A C17 vernacular farmhouse of stone and brick with extensions and alterations of the later C17 and C18.
Reasons for Designation
The farmhouse at Seddon’s Fold, a C17 farmhouse with extensions of the later C17 and C18, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
*Date and rarity: as an example of a substantially complete pre-1700 house including the timber roof structure and internal partitions with wattle-and-daub and lath-and-plaster infill.
*Evidence of change: in the addition of C17 and C18 extensions, cellars and internal features including chimneys and staircases.
*Group value: as the principal building of a group including the Seddon’s Fold barn (NHLE 1309621), byre (NHLE 1067301) and stable (NHLE 1356801) that together with the farmhouse comprise a rare example of a pre-1750 multi-building historic farmstead, which dates back as far as the C15 and is still in use.
The farm at Seddon Fold dates to at least the mid to late C16 (the earliest reference to a member of the Seddon family living at Prestolee is from 1553), and the cruck barn was erected at the S end of the site in the late C15 or early C16. In the early C17 a two-storey house was constructed to the N, comprising a heated housebody to the W with unheated rooms to the E and on the first floor. The first bay of a cellar accessed from the NE room and extending across the E half of the N wall appears to be contemporary with this first phase. In the mid to late C17 an additional wing comprising one room on each floor was built onto the E half of the N side of the house (above this cellar room), and in the same period fireplaces were inserted to the ground floor SE room (hereafter referred to as the parlour) and to the room above the housebody (the master bedroom). In the early to mid-C18 the house extension was enlarged to the N by a further room on each floor with a further cellar beneath. Later in the century a staircase was inserted into the housebody and a first-floor fireplace added over the parlour. In the early C19 the S wall of the house was refronted in brick, probably at the same time as the sides of the fireplace in the housebody were removed to create a through-passage with N and S doors. A high status two-storey extension was also added to the W wall of the original house, comprising one large heated room and an unheated room (probably containing a stair) on the ground floor and one large heated room at first floor. This range was never connected with the main house and might have served as a function suite. In the late C19 a two storey lean-to was added to the NE corner of this extension, later forming part of a separate dwelling together with the E end of the function suite, while the W end of the function suite also became a dwelling. A chimney stack was also inserted in the NE corner of the C18 extension. During the C20 the ground floor of the W end of the function suite became a garage accessed through the W gable, and a single storey lean-to porch was added to the W wall of the northern extensions. In approximately 1990 the local planning authority erected structural scaffolding to the house and boarded the roof with ply and felt. Early in the C21, the partial collapse of the C19 function suite and lean-to was followed by almost total removal of these elements.
Farmhouse, C17 with extensions of the later C17 and C18, vernacular.
MATERIALS: timber framed with stone and brick walls and stone slate roofs.
PLAN: a double-pile house facing S with two bays of two storeys plus attic and to the N two, single-room two-storey extensions. The house is considered to have been of baffle/lobby entry plan with the entrance at the SW corner and stairs in the NW corner.
EXTERIOR: the farmhouse is the principal building forming the northern side of a farmstead also comprising a cruck-barn (qv), byre (qv) and stable (qv), occupying the highest point at the W end of a tongue of land formed by the westernmost meander of the River Irwell, where it is joined by the River Croal.
S elevation: the original farmhouse is largely walled in soft machine-made red bricks in English Garden Wall bond with headers every sixth course. There is an entrance at the left, with segmental arched head and some stonework to the jamb and quoins above. To the right are a first floor window opening and a wider ground floor one, with wide stone sills. Further to the right the wall has largely collapsed, exposing the corner chimney breast, but it appears to have been stone-built in this area and retains the stone-built left hand jamb of a former parlour window. Attached to the left are the partial remains of a former two-storey, four-bay early C19 brick extension*, which is not included in the listing.
W return: The former W gable of the later extension* has been removed exposing the interior; set back above this is the W gable of the original farmhouse of squared coursed sandstone, partially concealed by brickwork and plaster. The copings are missing and the verge rafters are exposed. Set back again is the W elevation of the rear extension constructed of squared coursed buff sandstone, obscured at ground floor by a rendered lean-to extension with sheet metal roof*. At first floor there is a central straight vertical joint indicating the extent of the first extension, with alternating quoins to the right of this joint. Above this is a brick chimney stack with C19 pot. Each bay has a modern two-light timber casement window; the left hand one appears to be inserted within a larger opening, with vertical straight joints to either side. The left hand angle has alternating quoins.
