Lowfield Hall

Overview

Heritage Category: Listed Building

Grade: II

List Entry Number: 1439234

Date first listed: 22-Feb-2017

Statutory Address: Poles Lane, Lowfield Heath, Crawley, RH11 0PX

Map

Ordnance survey map of Lowfield Hall
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Location

Statutory Address: Poles Lane, Lowfield Heath, Crawley, RH11 0PX

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

County: West Sussex

District: Crawley (District Authority)

Parish: Non Civil Parish

National Grid Reference: TQ2630439811

Summary

An early C17 timber-framed barn, dated by dendrochronology to 1604-29, extended in the late C18, and converted to a house in the 1970s.

Reasons for Designation

Lowfield Hall, an early C17 timber-framed barn, extended in the C18, and converted to a house in the 1970s, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Architectural interest: the house is a good example of a dated agricultural building which retains a virtually complete C17 three-bay timber-frame and roof, and C18 timber-framed stables;

* Interior survival: particularly notable is the exposed C17 timber-frame which forms the main double-height room of the house;

* Historic interest: in its early form and subsequent evolution, the building reflects aspects of the changing pattern of rural agricultural buildings in the post-medieval period;

* Group value: in its historical relationship with the neighbouring Charlwood House (listed at Grade II*).

History

Lowfield Hall has its origins in a C17 timber-framed agricultural barn. A dendrochronological survey of 2016 dates the timbers used in the construction to a range of 1604-29, and the barn was probably built for the adjacent Charlwood House (listed at Grade II*). It would have consisted of a central loading or threshing bay with cart access to both sides, with a storage bay on each side. The walls of the barn would have been clad in timber weather-boarding.

During the C18 the barn's timber-frame was adapted, adding extra studs, probably to accommodate a change in size or type of timber cladding. At a similar time the cart openings were reversed from the original arrangement to full-height on the western side, and half-height on the eastern side. A single-storey extension was also added to the NE consisting of five bays. The function of this extension is not known but it probably comprised stabling or shelter for horses or oxen. In the C19 the timber cladding on the barn was replaced with brick in-fill panels.

By the 1970s the building had been converted into a house. Windows were inserted in to the barn and an internal chimney stack added. The southern gable end and the E facing ground floor portion of the barn's frame were also in-filled with replacement C20 brick. At a similar time the frame of the southern elevation of the stable extension was in-filled with brick and windows and door openings added.

Details

An early C17 timber-framed barn, dated by dendrochronology to 1604-29, extended in the late C18, and converted to a house in the 1970s.

MATERIALS: the barn and stable extension are both of oak timber-framed construction, with C19 or C20 brick in-fill to all elevations. The chimney stacks are also of brick construction, and the roof is covered with clay tiles. Windows are C20 timber casements with multi-pane leaded lights.

PLAN: the original barn is a three-bay box frame which runs N to S. It is half-hipped to the southern end and at the northern end it is gable-ended, becoming hipped over the stable. The entirety of the three bays are taken up by a full-height single room, with an internal chimney stack to the southern end. The stable extension to the E has five bays and houses a kitchen, hall, bathroom and bedrooms. The overall footprint of the building is L-shaped.

EXTERIOR: the principal elevation of the barn faces W and is formed of three bays of exposed timber-frame in-filled with multi-coloured bricks. The central bay of the barn has a large window in the former cart entrance, made up of seven over seven casements. The bays to either side have smaller windows. There is evidence in the frame where the beam above the original doorway has been cut back to provide a taller entrance. At the northern end, the stable extension forms a fourth bay which has similar fenestration, a nine-panelled timber door, and a small inset brick chimney stack. On the southern elevation of the barn the original timber corner-posts are exposed, but the rest of the gable is in-filled with C20 brick in a stretcher bond. C20 repair timbers have been inserted at the top of the wall to form an apex, above which projects a C20 chimney stack.

The eastern elevation of the barn is similar to the western but the lower section of brick in-fill is C20 and laid in a stretcher bond. To the N, this elevation meets the southern elevation of the stable extension, which is single-storey and faced in C20 brick also laid in a stretcher bond. It has a vertically planked timber door and four multi-paned timber casement windows. There is evidence in the frame for the position of the door hinges of the original full-height door.

The northern elevation is formed by the rear of the stable extension. It has an exposed timber frame with C18 brick in-fill above a later brick plinth. At the eastern end of this elevation the brick is covered with C21 horizontal timber cladding. A C21 single-storey flat-roofed extension* also projects centrally from this elevation.

INTERIOR: inside the barn the majority of the timber-frame is exposed, and has plaster in-fill. The wall frames have down-braces continuing from the jowl-posts to the girding beams beneath. There are two arch braced tie-beams which support unusual concave-curved raking queen-posts. The roof is substantially as first built. It is half-hipped at both ends with high-set collars which are connected to clasped side-purlins and straight wind braces, and has common rafters, some of which have evidence that they have been re-used, and no ridge piece. At the southern end there is a C20 fireplace and internal chimney breast with brass fire-hood. At the north-eastern corner there is a timber boarded door to the stable extension.

Within the single-storey stable extension, the original northern external wall of the barn's timber-frame is visible. The rest of the extension is finished in C20 plaster with no other historic fabric visible.

* Pursuant to s1 (5A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (‘the Act’) it is declared that the C21 single-storey flat-roofed extension is not of special architectural or historic interest.

Sources

Other
An interpretation report on the structural timbers of Lowfield Hall, Poles Lane, Lowfield Heath, Surrey RH110PX, July 2016 by Joe Thompson of Sussex Oak and Iron
Lowfield Hall: Interim Statement on the Dendrochronological Analysis by Robert Howard and Alison Arnold, Historic England

End of official listing