Acacia Farm, including farmbuildings and farmhouse

Overview

Heritage Category: Listed Building

Grade: II

List Entry Number: 1459496

Date first listed: 12-Nov-2018

Location Description: Woodlands Drive, Rawdon, Leeds, West Yorkshire

Map

Ordnance survey map of Acacia Farm, including farmbuildings and farmhouse
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Location

Location Description: Woodlands Drive, Rawdon, Leeds, West Yorkshire

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

District: Leeds (Metropolitan Authority)

Parish: Non Civil Parish

National Grid Reference: SE2009138703

Summary

Estate farm, probably originally dating to 1784, altered and extended in 1847 to designs by John Clarke of Leeds, and extended in the late C19, with further later alterations

Reasons for Designation

Acacia Farm, including the farm buildings and farmhouse is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Historic interest:

* it is a good example of a late-C18 estate farm with later phased development that reflects the rise of the C19 merchant class and their aspirations to emulate the estates of the landed gentry.

Architectural interest:

* the buildings were designed to impress and incorporate a level of architectural detailing and aesthetic treatment well above the purely functional; * the farm was altered and extended in the mid-C19 by the notable regional architect John Clark and is a good example of his work in adapting and remodelling earlier buildings; * despite some later alteration the buildings survive well overall and retain a wealth of features.

History

Acacia was originally built in around 1784 for Abraham Rhodes, a London attorney who was born in Rawdon, and it was said to be the grandest house in the district. The estate, to which Rhodes added land over the years, included stables, coach houses, farmhouse and a mistal to the south-west of the main house.

In 1819 the estate was sold to Richard Fawcett, a Bradford wool merchant, who increased the land holding of the estate further. However, Fawcett was later declared bankrupt and defaulted on the estate, and it was subsequently put up for sale by auction in 1833. The estate, which included 120 acres at this time, was bought by Robert Milligan, a Bradford stuff merchant who was born in Scotland and was a partner in Milligan Forbes and Company. Milligan was Charter Mayor of Bradford in 1847-1848 and MP for Bradford from 1851-1857. Milligan was also a founder and director of the Bradford Banking Co (now subsumed into NatWest Bank) to which Fawcett had defaulted.

Acacia was rebuilt/remodelled in 1847 to designs by the Leeds architect John Clark, and elements of the stable/farm building complex are also believed to have been partly rebuilt at this time. The farm buildings were extended to the south in the late C19 and the farmhouse was also subdivided into two at this time. Acacia was demolished at some point between 1921 and 1934 and its site is now woodland. The farm buildings remain extant.

Details

Estate farm, probably originally dating to 1784, altered and extended in 1847 to designs by John Clarke of Leeds, and extended in the late C19, with further later alterations

MATERIALS: sandstone with vermiculated rustication and ashlar dressings. Stone-slate roof coverings laid in diminishing courses with some later replaced metal and slate coverings.

PLAN: the farm has a double courtyard plan comprising a principal square courtyard to the north and a reverse C-shaped courtyard to the south, part of which is a small private gated yard serving the farmhouse (now - 2018 - subdivided into two). The farmhouse lies to the south-west corner of the north courtyard. Due to a sloping ground level from north to south the buildings step down the hillside and the south courtyard is accessed from the north courtyard via a stair flight.

EXTERIOR: the farm consists of single storey and two storey buildings with both pitched and hipped roofs. Stone flag and sett floors exist to the north courtyard. The farm buildings have fixed multipaned windows with ventilators, whilst the farmhouse has a mixture of sash and later casement windows.

FARM ENTRANCE The farm's main entrance is now on the west side of the complex, but originally access to the farm was from the east. A new access road/driveway to the farm and the main house of Acacia (now demolished) was created on the west side in the late C19. The main entrance consists of a decorative cast-iron arched overthrow connecting the farmhouse to the north range. The overthrow has a lantern to the centre and coach/cart wheel decoration to the spandrels. Quoins on the flanking farmhouse and the north range step out at the foot of the overthrow. The entrance gates have been removed, but hinge pins survive.

NORTH COURTYARD The north side of the north courtyard is formed by a late-C18, two-storey, classical-styled stable and mistal (shed for cows) range with a plain cornice and a wide centre bay with a raised gabled head. To the ground floor is a large full-width arched opening with rusticated voussoirs and a keystone, and to the gable apex is a bull's-eye window with rustication to the upper half of the surround; the window is boarded and has a small fixed sign that reads 'Acacia Farm'. A recess behind the arched opening contains three tall round-arched doorways to the centre and flanking sides with original ledged and braced doors and surrounds formed by rusticated voussoirs. The central doorway, which leads into a former tack/harness room, is flanked by tall multipaned windows with rusticated lintels. The door to the left leads into stables, whilst that to the right leads into a large mistal. Two bays to each flanking side of the centre bay have tall windows to the ground floor with rusticated lintels and some missing glazing bars, and bull's-eye windows to the first floor in the same style as that to the central bay. The eastern ground-floor windows are hidden by a later range forming the east side of the courtyard, and one has been altered, but both retain their rusticated lintels.

