Rue Cottage


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
Coombes Moor, Presteigne, Herefordshire, LD8 2HY


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Statutory Address:
Coombes Moor, Presteigne, Herefordshire, LD8 2HY

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

County of Herefordshire (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:


A cottage of C18 date with C20 and C21 alterations and additions.

Reasons for Designation

Rue Cottage in Coombes Moor, Herefordshire, built in the C18, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest: * as an example of a simple, low-status cottage of the C18; * for its traditional construction from locally-derived building materials that clearly reflect the local geology and contribute to the building’s strong vernacular character and local distinctiveness; * for its retention of a significant proportion of its historic fabric and the legibility of its two-unit plan form.

Historic interest:

* as a very humble, simple form of domestic accommodation, once common in rural areas; * for the evidence provided in its surviving C18 fabric for dating and the building’s historic development.


Coombes Moor, previously known as Combe Marsh, is a small village in Presteigne, Herefordshire and lies to the east of the border with Wales. The building, now known as Rue Cottage, is depicted on the Ordnance Survey (OS) map of 1832-3, and it is shown as a single-house with an L-shaped footprint on the tithe map of 1845. The historic fabric of Rue Cottage suggests that it was built in the C18 as a single-storey, single-depth, two-unit, cottage with a thatched roof, and a loft above the smaller south room, as in the Welsh ‘croglofft’ cottages. However, there is also possible evidence for a staircase to the west side of the fireplace at the north end. In the mid-to late C20 the roof was raised, and the lean-to and porch added.


A cottage of C18 date with C20 and C21 alterations and additions.

MATERIALS: the walls and chimney stack are built of sandstone rubble which has been limewashed, and the roof, formerly thatched with reed, has been raised and covered with slate tiles. Internally, the floor is of stone flags, the joinery of alder, and there is some internal earth plaster. The metal-framed windows are C20 and the late-C20 lean-to at the south end, and the porch to the east elevation, are constructed of breeze block, both with slate tile roofs.

PLAN: a one and a half storey, single-depth, two-unit plan with a gable-end stack to the north end. The C20 lean-to at the south end provides kitchen and bathroom accommodation.

EXTERIOR: the entrance (east) elevation has a central doorway with a C21 timber door and a late C20 porch, flanked by ground-floor window openings with timber lintels. To the raised roof is a central dormer window. To the north end is a gable-end stack. To the south gable end there is an inserted first-floor window with some brickwork around the opening, and below is a C20 single-storey lean-to addition that extends to the east. The west elevation has a central window at ground floor and a small window has been inserted beneath the raised roof.

INTERIOR: the central entrance door gives access to the principal living space. At the north end is an open fireplace with a timber lintel. The fireplace has been modified and there is a C19 bread oven to the left-hand side, which may be in the position of an earlier staircase. The spice cupboard, also to the left of the fireplace, has a timber surround, and a re-used timber door with butterfly hinges; its curved interior is also indicative of a staircase in this location. To the south of the entrance door is an open timber cross-wall and a smaller, unheated, room. Both rooms have roughly-hewn ceiling joists. To the north end a later ceiling beam has been added to provide additional support to the first-floor accommodation.

A re-used plank door gives access to an inserted C20 timber staircase that leads to the two first-floor rooms that are arranged without a corridor, with one room opening onto the next. The south room is thought to have originally formed a ‘croglofft’, whilst the north room contains the chimney breast. The side walls have been built up to accommodate the raised roof. The intermediate timber-framed cross-wall consists of principal rafters with a thin collar and tie beam. To one side is an angled strut, to the other side this has been replaced with a vertical strut. Beneath the tie beam are upright struts that are tenoned into the floor plate beneath. It appears that the cross-frame was originally closed and the doorway is a later insertion, although interrupted trusses are a feature of C18 framing.


OS Map 6” (1886 edn)
OS Map 6” (1903 edn)
OS Map 6” (1928 edn)
Tithe Map of the Parish of Presteigne in the counties of Hereford and Radnor (1845)


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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