Old Hall Farmhouse


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:
Statutory Address:
Brightholmlee Lane, Brightholmlee, Bradfield, South Yorkshire


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Statutory Address:
Brightholmlee Lane, Brightholmlee, Bradfield, South Yorkshire

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

Sheffield (Metropolitan Authority)
National Grid Reference:


Farmhouse. 1484 cruck building, encased in stone in C17, C17 extension to form a second house of similar size, late-C17 parlour block. Shaped and coursed gritstone, stone slate roofs.

Reasons for Designation

Old Hall Farmhouse, Brightholmlee, of 1484, C17, and late C17, is listed at Grade II* for the following principal reasons: * Date: the cruck blades of the original building have been dendro-dated (scientific tree-ring dating) to a felling date of 1484 when Richard III was on the throne; this late-C15 date is a significant addition to understanding cruck-framed construction in the region and in demonstrating the presence of a substantial yeoman house in Brightholmlee at an early date; * Development: this evolved vernacular building has clearly identifiable phases demonstrating its social development and the changes in living standards which have remained remarkably intact with little intervention since limited changes in the C19; * Architectural interest: the addition of a late-C17 stone parlour block with large, double-chamfered cross-windows and comfortable, plastered and heated ground and first-floor rooms is an uncommon addition to a yeoman house and indicates a desire by the owners to be seen as socially superior; * Interior: there is a particularly good survival of original features including a plank and muntin cross wall, chamfered and stopped beams and joists relating to the flooring of the previously open hall, corbelled stone fireplace, plank and muntin wall and large, panelled cupboard in the C17 extension, and eight-panelled doors, fireplaces with hob grates and timber and stone chimneypieces, large, panelled cupboard and small spice cupboard in the late-C17 parlour block; * Materials: Old Hall Farmhouse is a vernacular building that demonstrates clear regional and local characteristics using local gritstone and cruck-framed construction, a construction technique that has a particularly marked regional distribution.


The original house is a cruck-framed building. Dendro-dating of the two intact cruck blades gives a felling date of 1484 indicating Old Hall was built when Richard III was on the throne. The eastern cruck and collar-beam show signs of smoke blackening. This indicates that the building was single storey in construction and suggests a smoke hood at the east end with a fire window in the south wall, which is early for this date. The alternative is that the original timber-framed building extended further eastwards. A purlin is visible externally in the plastered east gable wall, which combined with the spacing of the cruck frames, perhaps indicates this. The original position of the doorway is unclear, but may have been a gable entry no longer evident. In the C17 the house was encased in stone with two gables to the front elevation, indicating that a first-level floor was inserted at this time. On the ground floor two rooms were formed by the insertion of a plank and muntin cross wall beneath the western cruck, with a staircase in the western room. A timber cross wall was also inserted above on the first floor to form two rooms. At an unknown date a stone fire stack was built, perhaps to replace the smoke hood.

Later in the C17 the building was extended westwards with the construction of a two-storey extension. The extension has a similarly sized floor plan as the original house and appears to have formed a second house. An interconnecting doorway in the dividing cross wall suggests the occupants of the two houses were related. The original doorway for the second house was gable entry next to a smoke hood at the west end, now a window. A stone cross wall divided it into two equally sized rooms.

In the late C17 a two-storey and attic parlour block was built against the north-east corner of the east gable wall of the original house and extending northwards. It was only accessible internally from within the house.

The early owners of Old Hall Farmhouse are not known for certain, although a manorial survey of 1637 mentions a family named Thompson, who are contenders. The left gable apex to the front elevation is said to have had the inscribed initials RT which may indicate that the Thompsons were the improvers of the original house, though the initials are no longer legible. The same survey mentions a sub-divided tenement with each tenant paying half the rental, although the exact location of this building is unclear.

In the C18 the access changed for both houses with front doors and adjoining ground-floor windows being inserted in their front, south elevations. The doorway for the original house was centralised and an earlier doorway of unknown date to the far left of the elevation was partially blocked to form a window. In the C17 house the eastern ground-floor room was excavated to enable the formation of two mirrored cellars and the ground-floor room above was subdivided by a brick and timber cross wall, now partially removed, which removed the internal access between the two houses.

During the C18 two partially-aisled barns were also built on the roadside in front of the house, forming a small yard between them and the house. In the C19 several outbuildings were built including an open-fronted shelter shed built against the south gable of the parlour block, and a group comprising a wash-house and a first-floor earth closet, and two donkey stables or pig sties.


Farmhouse. 1484 cruck building, encased in stone in C17, C17 extension to form a second house of similar size, late-C17 parlour block. Shaped and coursed gritstone, stone slate roofs.

PLAN: linear plan with original single-storey cruck house of 1484 encased in C17 to form a house of one-and-a-half storeys and two rooms, to the left C17 house of two storeys and two rooms, attached to the right rear corner a taller two-storey-and-attic parlour block. Original house and C17 house have blind rear walls. Lean-to, open-fronted shelter shed in return between east gable wall of house and set-back south gable wall of the parlour block. EXTERIOR: the front, south elevation of the original house is of three bays with two two-storey gables to the first and second bays and a single storey to the third bay. It is built of squared and coursed stone blocks with a stone-flagged roof which extends low over the third bay. To the far left of the first gabled bay is a part-blocked former doorway with a quoined surround with single chamfer, now with an inserted casement window. To its right is a small, square, single-chamfered light. The entrance doorway is in the second gabled bay and has a four-panelled door with ashlar surround. To its right is a three-light, rectangular window with a square-cut surround, now with one recessed stone mullion (originally two) and casement frames. The third bay has a tall, rectangular, single-chamfered light. The two gables both have three-light, rectangular windows with double-chamfered surrounds on the first floor; the second mullion to each window has been removed and both have casement frames. All window frames are timber with diamond-leaded glazing. The apex of the first gable has an inverted heart or spade-shaped sunken panel. To the left of the gable ridge is a small, rendered stack. At the right-hand end of the main roof is a tall, ashlar, corniced, ridge stack.

