Early to mid-C17 timber framed house.
Reasons for Designation
19 The Leys, an early to mid-C17 timber-framed house, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural interest: the timber frame is substantially complete and represents a significant proportion of the building’s original fabric;
* Historic interest: it is a well preserved early to mid-C17 timber-framed house and its earliest plan form as a probable two-bay dwelling remains legible.
19 The Leys probably originated as a two-bay, timber-framed dwelling with a third, brick bay added at a later date. According to the Hathern Local History Society, the date ‘1668’ is carved on one of the first-floor timbers, although the substantial spine beams and the timber-framed firehood supported by a substantial bressumer suggests a date of construction in the early to mid-C17. The house is thought to have been a smallholding. It is shown on the Ordnance Survey maps of 1884, 1901 and 1921 as having a long rectangular plan with three separate outbuildings to the south and east which no longer exist. The north-east bay of the house may originally have been the service end as it is partitioned to form two rooms. Certainly at a much later date the smaller one, which was possibly used as a larder, has been whitewashed and fitted with shelving, and it has a small window with metal bars and gauze.
Until recently 19 The Leys consisted of three bays with a single-storey extension on the south-west end and attached single-storey outbuildings on the north-east end. These outbuildings were constructed of handmade brick and probably dated to the late C18 or early C19. They were demolished, along with the south-west bay, in 2016 revealing the timber frame in the process. On what is now the south-west end bay, the mortices for joists have been revealed in the bridging beam. As joists are usually inserted in the spine beam, these mortices indicate that the now demolished third bay was probably a later addition.
Early to mid-C17 timber-framed house.
MATERIALS: pegged timber framing of square panels with infill of earth daub on a wattle framework, supported on a deep rubble stone plinth, and covered in pebbledash render. Roof covering of concrete tiles.
PLAN: the two-bay house has a rectangular plan and is located along the north-west side of a large plot.
The current Ordnance Survey map (2016) shows the building prior to the demolition of the south-west bay and outbuildings on the north-east side.
EXTERIOR: the two-bay, two-storey house has a pitched roof with a modern brick chimney stack rising through the original firehood on the north-west slope of the roof at the south-west end. The long south-east elevation has two ground-floor windows and two horizontal windows above. These were replaced in the C20 and are now (2016) boarded over, as are all the windows. Underneath the render, the stone plinth is apparent, as is the wall plate and the storey post indicating the bay division. On the long north-west elevation the wall plate is also apparent underneath the render. The irregular fenestration consists of a small window with metal bars just above ground level on the left, a small square window on the first floor, followed by a larger ground-floor window on the right.
On the north-east gable end the removal of the single-storey outbuilding range has revealed the stone plinth and part of the timber framing of the original end wall of the house. This includes the sill beam resting on the stone plinth, the lower half of the wall posts, the tie beam, and two storey posts with three rails. The principal rafters of the truss are apparent underneath the render. Four out of the six exposed panels are original wattle and daub infill with remnants of a plaster coating, whilst the other two have infill of handmade red brick. More of the timber framing of the south-west gable end is exposed, including the jowled wall posts and tie beam, strengthened by convex braces, and the principal rafters with a collar beam. The tie beam has been cut through to allow for a door, and there is evidence in the brickwork where floor joists had been rested onto the bridging beam when forming the later addition. The ground floor is rendered but it is possible to make out two posts either side of a (formerly internal) plank and batten door. The panels above this are infilled with brick.
INTERIOR: the ground floor has one large room occupying the south-west bay and two smaller rooms in the north-east bay, whilst the first floor has one room to each bay. The room occupying the ground-floor south-west bay has a heavy, chamfered and stopped spine beam with contemporary joists. On the south-west side the large fireplace opening has a substantial bressumer with a deep chamfer on the inner side, supported by posts. A C20 tiled fireplace has been inserted into the inglenook. The sill beam is exposed on the north-east side of the room and has been cut to allow for two doorways, now with C20 doors. It has been boxed in on two of the other walls but presumably survives. The wall plate is exposed on the south-east, north-east and north-west walls, although on the latter it has been cut to allow for a window. There are two posts on both the north-west and south-east walls, possibly indicating the original window positions, and a post on the north-east wall supporting the spine beam. The chamfered spine beam continues on the same alignment into the north-east bay although it has been painted white, along with the joists. The smaller room on the north-west side of this bay has been whitewashed and has fitted shelves. The timber framing is not internally exposed in the north-east bay but given that it is externally exposed on the north-east end, it is reasonable to assume its total or partial survival underneath the plaster.
The first floor is reached via a straight flight with winder in the south-west corner of the house accessed through a plank and batten door with a spring latch of probable late C18/ early C19 date. For safety reasons access to the first floor was limited (in 2016) but most of the floor can be seen from the landing. The bay division between the two rooms has a principal rafter truss with side purlins supported by a collar beam and strengthened by straight wind braces. There are also straight braces between the wall posts and tie beams. The roof has been ceiled above the level of the collar beam. The wall plates are exposed on the long north-west and south-east walls, along with two posts which again possibly indicate the original window positions. A large timber firehood is positioned on the south-west wall. There is a central door in the bay division through which it is possible to see the north wall plate, and part of the wall plate and roof truss of the north-east gable end.