Barn formerly to Clemsfold Farm


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Location Description:
Statutory Address:
Clemsfold Farm, Guildford Road, Clemsfold, Horsham, RH12 3PW


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Statutory Address:
Clemsfold Farm, Guildford Road, Clemsfold, Horsham, RH12 3PW

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

Location Description:
West Sussex
Horsham (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:


Barn, built in around the mid-C17 to mid-C18, extended to the north and south in the C19 and C20.

Reasons for Designation

Barn formerly to Clemsfold Farm is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

* as a vernacular barn which exemplifies the importance of large threshing barns for crops in around the mid-C17 to mid-C18 and helps to illustrate regional building traditions;

* it retains a good proportion of its substantial historic timber-frame;

* although it has been modified, the later additions and insertions have not unduly affected the original historic character and its early form and extent is still clearly legible.

Group value:

* with Granary formerly to Clemsfold Farm (Grade II).


The Clemsfold Farm complex appears on the Slinfold Tithe Map (1845), marked as Clemsfold with an L-shaped house to the south, a loose arrangement of agricultural buildings and outbuildings to the north and series of ponds to the east. The agricultural buildings depicted include the barn, with a long south-west wing, and the granary with a rectangular footprint. By the First Edition Ordnance Survey Map (1:2500; 1876) the barn had been extended with the addition of an aisle along the south elevation. By the Third Edition Ordnance Survey Map (1:2500; 1912) the barn had lost its south-west wing, and the southern C19 aisle was modified to have two short wings to the east and west. A small lean-to had also been added to the barn’s north elevation. The granary is also shown with an extension to the north. Some smaller buildings in the farmyard had been demolished, and others had been added. By the mid-C20, the farmhouse had become known as Clemsfold House. Also by this time an L-shaped range had been added to the north side of the main barn and attached at its north-east corner. A large Dutch barn had also been built in a field to the west of the main farmyard. In the late C20, Clemsfold House was converted into a care home and heavily extended to the south. It was at around this time the house and main agricultural buildings came into separate ownership. The general arrangement of the farmyard buildings was little altered in the late C20. In the early C21, the mid-C20 L-shaped farmyard range was demolished.

The architectural evidence indicates that the barn at Clemsfold Farm was built in around the mid-C17 to mid-C18. It was originally built as a threshing barn of seven bays with pairs of large openings on the north and south sides. There is some evidence of the re-use of earlier timbers in the barn, particularly in the east-end which appears to have been subject to some repair or rebuilding. In around the C19 haylofts were inserted over the east bay and two west-end bays. The lower half of the west-end bays was partitioned-off, the floor level within the bays was raised, and some windows and doors were inserted into the barn’s north and west elevations. The addition of the C19 southern aisle led to the boarding-up of one of the large openings in the barn’s original south elevation. Since the late C19 the main barn appears to have been primarily used for storage, and some stabling, while the later southern range was used as a cattle barn. There is evidence of some reroofing in the C20.


Barn, built in around the mid-C17 to mid-C18, extended to the north and south in the C19 and C20.

MATERIALS: the barn has a timber-frame with weatherboard cladding, a stone and brick plinth, and a large pitched tile roof. The later additions to the north and south have weatherboard-clad and brick walls, with either corrugated-metal roofs with asbestos repairs or pitched tile roofs.

PLAN: the barn has a rectangular footprint on an east-west axis. There are seven bays, referred to in this description by number from east (one) to west (seven). There is a small lean-to attached to the north-west and a U-shaped range attached to the south.

EXTERIOR: the main barn is of seven bays and stands on a rubble-stone plinth, sections of which have been replaced or reinforced in brick. The frame is weatherboard clad. The north elevation has two full-height double doors in the second and fifth bay. There are two later windows in the first bay. Attached to the west end of the north elevation is single-storey brick and timber stable with a corrugated-metal roof which has partially collapsed. Taking-in doors have been inserted into both of the barn’s gable ends. Three windows have also been inserted into the lower half of the west-gable end. The barn’s original south elevation is obscured by the C19 single-storey corrugated-roof lean-to which has a long brick south wall with two entrances and boarded-up rectangular openings.

The lean-to has two small wings at either end. The C20 west wing consists of a catslide lean-to attached to the south-west corner of the main barn, and beyond a pitched-roof structure, both clad in weatherboarding. The C20 weatherboard-clad east wing consists of a catslide-roofed lean-to at one end and a pitched-roof structure at the other which has been widened on one side by the addition of a brick aisle with a corrugated roof.

INTERIOR: the main barn’s walls are stud frame and include wall plates, mid (girt) rails, and sill beams. The wall frame above and below the mid rail is braced; most of the braces are straight, squared beams, however, there are also a few arched braces. The barn has a concrete and earthen floor. There are six principal trusses. The original frame has pairs of large posts (at least four of which are jowled), tie-beams with braces, raked struts, clasped purlins and diminishing principal rafters. The posts in the sixth bay, and possibly those in the seventh bay, are not jowled. There are straight plank wind braces to either end of the roof. There is also limited evidence of carpenters’ marks in some of the timbers. Some of the trusses have been reinforced with additional timbers and metal strap hinges, and a few of the braces appear to have been replaced. Over bays two and three, a C20 ridge board has been inserted between the rafters; this replaces the bridle joints which join the rafters throughout the rest of the barn. There is some variation in the scantling of the wall studs and there is evidence of unused mortices in the main horizontal timber beams, which indicates that some of the stud timbers are later replacements. There is also some variation in the scantling to the diminishing principal rafters, indicating that some may have been replaced or reused, and at least one pair is made up of adjoining timbers. The timber in the east-end bay in particular shows evidence of reuse and includes a different arrangement to the principal truss, which has a pair of raked struts as well as a pair of straight struts. The purlins in this bay are also on a different alignment.

Later insertions include a hayloft over the east-end bay. At the west end a multi-level hayloft has been inserted over the sixth and seventh and part of the fifth bay; it is accessed by a timber stairway. Below, the two west-end bays (six and seven) have been partitioned off, and the floor level has been raised and covered in blue brick. Within the partitioned area, there are further timber walls and some timber and cast-iron stalls; the walls and ceilings are all matchboard clad.

The barn’s former external south elevation has two large openings which correspond with the northern openings. The eastern opening is half-height and the western opening has been boarded over. The former external side of this elevation is weatherboard-clad and covered concrete rendered along the bottom, and is visible in the attached C19 lean-to.

The C19 lean-to is attached to the south side of the original barn, includes a cement floor and some concrete stalls, and has C20 wings to either side. There is an internal doorway between the west wing and the main barn. Part of the east wing's roof is constructed of earlier timbers, including two principal trusses with raked struts; this wing first appears on the early-C20 mapping and was probably built reusing earlier timbers.


Drummond Ecology, Clemsfold Farm, 2018
First Edition Ordnance Survey Map (1:2500; 1876)
Slinfold Tithe Map (1845)
Third Edition Ordnance Survey Map (1:2500; 1912)


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

End of official listing

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