The C17 house attached to the left is taller with two full storeys and two widely-spaced first-floor bays. It is built of squared and coursed stone blocks with a drip-mould string between the ground and first floors. The entrance doorway is placed left of centre and has a boarded door and square-faced surround. To the left is a two-light window in a square-faced surround and stone mullion. The remains of the window frame show it to be a timber casement with small-pane glazing. To the right are two three-light, double-chamfered mullion windows with fixed glazing and vertical iron window bars. On the first floor to the left is a four-light, double-chamfered window with two mullions remaining. The glazing to the left two lights is a timber casement with small-pane glazing, to the third light is diamond-leaded glazing, and the fourth light is now unglazed, with a vertical iron window bar. To the right is a similar, three-light window missing the stone mullions, with a timber casement window frame. Both windows were extended by inserting an extra light with square-cut surrounds at the right-hand end, which are now both re-blocked. To the left-hand side, the west gable wall has damaged kneelers and gable coping, with an ashlar end stack.

The parlour block set back to the right has a blind south gable wall with the ground-floor level obscured by the later, lean-to, open-fronted shed. It is built of squared and coursed stonework with an elaborate ashlar end stack with coupled square flues on a shouldered plinth, linking moulded bands and cornice. The roof is of Welsh slate. The east wall and north gable wall have a drip-mould string between the ground and first floors, over the first-floor windows, and the gable has one over the attic window. On the ground floor the east wall has a double-chamfered, cross-window set to the right of centre, now missing the transoms (presently boarded up), with a smaller, double-chamfered, three-light window above on the first floor, missing the mullions (presently boarded up). The rear, north elevation is partially obscured by a brick lean-to which belongs to the adjoining property. It has a blocked, double-chamfered, cross-window towards the left-hand side of the ground floor. Above, on the first floor, is a small, square, double-chamfered light, and at attic level there is a centrally-placed, double-chamfered, two-light window. The gable is coped.

The lean-to shelter shed to the east of the original house has a central stone block pier and stone outer wall with a lean-to stone slate roof.

INTERIOR: the original house has two cruck frames with collars. On the ground floor in line with the west cruck is a timber plank and muntin cross wall with a doorway adjacent to the front wall of the house. The main east room has a chamfered and stopped spine beam morticed into an eastern, chamfered bressumer beam. The spine beam supports closely spaced, chamfered and stopped floor joists. There is an iron range in the centre of the east wall. To its immediate left is a boarded door opening onto a timber staircase rising to the first floor of the parlour block. To its left is a passageway leading into the ground floor of the parlour block. The main window has folding timber shutters. The west room has coppers in a brick base with a narrow brick stack, and a shallow stone sink beneath the windows. At the rear of the room is a larder with a ventilated timber wall and a board door, stone slab tables and wooden hanging brackets. Adjacent, in the north-east corner is a timber dog-leg staircase behind a board door. A doorway, with board door, on the left-hand side of the west wall leads through into the C17 house. The two first-floor rooms are ceiled.

The C17 house has two ground-floor rooms separated by a stone cross wall. The east room has two chamfered lateral beams supporting square-cut joists. The floor level has been raised to accommodate two mirror-image cellars, each with a flight on stone steps down to the cellar and another shorter flight up to the ground floor, which is sub-divided by a brick and timber cross wall, now partially removed. The east room formed has a timber balustrade with turned newel post with ball finial separating the flights of steps. Both cellars also have wooden balustrades with turned balusters above the cellar steps. The cellars have stone slab tables and stone flag floors. The west room has a bressumer beam supporting two lateral beams and a corbelled stone fireplace against the west wall with a blocked bread oven on the right-hand side. Against the east wall is a flight of timber stairs, enclosed by a timber plank and muntin wall. Set into the timber wall is a board door to the stairs, and to its left a large timber panelled cupboard with a rectangular aperture in the door. The two first-floor rooms are divided by a timber plank cross wall. Both were ceiled, but partial collapse in the west room has exposed the roof structure of common rafters with ridge and two purlins. Against the west wall is the stone chimneybreast. In front is a cross beam with king post and four mortices indicating the position of a former smoke hood.

The parlour block has a large room on the ground and first floors with plastered ceilings and plastered beams. The attic room was not inspected as it was not accessible. The first-floor room and attic room are reached by a wooden spiral staircase in the south-west corner, opening off the east room of the original house. The ground-floor room has an eight-panelled door with an adjacent panelled cupboard with butterfly hinges. There is a fireplace in the centre of the south wall of the two main floors. The ground-floor fireplace has a timber chimneypiece and mantel shelf and cast-iron hob grate, with a small spice cupboard to the left of the chimneybreast. The first-floor room has an eight-panelled door and a fireplace with a moulded stone chimneypiece with a stone hob grate.


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Old Hall Farmhouse, Brightholmlee, Bradfield, South Yorkshire: Interim Summary of the Dendrochronological Analysis. English Heritage Scientific Dating Team. Alison Arnold and Robert Howard, May 2014.,


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

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 21 May 2000
Reference: IOE01/01854/28
Rights: Copyright IoE Mrs Barbara A West. Source Historic England Archive
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