Cappleside Barn, also known as Brocklands Barn


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Location Description:
Statutory Address:
East side of the road south from Rathmell, 160m south from the bridge over Rathmell Beck, North Yorkshire


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Statutory Address:
East side of the road south from Rathmell, 160m south from the bridge over Rathmell Beck, North Yorkshire

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

Location Description:
North Yorkshire
Craven (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:


A large, high-status, multipurpose barn dated 1714 including an ornamented oak roof structure, extended in the late C18 and early C19 with added lean-tos.

Reasons for Designation

Cappleside Barn, a high status barn dated 1714, is listed Grade II* for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

* particularly for its well-preserved, unusually ornamented oak roof structure dated by dendrochronology to the early C18; * as a high status early C18 barn exhibiting high quality design and craftsmanship, being an early example of watershot masonry construction, the high quality of the shippon stalls in the barn also being especially notable.

Historic interest:

* carved motifs thought to be apotropaic marks provides an insight into early C18 beliefs and traditions; * the additional lean-tos provide physical evidence of the farming boom of the late C18 to early C19.


Set above the western cart entrance to the barn is a datestone inscribed HAN 1714. This is considered to be the construction date for the barn. This dating is also supported by dendrochronology as samples taken from 14 of the main roof timbers indicate that the roof structure was constructed from oaks felled as part of a single felling programme sometime between 1712 and 1716. HAN is identified as the initials of a member of the Nowell family, a gentry family which had owned Cappleside since 1624, perhaps being those of Henry Nowell, the son and executor recorded in the will of Elizabeth Nowell dated 1680. The barn is clearly a building of high status with its early use of watershot walling (where the stones are tilted slightly outwards to shed water), finely dressed moulded coping stones and kneelers, and its ornamented oak roof structure. This ornamentation is mainly focused on elaborately shaped collars to the trusses, but also includes carved motifs including a daisy-wheel design. These motifs are probably apotropaic marks, intended to ward off evil spirits. Cappleside Barn is one of a small number of similar high status barns in the local area dating to around the early C18 including Far Cappleside (1698), and, in Long Preston, Guys Villa Barn (1708) and Beckstone Laith. Cappleside Barn appears to be the most impressive example of the group.

The Cappleside estate was divided in 1749, but recombined in the hands of John Geldard in 1827. It is possible that the Geldard family, who were wealthy yeomen farmers, had control of Cappleside Barn from the later C18 and oversaw the alterations to the shippon (stalls for cows) in the northern end of the barn. Although the four main timbers supporting the ceiling to the shippon were sampled for dendrochronology and found to be coeval, perhaps even taken from a single tree, they have not been successfully dated. These timbers are pine and may have been imported via the Leeds to Liverpool canal which was opened to Skipton in 1777.

The lean-to additions to the south gable and the east wall of the barn are thought to have been added in the early C19 or perhaps in the late C18, mainly to provide additional housing for cows. The lean-to to the south-east corner appears to have been added after 1849 as it is not depicted on the first edition Ordnance Survey 1:10,560 map. The barn is shown with its current footprint on the first edition 1:2,500 map of 1893.

The former hay house just to the north of the barn was built in the second half of the C19, but was heightened, probably in the early C20 and has been subsequently converted into a meeting room. It is not included in the listing.


Barn, 1714, built for HA Newell of Cappleside, extended with added lean-to structures in the late C18 and C19.

MATERIALS: the barn is built of well-coursed, squared sandstone blocks set to be slightly watershot. Quions, gable copings and door surrounds are more finely dressed sandstone. Walling of the lean-tos is also sandstone, but more roughly built of mixed rubble, slabs and squared stone, generally laid to watershot courses. The barn roof is covered with sandstone flags laid to diminishing courses to a shaped-sandstone ridge.

PLAN: the barn is of six bays with opposed cart entrances on the north side of the centreline, with a shallow, original porch to the east and added porch to the west. Accessed via three doorways in the north gable, the northern two bays of the barn are slightly wider, extending eastwards to the depth of the porch, forming a shippon for 16 cattle in two rows of double stalls flanking a central foddergang (feeding passage). To the east of the shippon is an added, lean-to addition, probably a loose box. South of the porch there is a lean-to identified as a shippon, retaining divisions for a further four cattle stalls. The added lean-tos to the south gable of the barn and infilling the south east corner, are probably further shippons.

EXTERIOR: the barn is quoined and has a simple plinth of four courses matching the rest of the general walling. Gables are coped with moulded slabs supported by ogee shaped kneelers. Doorways are quoined and have wide chamfers with run-out stops, the western cart entrance having a segmental arch of voussoirs with a naturally curved timber lintel behind, this retaining sockets for pintle-hung doors. Set above is a finely carved datestone reading HAN 1714. The added western porch is shallow and has lost its roof. The eastern entrance, with its original porch, is more simply treated with a substantial timber lintel. The shippon is lit with three windows, two to the west, one to the east (this retaining joinery), formed with monolithic peck-dressed jambs, lintels and sills. Owl holes set high in each gable are similarly formed. The numerous ventilation slits lack surrounds, but are neatly constructed with internal splays, some now blocked.

The various lean-tos also have quoined corners and doorways, with windows formed with monolithic jambs, lintels and sills. However the general walling is of less well-dressed and coursed stone than the barn. The lean-tos are all roofless, but are reported to have been slated with Burlington slates.

INTERIOR: the shippon occupying the northern two bays of the barn is divided from the rest of the barn by a roughly built, low stone wall with a neatly constructed central doorway with a six panel door to the foddergang. This wall supports four pine timbers which span to the north gable, these timbers being neatly jointed into the posts forming part of the framework for the stall divisions and also support the joists for the hayloft above. The stalls incorporate large grey Horton flagstones set into very neatly finished oak frames that have chamfered arises. The later stall divisions within the lean-to shippons are formed from large, neatly dressed sandstone slabs.

The roof structure is of oak with five trusses with tie beams and very high set collars, the collars supporting king blocks and curving wind braces to the ridge purlin. The tie beams also have inclined queen struts. The trusses support two purlins to each side, these being staggered and lightly trenched into the principal rafters. The northern-most truss has a curving western principal rafter to accommodate the slightly wider part of the barn. Although this has the appearance of a reused cruck blade, dendrochronology dated it to the same felling period as the rest of the dated timbers within the roof. The jack rafters and slating batons are also of oak. All of the collars are ornamentally shaped, with most having additional carved motifs. Some of the other timbers also include carved decoration.


"Cappleside: Hill of the Horses", C Weston (1997) in the Journal of the North Craven Heritage Trust , accessed 1/2/18 from
Arnold, A, Howard, R, and Tyers, C, 2018 Cappleside Barn, Hollow Gill Brow, Rathmell, North Yorkshire, Tree-ring Analysis of Oak and Pine Timbers, HE Research Report Series 10/2018
Vernacular Building Record by Alison Armstrong 2016


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

The listed building is shown coloured blue on the attached map. Pursuant to s1 (5A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (‘the Act’), structures attached to or within the curtilage of the listed building (save those coloured blue on the map) are not to be treated as part of the listed building for the purposes of the Act.

End of official listing

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