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List Entry Summary

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


List entry Number: 1271732



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

County: Northamptonshire

District: East Northamptonshire

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Ashton

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: II*

Date first listed: 13-Nov-1998

Date of most recent amendment: 17-Dec-2009

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: LBS

UID: 471655

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Building

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Reasons for Designation

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GV II* Range of farm buildings. 1900-01, with C20 internal alterations. By William Huckvale, architect, for Charles Rothschild.

MATERIALS: Coursed rock-faced limestone,occasionally snecked, with ashlar limestone dressings, three stone chimney stacks and thatch coverings to hipped and half-hipped roofs. Vernacular Revival style.

PLAN: Courtyard plan, arranged around a manure yard, with a U-shaped range forming the north, east and south sides, linking walls, a dovecote and storage building on the west side.

EXTERIOR: The L-shaped range has single storey six-bay wings to the north and south, which are linked to the main east range at their eastern ends. Their thatched roofs each have two louvred ventilators with thatched pyramidal caps. The east range has storied square pavilion-like end sections with pyramidal roofs, with lower single storey mid-sections linking the pavilions with the taller three part central section of the range. This has two outer bays and a centre bay with a half-hipped gable to both elevations, each with loft doors set below a three-light chamfer mullioned window. Above the gables, the main ridge has a louvred ventilation lantern with a pyramidal thatched roof and a weathervane. The courtyard-facing elevations contain the majority of the door and window openings. The north wing has five, two-light windows and a single split door, and was formerly a cowhouse. The south wing is similarly detailed, but has a split door and a two-light window opening to each of five loose boxes. The central east range has a single door and a three-light window to each of the single storey parts flanking the central range, which itself has a central three-light window below a pair of loft doors, flanked by doorways to either side, and a three-light window to the north side, a two-light window to the south side, together with a further split door to its right. The rear elevations of the north and south wings each have two, two-light mullioned windows, with their attached pavilions walls having one and two such windows respectively. The bay divisions are delineated by shallow sloping buttresses, as are the different sections of the rear elevation to the east range. The end pavilions have pyramidal thatched roofs and a pair of loft doors to the east wall above a central doorway. The lower mid-section to the north end has a single two-light window, with the taller central flanking bays each with a two-light mullioned eyebrow dormer. To the left of the half-hipped central gable is an attached tapered square stone chimney which rises through the eaves. A similar, but lower chimney is located to the left side of the east pavilion. To the west side of the courtyard is the combined dovecote and storage building and its flanking walls. This faces the centre of the east range, and is square on plan, with angle buttresses to the corners and doorways to the centre of its east and west walls. North and south walls each have a shallow four-light mullioned window, the former set below a wedge dormer window opening to the dovecote loft. The pyramidal thatched roof has a thatched hood above the entrance holes and perches of the dovecote. All of the window openings throughout the complex have leaded lights within iron casements. Either side of the dovecote are low enclosure walls which link it to the north and south wings, and which incorporate gateways to the yard. This is paved in limestone setts, and has drainage grilles and a central manure midden enclosed within a stone wall.

INTERIORS: The south wing comprises a series of loose boxes, behind which is a service passage accessed from a door in the west gable. This has feed hatches with sliding doors to the inner wall, and leads to a feed preparation area and workshop area within the south pavilion originally with powered fixed machinery, and still retaining a metal storage tank. There is a fixed ladder access to the loft area above. The north wing interior has been altered to accommodate later C20 cattle stalls, but retains the rear service passage. There is a separate room to the west end with a hearth and storage cupboards, and an external door to the west gable. The east range has a series of compartments accessed from five doorways. Three of these are located within the lofted central area and lead into former stable areas with some surviving stall partitions and manger racks. In this area is a separate tack room a hearth set at an angle, match boarded partitions with shelf brackets, and benching with a slot for drive belting which aligns with a slot in the ceiling through which belting extended into the loft floor above. There is an in-situ water pump below the bench, thought to have formed part of the building's water supply provided by the Mill (q.v.) and the Water Tower (q.v.) The loft floors above the central and pavilion ranges are linked by open timber walkways which extend over the stable areas in the single storey mid sections of the east range. The lofts have small metal cranes adjacent to the loft doors, and retain evidence of the belt drives for powered processing machinery in the form of a low boarded guard enclosure within the south bay of the tall central section and a shaft box for line shafting by a doorway at the north end. The central part of the loft also has an elaborate timber framework leading from a ground floor partitioned area to the ventilation lantern on the ridge. The dovecote has an open ground floor area with doors to front and rear wall, and match-boarded wall and ceiling surfaces. There is ladder access to the dovecote loft, which retains some low level nesting boxes.

HISTORY: The Home Farmbuildings form an important component of the new estate developed by Lord Rothschild at the behest of his son, Nathaniel Charles, and designed by the architect William Huckvale (1847-1936). Huckvale was required to design not only a house, but also an entire complement of estate buildings. The Rothschilds also became the first landowners in the country to provide their tenants with the luxury of both running filtered water and electricity, the latter generated by turbines housed in a former water mill below the village on the River Nene, from where water was pumped to a water tower and so to the estate buildings. Each cottage had a bath house and was placed in a large garden planted with a lilac, a laburnum and fruit trees. Huckvale worked mainly for the Rothschilds and designed a number of buildings for their Tring Park and Aston Clinton estates. The quality of his work is reflected in the 42 listed buildings he already has to his name, 13 in Tring and 29 on the Ashton Estate. The Home Farm, with its associated Dairy, Cartshed and Cowman's Cottage formed a showpiece ensemble - a fusion of ferme orne and model farm sited in the picturesque setting of a woodland clearing. It has long since ceased to function as a working unit, and is now used mostly for storage purposes.

SOURCES Map accompanying Conveyance of Ashton Estate to Lionel Rothschild (1860), Northamptonshire Record Office 5173. Map of Ashton Wold (c1901), in Ashton Wold House. Ordnance Survey maps 1886, 1900, 1926. Rothschild, Miriam, The Rothschild Gardens (1996), 82-107 & 169. 'The Hon. Nathaniel Rothschild', obituary in The Times, 15 October 1923. S. Wade-Martin, The English Model Farm, 2002.


Home Farm is designated at Grade II* for the following principal reasons:

* ARCHITECTURE: It is of exceptional architectural interest for the high quality of its design which reflects the vernacular building traditions of the region, and for the level of craftmanship evident in the working of the materials chosen for its construction.

* HISTORY: Home Farm is of special historic interest as a key element of a newly-created model estate developed by the internationally significant Rothschild family during a period of agricultural depression which had signalled the end of farnstead development elsewhere in England.

* COMPLETENESS: Home Farm is exceptionally complete, having suffered no external alteration, changes in building materials or extension, having retained evidence of the original interior fixtures and fittings, and with little significant change to its woodland clearing setting.

* GROUP VALUE: Home Farm has high group significance as part of the development of the Ashton estate's buildings, which share a common architectural vocabulary and the same palette of building materials, and which were all designed for the Rothschild family by the architect William Huckvale.

Selected Sources

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National Grid Reference: TL 08957 87934, TL 08969 87931, TL 08973 87912


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End of official listing