At the western end of the north range is a short southern cross-wing (former stables) adjacent to the farm's entrance. The courtyard-facing elevation has a tall round-headed doorway with a rusticated surround and a ledged and braced door flanked by tall slender windows with rusticated lintels; again with some missing glazing bars. To the first floor above is a bull's-eye window in the same style as those to the rest of the range. The cross-wing's south gabled return has kneelers and a small window with a rusticated lintel and ventilator glazing styled to look like a sash window, and the rear (west) elevation has three large rectangular ventilators with ashlar surrounds set high up the ground floor and a taking-in door to the centre of the first floor.

The east end wall of the north range has a hipped roof and quoined corners, although the quoining to the lower part of the left corner has been removed to accommodate the courtyard's later east range. To the ground floor are two windows and a later inserted doorway, and to the first floor are two bull's-eye windows with plain ashlar surrounds.

The north range's rear (north) elevation has ground-floor window openings on the eastern half, one of which has been blocked up, but retains its lintel and sill, and to the centre is a shallow two-storey catslide projection (stablehand's accommodation internally) with quoining, kneelers, and slender windows to each floor (including on the west return) and a chimneystack rising from the roof. At the western end of the elevation is a square ventilator serving the stables, a multipaned ground-floor window to the gabled cross-wing and quoining to the north-west corner.

A single-storey, late-C19 former coach house/cart shed range forms the eastern side of the courtyard with a parallel range immediately behind. The yard-facing elevation has a cast-iron lattice girder below the eaves, which is supported by a slender cast-iron column, and a large square opening. The range has slate roof coverings (some stone-slates survive underneath) on the courtyard-facing slope and modern metal roof coverings on the inner slope, whilst the range behind has a modern metal roof covering to the inner slope and artificial slate coverings to the eastern slope. The east elevation has a quoined south-east corner, series of windows (one of which has lost its glazing and is boarded up), and a truncated ridge stack exists to the roof.

The south side of the north courtyard is formed by a single-storey mid-C19 range with a slightly curved east end wall lit by nine-light windows and incorporating two hips to the roof at this end. The north courtyard-facing elevation incorporates two later inserted windows and a doorway that now form part of the farmhouse, and a large round-headed arched opening with a rusticated-voussoir surround that was possibly re-used when the stable complex was altered and extended by John Clarke in 1847. The opening, which has a round-headed ledged and braced door, leads to a covered walkway accessing the interiors at the west and east end of the range, and a stair leading down to a lower storey and the south courtyard (as the land drops quite considerably from this point the range has a lower level underneath the southern half of the range, which is accessed via the south courtyard). This lower level consists of a garage at the east end, stables at the west end and a timber stair leading up to the north courtyard, accessed from the south courtyard via a large arched opening with rock-faced voussoirs and a keystone.

FARMHOUSE The farmhouse, which is of two-storeys plus basement, is located to the south-west corner of the north courtyard and appears to be late-C18 in date, subsequently altered and split into two in the late C19 (a single farmhouse is recorded in Robert Milligan's will of 1862, but on the 1st edition 1:2500 OS map published in 1893 the farmhouse is depicted as being subdivided): number one is to the north and number two to the south. The northern part of the building retains late-C18 features, including kneelers to the gable end and quoining to the north-west corner. The principal front elevation is now on the west side, but it is believed to have originally been on the east side, and moved to the west side in the late C19 when a new access road/driveway to the main house of Acacia was created and the farmhouse was subdivided into two. Due to the land's sloping ground level the upper floors are raised on this side and basement windows are visible. Number one is of three-bays and number two is of a narrow two-bays. Both houses have shallow gabled porches with round-arched openings and steps accessing modern doors, and ashlar lintels and sills to the windows. Number one has windows flanking the entrance and two windows to the first floor (all with early-C21 glazing), whilst number two has a window to the left of the entrance porch and another window to the first floor; both retain two-over-two sashes. The farmhouse's pitched roof has two ridge stacks. The east (yard-facing) elevation abuts the north courtyard's south range. thus only a single window exists to each floor at the north end with rusticated lintels in the same style as those to the north range. The farmhouse's south gable-end has a full basement due to the lower ground level on this side and a late-C19 bay window with plate-glass sashes to the ground floor. A large round-arched two-light mullioned window exists to the first floor with a solid tympanum and roundel motif to the arch head and sliding-sash glazing. The east return has a slender sash window at ground-floor level. Attached to the east side is the rear of the north courtyard's south range, which is of two-storeys on this side. The two westernmost bays at (upper) ground-floor level now form part of the farmhouse (number two) and are lit by a window with replaced glazing and a later inserted window. Below are stables with a single window inserted into a larger blocked-up opening.

SOUTH COURTYARD The south courtyard buildings are mid-C19 and late C19 in date and are believed to have been coach houses originally (in Robert Milligan's will the stables and coach houses are recorded as being separated by a farmhouse). A single storey, mid-C19 range forms the east side and has a pitched roof with replaced artificial-slate roof coverings and ridge ventilators, but retains its sandstone copings to the south gable end, which also has a round-arched window with keystone and impost blocks (the lower part of the window has been blocked up and is now partly hidden by an attached late-C19 range). The range's west elevation has two windows and a doorway, with a series of windows to the east (rear) elevation.

