and a grant to address the conservation deficit.

Repairs and return to original use

Early in 2017 works began on site to repair the envelope of the Lodging Range, which were completed in spring 2018. The walls are now stable, the roof repaired and recovered and the long-standing supportive structural scaffolding has been removed. Due to the poor condition of the building, Historic England grant- aided its repair.

The owners are planning to convert the Lodging Range to holiday accommodation, giving the building a similar use to that for which it was originally built.

 

Photo of Early Wing at Brook Hall in 2018 with the repair work complete.
Early Wing, Brook hall was removed from the Heritage at Risk Register in 2018 © Historic England

20 years of the Heritage at Risk Register

This year we are celebrating 20 years of the Heritage at Risk Register, Historic England’s tool for shining a light on the listed buildings and places in England that need the most help. Looking back over the last 20 years, huge progress has been made in saving our heritage and giving it new uses.

See more of our top 20 heritage rescues

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