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Listed Building
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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Vale of White Horse (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SU 23531 93562


COLESHILL SU2393 Courtleaze Farm 6/70 Buildings and attached gatepiers and rickyard walls GV II*

Model farm for Coleshill House, now workshops, store rooms and offices. c1850-54 for the 2nd Earl of Radnor; designed by E.W. Moore (agent to the Earl), plans drawn by G. Lamb, builders W. Pedley followed by E. Streeter. C19 and C20 alterations; converted late C20 for the National Trust.

Rubblestone with ashlar dressings; red brick, some with blue brick headers in Flemish bond, some in rat trap bond. Stone slate roofs survive to sheep yard buildings and workshops; otherwise Welsh slate, some replaced by corrugated asbestos.

The plan of the farm makes use of the sloping and split-level site, and was worked progressively from the higher to the lower levels (ie from east to west). At the east end is a large rick yard, having a subterranean wagon house at its north-west corner; along south side a workshop range for wheelwright, mason and sawyer; across its west end a long range comprising from north to south, sheds; root and straw store with barn over; nag stable and gig house with bailiff's office, wool room and carpenters' workshop over (this section now National Trust offices). To west of this range are 2 yards, the north yard being the former poultry yard; the south yard divided into a cowyard (to west) and stable yard (to east). Each yard is surrounded by buildings. The poultry yard on the north side has a range of stables, tool store and shoeing shed, and forge and kitchen with boys room over; on the west side are cattle sheds fronted by yards, with a fatting cattle range behind; on the south side is the piggery range and straw barn with granary over (which is attached to the root store/barn). The piggery range forms also the north side of the cow yard, having pig yards on that side; the west side of the cow yard is a bull house with the cattle fatting range behind; and on the south side is a range of dairy cow stalls and cow boxes with calf pens and hay house at east end. To west of the poultry and cow yards and the adjoining buildings is a sheep yard. This has a covered manure pit to the centre of the east side, and opposite this a fatting sheep house from which open-fronted sheds extend to line the rest of the curve-cornered yard. There are entrances into the poultry yard at its north-east corner with gatepiers on roadside attached to rickyard walls; to the stable yard on the south; and to the sheep yard at the south-west corner. Food was taken from the main root store/barn to the animals by means of a tram system which utilised the sloping ground.

The farm buildings which are built of stone have quoins; chamfered quoined surrounds to openings, the windows with chamfered mullions and small-pane glazing; moulded kneelers; stone copings with finials; and stone ridges. The brick buildings have segmental brick-arched openings. The open-fronted sheds have iron columns on chamfered padstones.

The Rickyard walls are approximately 2 metres high with stone coping; there are 2 entrances on the east side, into which the walls curve ending in brick quoins; there are steps down to the lower-level road at the south-west corner and into the lower poultry yard at the north-west corner; the workshop range is partly open-fronted; the subterranean wagon house has 5 brick round-arched entrances to barrel-vaulted chambers and lean-to sheds against west side. The root store/barn has slit vents in north gable; board doors and windows of 2 and 3 lights to east and west sides; attached engine house of brick in rat-trap bond on east side; and louvred octagonal turret with swept metal spire and weather vane. The straw barn/granary is in similar style; as also the nag stable and gig house office/workshop over, although this now has some late C20 glazed doors, it also has a glass-roofed ridge louvre, a brick stack and a stone stack, and to its south (road) side three 3-light windows with hoodmoulds. The stable range (on north side of poultry yard) is possible older, surviving from a previous, C18, model farm on the site; it is of rubblestone with brick dressings; of 4:1:4 bays having single-storey wings flanking taller central gabled bay with attic; and having alternately doors and windows, the wings with ridge louvres; 2 ashlar stacks. The adjoining range (to east) formerly had open-fronted tool shed and shoeing bays, these now with C20 horizontal boarding, doors and windows. The former forge and kitchen block is of brick in Flemish bond with stone to the more visible rear and right return elevations; it has blocked door and window on left, door on right, and central ashlar ridge stack. The cattle shed yards on west side of poultry yard are brick-walled, the sheds open- fronted. The piggery range is of brick in rat-trap bond, it has glass- roofed ridge louvres; the 6 pig yards on the south side have low round- topped brick walls and round-arched entries into boxes behind. The dairy cow range is also of brick, with similar ridge louvre, but its more visible south (road) side is of stone with 2-light windows and central gabled bay. The gateways into poultry yard, stable yard and sheep yard have square ashlar piers with chamfered piers, strings, moulded pyramidal capstones, and board gates. In the sheep yard the covered manure pit has superstructure comprising low brick wall on stone plinth carrying iron columns which support hipped roof. Behind it, the range of fatting cattle boxes has continuous ridge louvre. The sheep fatting house is of 3:1:3 bays, having single-storey wings flanking central 2-storey gabled bay. Some sections of the originally open-fronted attached sheds have been walled across.

Interiors: some traces of tramways. Roofs have wooden braced king-post trusses, except for the root store/barn which has collared queen-post trusses, the posts set well apart to give good clearance. Some machinery gearing survives in the barn.

Advanced features of this model farm were the large pig-fattening unit designed with central feeding access; such large-scale provision for sheep; the steam boilers for preparing feed; the covered midden; the tramway system with turntable unit linking side feed passages to the central store; the slatted floor originally in the fatting sheep house; and the ventilation of the granary through wall gratings.

The Builder, xii (1854), pp 653-5. National Trust leaflet, Coleshill Model farm (1985). E. J. Weller, Coleshill Model Farm, Oxfordshire. Past, Present, Future (1980).

Listing NGR: SU2353193562


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Coleshill Model farm, (1985)
Weller, E J , Coleshill Model Farm Oxfordshire Past Present and Future, (1980)
'The Builder' in The Builder, , Vol. 12, (1854), 653 655


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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