Timber-framed cottage retaining later C16 or C17 elements with brick frontage and southern bay added in around 1900.
Reasons for Designation
87 High Street, Milton is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* for the survival of a significant proportion of a timber-framed structure dating to the late 16 or C17, including the clasped purlin roof structure, pair of trusses, stairs, spine beams, and a rear wall.
* as a well-preserved timber-framed building demonstrating vernacular building traditions as applied to modest dwellings of the late C16-C17.
The village of Milton evolved as a settlement associated with the local wool industry, being well-positioned on the route to the great sheep fair at East Ilsley between the markets of Abingdon and Newbury. The medieval core of the village was centred around the Church of St Blaise (patron saint of woolcombers), of which elements date from the C14, with later settlement spreading in the C16 and C17 from Potash Lane along the High Street. Subsequent development continued eastwards along lanes into the fields surrounding the village towards Sutton Courtenay.
The cottage at 87 High Street formed part of the later expansion of the village from the C16, although the exact date of the building is subject to some speculation. The earliest part of the building is the northern two-bay range which runs parallel to the High Street. This has a close-studded rear wall of thin and unworked scantling timbers set on a brick plinth and a roof of clasped purlin construction which consists of a braced tie beam with struts to a collar: these elements suggest a later C16 or C17 date of construction, although the simple form makes it difficult to ascribe this with certainty. There is some evidence for a later date (and possible reuse of an earlier timber frame) provided by the Milton Manor estate map that was produced in around 1750, which shows the plot to be undeveloped. However, given the schematic form of the map, it is probable that this modest structure was simply not recorded at this time.
The first clear documentary record emerges with the 1815 Enclosure Map; the cottage at this stage is shown in an L-plan configuration within a small corner plot adjacent to the track set-off the High Street to the north. The width of the building recorded suggests that the rear ragstone lean-to had been constructed by this stage. This may potentially have been part of the original phase of construction (speculation supported by the form of the thin scantling timbers to the back of the cottage, which do not give the impression of having been built as an external wall). The plot boundary is shown to be unchanged in the 1841 Milton Tithe Map and the related apportionment records the cottage and the enveloping orchard to be under the ownership of the local landowner Richard Mallam. By the time of the 1875 the Ordnance Survey (OS) map (Berkshire; 1:1,2500), a modest extension had been built to the south. It is probable that this addition is the extant weatherboarded structure that survives within the southern bay of the cottage; this was potentially constructed as a store for the orchard as it was clearly never integrated with the domestic rooms of the cottage.
The cottage saw its most significant phase of secondary development at the beginning of the 1900s. In the period between the 1899 OS map (Berkshire; 1:1,2500) and the 1914 revision the southern single-bay extension was built. At ground-floor level this encased the earlier pre-1875 addition, extending the end wall south by approximately one metre whilst retaining the earlier weatherboarded end wall to form a covered store with an opening to the south. The brick frontage and gabled dormers to the High Street, along with applied features, such as the scalloped bargeboard to the gables, all also appear to have been added at this time in a loose cottage orné manner. From 1912 until 2015 the house was in the ownership of the same family and, with the exception of rudimentary lean-to additions to the front and rear of the southern bay, little further alteration has been made over the course of this period.
Timber-framed cottage retaining later C16 or C17 fabric, with brick frontage and southern bay added in around 1900.
MATERIALS and STRUCTURE: box-framed timber construction with daub infill set on a brick plinth. Red brick frontage and rendered chimney stack to the north, rubble stone wall to the rear outshut, with a pegged clay tile roof across the range. The two northern bays have brick floors and the rooms above have broad elm floorboards.
PLAN: narrow three-bay arrangement with attic level. The northern two bays are the earliest, timber-framed portion of the cottage. The southern bay was added in around 1900. The main entrance leads to the northernmost room in the range. This gives access to a straight-flight staircase (set against the eastern wall) and an adjacent southern room. The additional southern bay at ground-floor level is accessed via the narrow lean-to which runs along the rear of the cottage. The end rooms on the upper floor are accessed through the central room.
EXTERIOR: the principal façade to the High Street is the product of the phase of work of around 1900. This consists of a brick frontage of three bays with an off-set northern entrance enclosed by a later C20 porch. The front roof pitch of the northern bays integrate a pair of gabled dormers with scalloped bargeboards, these being set between decorative alternating bands of clay pegged tiles. The dormer windows are four-paned horizontal Yorkshire sliding sashes and the two ground-floor windows are four-paned casements set beneath arched brick heads. The gable ends are of rendered brick with scalloped bargeboards. The rebuilt main brick stack is set into the northern gable end.
To the rear there is a ragstone outshot which continues the roof profile at a slightly shallower pitch along the two earliest northern bays; this appears to be shown in the 1815 Enclosure Plan and may be an original element of the structure. To the south side, adjoining the extension bay, there is a simple corrugated iron lean-to addition (excluded from this listing).
INTERIOR: elements of the timber-frame are retained in the two northern bays. At ground-floor level both of the rooms of this part of the cottage retain chamfered spine beams with simple run-out stops. The rear wall of these bays is of thin, unworked, close-studded scantling timbers set on a brick and rendered stone plinth (visible from the outshut). The end bays have simple cross braces rising from the plinth. A section of the plinth and a timber mid-rail remain in the end wall of southern bay, although there has been some rebuilding to this wall and the north end gable, which appears to have occurred as part of the works of around 1900. The enclosed straight-flight stairs from the northern room are of an early date with roughly-worked timber treads and risers.
At the attic level parts of the original roof structure including a pair of trusses and a purlin are visible. The north gable-end truss is largely exposed. This is of clasped purlin construction, consisting of a heavily braced tie beam with struts to a collar that supports the purlins. The truss to the south is largely covered, although elements of the timbers and daub infill can be seen through the failing plaster, suggesting it is of similar construction to the north truss. A late C19 cast-iron fireplace has been inserted off-centre into the north wall (cutting into the tie beam) and a central doorway has been cut into the south truss. The west pitch of the roof along this range has been largely rebuilt to introduce the two gabled dormers, with the sawn-off purlin still evident in the end truss. On the east side of the roof, purlins run the full length of the range. The roof is plastered over, thereby obscuring any surviving rafters. The two upper rooms of this part of the range have broad elm floorboards and the doors throughout are plank and batten types with a range of iron strap hinges of varying ages; several with broad and irregular planks probably date to the C17 or 18 whilst other more regular machine-sawn examples were probably introduced in around 1900.
The southern extension bay of the cottage consists of a basic store room at ground-floor level, the brick plinth and weatherboarded walls of which are the remnants of the pre-1875 addition, now structurally encased by the later extension of approximately 1900. At first-floor level the southernmost room has machine-sawn purlins and a two-light casement window to the southern gable end.
The rear outshut is simply constructed, with the roughly-coursed ragstone structure and a timber wall plate visible internally. A later stepped brick stack to the north end is built against the rear wall. At the south end, in line with the extension bay, a toilet and store area is set under a basic corrugated iron lean-to structure added in the latter half of the C20 (this is not to be treated as part of the listed building).
SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: simple metal bar railings mark out the boundary of the plot to the High Street.