Rear elevation: To the right the ground floor of the early C19 extension is not included. At the left the NW corner of the original farmhouse has been partially taken down, exposing blockwork over a modern steel lintel to a through-passage N door. Above the blockwork is a stone lintel and a straight vertical joint below this suggests the location of a former window opening. To the left of the through-passage door jamb is a window opening with projecting sill and hood mould above the lintel; the left jamb is incomplete, and to the left a later lean-to extension obscures the wall. Above this window is a square modern casement timber window with rendered sill and concrete lintel. Immediately to the left of this first-floor window is a small square blocked window, probably the former stair light, with square arched lintel. The E part of this elevation is obscured by the C17 and C18 rear extensions. The N wall of the latter is blind, of diminishing coursed sandstone. One long stone approximately a metre above ground level may be a lintel, possibly relating to the cellar. The gable appears partially rebuilt and has been patched with cement pointing and render at the verges, which overhang. To the left a C19 first-floor brick corner stack has been removed exposing the inner wall of the flue.
E return: this comprises three bays of coursed sandstone with vertical joints between each. The left, gabled, bay forms the E elevation of the original farmhouse and has a central attic window, two first floor windows and a ground floor window to the right. The attic window is three lights with stone sill, lintel, jambs and mullions; timber casements have been inserted. The right hand first floor window has stone sill, lintel and jambs but concrete mullions, possibly with stone behind. The left hand window has a structural timber frame and no stone dressings. The ground floor window retains its stone surround and mullions with historic small paned timber casements. This elevation has vertical shoring retained by scaffolding projecting through the windows and wall. The centre and right bays each have a window at ground and first floor. The centre bay has alternating quoins at the right hand side and a central window at each level. These each have vertical stone jambs with concrete sills; the lower one also has a concrete lintel but the upper lintel is stone. The ground floor window of the right hand bay is offset to the left; these two each have concrete lintel and sill, and stone-built jambs. The proportions indicate that all four windows in these extensions were once three-light mullioned windows but the current windows are three-light timber storm-proofed casements.
The roofs are all of diminishing stone flags with ridge pieces. The S pitch of the house has temporary ply boarding now very deteriorated and patched with metal sheeting. Rafter feet project all around and are concealed by bargeboards.
Original farmhouse: timber-framed partitions with wattle-and-daub nogging and some lath-and-plaster, and stone flag floor. The roof is of truss construction with a tie beam and raking struts; some timbers are reused cruck blades. Diamond-set ridge purlins with three rows of side purlins to the house and two rows of side purlins to the extension, which is hipped into the N pitch with its ridge at the level of the first purlin of the house. The rafters are all of machine-sawn softwood. Beams are chamfered with stops, some being underdrawn by planks and partially concealed by plaster. A through-passage occupies the position of the former hearth but the former bressumer beam survives, supported by jowelled posts carved with horizontal mouldings, and at the S end by a cast iron column with capital. There are C17 stone fireplaces in the parlour (SE ground floor room) and the master bedroom (W first floor room), and inserted late C18 stairs and door architraves. Blocked windows are found at ground and first floor in the W wall. The N wall of the NE room has an inbuilt cupboard which may be a blocked window, with vertical boarded doors with strap hinges.
At the NW base of this wall is the entrance to a cellar, with a flight of stone steps with a timber arched lintel. The cellar comprises three chambers: at the foot of the steps is a stone chamber with a vaulted roof running E-W; to the E of this is another chamber, inaccessible at the time of survey but appearing to extend the full width of the extension and to have a stone E wall; to the N is a third chamber, comprising a vault of hand-made brick (possibly of two phases) running N-S and divided lengthways off-centre, the W half having sloping flag floor draining to a central outlet and thought to function as an ice-house. The division originally stopped to create a linking doorway adjacent to the N wall; this is now infilled, the infill cutting across a barred window opening with large stone dressings. To the right of this is a niche, possible a former doorway, now blind and blocked by an additional brick skin up to the height of the base of the roof.
Rear extensions: stone flag floors and an inserted stone fireplace, a stair ascending from W-E on the N wall and plaster cornice above. The first floor was not inspected.
* The former extension abutting the west gable is very fragmentary and the lean-to extension against the west elevation is modern and functional. They are not included in the listing.