A heavily altered late-C19 L-shaped range that wraps around the south-east corner of the south courtyard is not of special interest and is excluded from the listing.

Forming the western side of the south courtyard is a heavily altered, detached, single-storey late-C19 range that is not of special interest and is excluded from the listing.

INTERIOR:

NORTH COURTYARD Internally the north courtyard's north and east ranges both have stone-flag floors.

The north range's central stables have cast-iron and timber stalls and a high glazed-tile dado to the walls. The tack/harness room has a painted-stone fire surround with a gas-light fitting above and built-in cupboards set high up the north wall. Timber wall cladding survives by the entrance, but has been removed to the rest of the room. A Jacob's ladder on the east wall provides access to a high-level hatch doorway that leads to a timber winder stair accessing a room above the stables and tack/harness room that would have originally been living accommodation for stablehand(s); the room contains a painted cast-iron fire surround. A small room off the tack/harness room contains a stone sink, whilst a smaller room to the rear has stone shelving. The mistal at the east end of the range appears to retain its original roof structure of A-frame/collar trusses, side purlins and rafters. Sections of glazed-tile dado survive and the mistal contains low, modern breezeblock pens. The first floor has been removed and the mistal is open to the roof. A doorway at first-floor level exists at the western end and provides access to a corridor accessing a hay store over the western stables, which appears to have a similar roof structure to the mistal. A six-panel door off to the north side of the corridor accesses the stablehand's accommodation. The stables at the west end of the range have moulded cornicing and a high glazed-tile dado (sections missing in places) to the walls.

The north courtyard's east range is open internally. The western section has a replaced roof structure, whilst the eastern section has a lath and plaster ceiling (missing in sections). The two areas are separated by slender cast-iron piers.

The south range contains a central covered section open from ground to roof with a stone-sett floor. A ramped walkway on the upper level leads into a large room at the eastern end, which has a queen-post roof structure and a timber-clad west wall overlooking the central open space with taking-in doors and a pulley in front. An open-tread timber stair flight leads down to the lower level and also the south courtyard. The stair and walkway are supported by a cast-iron column, and below is a privy. At the western end of the lower level are stables with a jack-arched ceiling supported by cast-iron columns, and timber and cast-iron stalls; the timberwork of one has been replaced by breezeblock. At the western end of the lower level is a former coach house (latterly used as a garage) with a sliding door.

FARMHOUSE The farmhouse is now subdivided into two internally. Number one occupies the northern part and has four-panel doors and moulded architraves to the ground floor, and chimneybreasts and moulded skirtings throughout. The main entrance leads straight into the front-right room, which has a modern brick and timber fireplace and two doorways in the rear wall leading to the stair and a rear annexe located within the north courtyard's south range and containing a toilet and bathroom. The front-left room has ceiling coving and a modern hole-in-the-wall fireplace. A small kitchen to the rear overlooking the yard has a suspended ceiling and a quarry-tile floor underneath a modern laminate floor covering. A steep narrow stair flight with a winder at the bottom leads up to three rooms on the first floor, which have later doors. Two of the rooms have painted cast-iron fire surrounds. A stone stair leads down to the basement, which has two rooms and a stone-flag floor, stone and brick pantry shelving, a painted-stone fire surround with a gas-light fitting above, and a stone and brick copper and sink.

Internally number two also has four-panel doors and moulded architraves, The main entrance also leads straight into the front room, which has a window to the west and a large late-C19 bay window overlooking the south courtyard. The room has a 1970s suspended ceiling and wall cladding, and a late-C20 stone fireplace construction and gas fire. Decorative moulded cornicing sits just beneath the suspended ceiling. Number two now incorporates part of the north courtyard's south range internally, which contains a kitchen (formerly used as a dairy) with a pantry, toilet and bathroom off, and a partly-glazed panelled door leading out to the covered walkway. A stair in the same style as that to number one leads up to the first floor, which has a single room (now subdivided into two) with a floorboard floor and a chimneybreast with a painted cast-iron fire surround. A stone stair leads down to the basement, which consists of two rooms and is identical to that in number one, except for the addition of a small vestibule with a plank and batten door leading out to a private yard off the south courtyard with a large coal store on the west side.

SOUTH COURTYARD The south courtyard's east range is now used as a mistal and has a queen-post roof and doors at each end connecting into the neighbouring ranges; that to the south end, beneath a blocked-up window, is a later insertion.

The south courtyard's late-C19 L-shaped range and western range are both heavily altered and are excluded from the listing.

Sources

Books and journals
Leach, P, Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England. Yorkshire West Riding: Leeds, Bradford and the North, (2009), 630
Other
Rawdon Cragg Wood Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plan, 2012. Leeds City Council
Various archival material, including deeds and wills, relating to Acacia and its owners, held by West Yorkshire Archive Service

End of official listing