Scots Farmhouse

Overview

Heritage Category:
Listed Building
Grade:
II
List Entry Number:
1469570
Date first listed:
18-Jun-2020
Statutory Address:
Scots Farm, Checkendon, Reading, RG8 0TL

Map

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Location

Statutory Address:
Scots Farm, Checkendon, Reading, RG8 0TL

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

County:
Oxfordshire
District:
South Oxfordshire (District Authority)
Parish:
Checkendon
National Grid Reference:
SU6627283923

Summary

A timber-framed farmhouse of C15 date, apparently built in two phases.

Reasons for Designation

Scots Farmhouse, Checkendon, Oxfordshire is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

* the building is a timber-framed house of later-C15 date of which a considerable amount of the original fabric survives;

* the plan of the late-medieval structure, and many of its structural details, are apparent.

Historic interest:

* as a prestige house which shows the degree of wealth generated in the area in the C15.



History

Checkendon is a dispersed linear settlement in the South Oxfordshire Chilterns. The area is believed to have been occupied since the 7th century, and recorded as Cecadene, (Old English for Ceaca's hill or hill-pasture) in the Domesday Book of 1086. The core of the village lies to the south of Scots Farmhouse, around the C12 Church of St Peter and St Paul (NHLE 1180822, Grade I).

Scots Farmhouse has C15 origins but it is not clear when the steading originated. The farm, located on the south side of a wooded area known as Scots Common, was established by the time of the first edition OS Map (1:2500, surveyed 1877-78, published in 1883) on which all of the farm buildings being assessed are mapped.

This C15 timber house, is apparently of two or three builds, but close in date. Evidence in the framing of the north-south wing indicates that the building had two floors from the start but may have had an open hall to the centre. Both ranges have similar, close-studded construction with prominent arched braces and moulded window frames indicating a similar date of construction.

The building has been used as a farmhouse for most of its history and the timber frame was obscured by an overlay of later materials including brick walling and stucco rendering to the exterior and sub-division of the interior by partition walls. Elements of the original construction have only recently become apparent.

Details

A timber-framed farmhouse of C15 date, apparently built in two or three phases.

MATERIALS: the timber frame is infilled with wattle and daub and brick nogging with a plain tile roof. Red brick has replaced the framing on the southern side and at ground floor level on the east and west sides. Windows have uPVC surrounds unless indicated.

PLAN: the building has two floors and is L-shaped on plan. Each range now has two principal chambers on each floor. It appears that the northern end of the north-south range was two-storeyed from the start, but it is not clear if the central bay was an open hall and later floored. The same range has a cross passage at its southern end. The range running east-west may have been added later with a further addition to its western end. At either end of this range are gable chimney stacks. A central stack to the north-south range was clearly a later addition.

EXTERIOR: the south face has a flint and brick plinth, above which is walling of red brick laid in Flemish bond which appears to be a C19 rebuilding of the earlier timber frame. The walling at left projects slightly and there is a corresponding rise in the roof ridge to the right hand side. Windows across the front have been replaced with uPVC substitutes, but the openings have not been extended. Window and door heads at ground-floor level are cambered and there are two, three-light windows to either side of the centre where a window and door opening have both been blocked. At first-floor level there is a three-light casement to the left and two, two-light casements to the right.

The western gable end has a brick chimney stack to right with square panels of flint and tumbled bricks to the offsets of the sides. To the left of this, the structure is timber framed with close studding and herringbone brick infill. The lower body of the left side is masked by a C20 addition built against the northern flank of the chimney stack.

The rear of this east-west range connects with the north-south range on its eastern side, but the western part is exposed. This has close-studded walling to the first floor with arched braces connecting from the corner posts to the wall plate and herringbone brick infill. The girding beam between the floors has mortice holes in its lower body, showing that the ground floor was also originally close studded, as is still the case at far right, but the majority of the original infill to this floor has been replaced by C19 bricks laid in stretcher bond. The ground floor window is a three-light uPVC casement, but the two-light, first-floor window surround has a moulded sill supported by a bracket and may be original.

The eastern gable end of the east-west range is built of C19 Flemish-bond brick. It has a central stack, at the bottom of which, at either side, are small lean-to additions which may have been bread ovens. To the right of this, and flush with the gable end, is the eastern flank of the north-south wing. This has C19 brick walling to its left, with renewed fenestration. To the left of the ground floor is a gabled porch with clapboarded walling which marks one end of the cross passage. To right of this is a broad bay of timber framing. Ground floor walling has been replaced with C19 brick, but at first floor level is close studded walling with main posts from which arched braces connect with the wall plate. Infill is principally of wattle and daub, with some replacement in C19 brick. At centre is a four-light window with timber mullions whose sill showed that it originally came lower and has now been partially blocked with bricks.

The northern gable end has close studding to both floors and arched braces to the first floor, as before. The lower body of the gable is similarly close-studded, but the upper part, above the collar beam, has later vertical posts. A pair of C20 garage doors have been inserted at ground floor right and there is a single, small window to the centre of the first floor. Infill has been removed from the ground floor, but is of C19 brick to the first floor and of wattle and daub to the lower gable.

The west flank of the north-south wing has two wide bays of timber framing. The three main posts survive to their full height, but the infill at ground-floor level has been replaced by brick walling in Flemish bond. First-floor walling is close-studded with arched braces, as before. The left hand bay is blind, but the right bay has a three-light window to the ground floor and a C19 plank door which leads to the cross passage. At first-floor level the horizontal window at right cuts through an arched brace and the two-light casement at left has a moulded surround supported on a bracket, similar to that seen on the north front of the east-west range and possibly original.

INTERIOR: ground floor rooms have chamfered beams and closely-set joists with stepped end stops. A ground-floor partition wall in the east-west range, which was probably formerly an external wall, is close studded. A C19 staircase leads up to a generous landing. Close-studded walling and jowled corner posts are revealed in the east-west wing at first floor level. The north-south wing has been gutted of later additions at first floor level and this has exposed the timber frame and the junction between the two principal ranges which were not bonded with each other and which have two adjacent corner posts with arched braces. Substantial timbers are used throughout. A partition between the two floors with arched braces clearly has a doorway to one side, indicating that a first floor and partition were part of the built structure at this northern end. The truss has queen posts and gently cambered upper surfaces to the tie and collar. Apparent soot blackening is uneven and perhaps indicates a leaking chimney stack, but may be an indication of an open hall.

Sources

None.

Legal

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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