A little-altered small timber-framed barn, thought to date to the late C18, and the sole surviving component of an extensive multi-phase vernacular farmstead in Pirton, Hertfordshire.
Reasons for Designation
The late C18 timber-framed Barn at Wright's Farm, Pirton in Hertfordshire, the sole surviving component of an extensive multi-phase vernacular farmstead is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* as a little-altered and substantially intact example of the region's vernacular building traditions, the detailing of its timber framing is of high quality and clearly visible throughout the interior of the building.
* as the only surviving component of an extensive, multi-phase vernacular farmstead, shown on historic late C19 Ordnance Survey maps to have included a farmhouse, parallel ranges of farm buildings, two of which were located close to large ponds, suggesting that they may have been used for powered produce processing.
The barn at Wright's Farm is the surviving element of an extensive evolved farmstead which survived until at least 1924 with two parallel ranges of outbuildings, a farmhouse and two buildings with ponds adjacent to them fed by small watercourses. The farmhouse was located in the south-west corner of the steading, with the two ranges of outbuildings located to the north and north-west. Historic map evidence suggests that the barn being assessed was located in the middle of the north-west range, with other farm buildings attached at either end. By the mid-late C20, the farmstead, identified on C19 maps as Haxham's Farm, had been comprehensively remodelled, with new farm buildings replacing most of the earlier structures, and a new farmhouse built further to the south-east. The farmstead site was later purchased by Hertfordshire County Council, and was unoccupied at the time of inspection (September 2019).
A small late C18 timber-framed barn, the surviving component of an extensive evolved farmstead, and formerly part of a range of attached farm buildings forming the northern boundary of the steading.
MATERIALS: timber-framed, the framing set on a low brick plinth, with a weather-board cladding and a plain clay tile roof covering.
PLAN: linear in form, aligned north-west to south-east with a shallow rear offshut to one bay.
EXTERIOR: the barn is weather-boarded externally, with a full-height off-centre double doorway with vertically-boarded doors to the south-west elevation. To the left of this opening is a small single doorway giving access to the end bay of the building. The rear elevation has a small single bay offshut towards the building's south-east end, beneath an extension of the main roof slope. Both gable ends are devoid of openings, the north-west end being largely obscured by an adjacent C20 farm building.
INTERIOR: the barn has a four-bay timber frame forming an undivided single interior space, accessed by means of a the double doorway to the third of the four bays. The bays are defined by substantial posts with jowelled heads which support longitudinal wall plates and transverse tie beams. Straight braces link the posts and tie beams, above which are queen struts and collar beams which clasp shallow single purlins supporting the common rafters. The barn side walls are formed of close-spaced studs, each wall bay with a substantial post to the centre, either side of which are slender down braces linking staggered mid rails to the jowl posts. The third bay incorporates a shallow open rear offshut with low close-studded walls. The wall plate oversailing the opening is supported by curved braces rising from the flanking jowl posts. The south-east gable is framed in the same fashion as the side walls, but the north-east end is formed of what appears to be the overboarded remnant of an earlier attached framed building, subsequently replaced by the present C20 building on the site.