South barn at Evenwood Farm


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
Evenwood Farm, Kenley, Shrewsbury, SY5 6NN


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Statutory Address:
Evenwood Farm, Kenley, Shrewsbury, SY5 6NN

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

Shropshire (Unitary Authority)
Acton Burnell
National Grid Reference:


South barn at Evenwood Farm, C18 with C19 alterations.

Reasons for Designation

The south barn is listed at Grade II, for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

* originating in the C18 and retaining a significant proportion of fabric from that period; * a six-bay timber frame, with weighty timberwork in the form of pegged bay partitions, trusses, and wall framing, and with carpenter’s marks; * retaining C19 fittings illustrating the building’s function as a cattle shed.

Historic interest:

* providing evidence of historic local agricultural practices and vernacular building traditions; * a key element of the development of one the Acton Burnell Estate’s tenant farms.

Group value:

* with the other Grade II-listed buildings in the farmstead: the granary and stable complex, and with Grade II*-listed Sham Castle, to the east, and the Grade II-registered Acton Burnell Estate park.


Evenwood Farm is likely to have originated in the mid- to late-C18 as part of the Acton Burnell Estate, and was developed and enlarged in the C19 and C20.

In the Middle Ages Acton Burnell belonged to the Burnells. Robert Burnell (d 1292) was Bishop of Bath and Wells and Lord Chancellor, who in the C13 rebuilt the church and manor house in an advanced architectural style, and created a deer park on the hill which rises behind them. The manor later passed to the Lovells, from whom it was forfeited to the Crown in 1485. In 1617 it was bought by Humphry Lee of Langley Hall, whose granddaughter, Mary, married Sir Edward Smythe of Eshe Hall (Durham). Thenceforward the Smythes were normally seated at Acton Burnell, the Hall being rebuilt in the 1750s by a subsequent Sir Edward (d 1784) who later improved and embellished the landscape park (registered at Grade II). Evenwood Farm stands just to the east of the park.

The earliest map evidence for the farm dates from 1817. It is shown clearly on the Tithe map of 1843, where there are two L-shaped barns, with a third building to the south. The accompanying apportionments notes house, buildings, fold, and garden, with the adjacent plot described as a yard. It is assumed that the original farmhouse was the building to the south. This was replaced in 1857 by an architecturally fashionable, larger building, facing the park.

A notice in the Shrewsbury Chronicle in 1862 advertised for sale the farming livestock and machinery belonging to occupant EC Moore, who was giving up the farm. The description of the stock and items for sale give an indication of the size, use and facilities of the farm at the time. The livestock for sale included ten short horned dairy cows, six heifers, six yealring cattle, four cart horses with seven sets of first-class new gears, two yearling colts, two cobs, and two prime fat pigs. Equipment and machinery included a dog cart, dennet gig, harnesses, a portable threshing machine, three carts, a Howard’s plough and four sets of harrows, and a ridge plough. Also for sale were the household goods and furniture, including chamber, parlour and sitting room suites.

The 1882 Ordnance Survey map shows that the stables and granary had by then been added to the farmstead. The 1902 map shows that the covered yard had been enlarged, and the stables extended to provide pig sties and a store. Photographs of 1960 depict two views of the house, and show that the pyramidal tower roof has been lost, and three windows have been inserted into the south-east gable. The fabric of the agricultural buildings indicates various phases of development and adaptation.


South barn at Evenwood Farm, C18 with C19 alterations.

MATERIALS: a timber-framed, weather-boarded structure on a stone plinth, with a clay tiled roof. Brick has replaced timber framing in the north side of the westernmost bays. Various repairs and additions have been made in brick and concrete.

PLAN: the farmstead stands on the south-west side of the unclassified road between Kenley and Acton Burnell.

The principal agricultural buildings stand at the north-west of the group. There are two parallel building ranges: the SOUTH BARN, and cattle shed to the north, linked by a covered yard, forming a U-plan with a central fold yard. There is a granary (Grade II) at the south-west corner of the southern barn.

The farmhouse, which occupies an irregular footprint, stands to the south-east of the group. Immediately north is a range of stables with ancillary facilities (Grade II).

EXTERIOR: a single-storey linear range of six bays. It has a low rubble plinth, with sections repaired or replaced. Elevations are largely clad in horizontal weather-boarding; the west gable is clad in corrugated metal sheeting, with boarding to the gable. There are various openings on the long north and south elevations, and a doorway on the east gable end. Doors on the south are largely crude batten and plank structures, one of which is a stable door. On the northern openings there are sliding framed and ledged doors. The north elevation of the west end of the barn is enclosed within the covered yard, and was rebuilt in brick as part of the development of the latter structure. The roof is pitched.

INTERIOR: the barn is a timber-framed post and beam structure of six bays. Bays have deep corner posts supporting wall plates and queen post trusses, with deep trenched purlins. Elevations and bay partitions sit upon low plinth walls; while there have been some alterations, it appears the original structure had sole and wall plates with upright posts and struts. Some timbers bear evidence of reuse. The internal members of the easternmost truss have been replaced with a kingpost and raking struts. The roof has coupled rafters and a ridge board, probably replaced later in the C19. The lower part of the north elevation of the second bay has been rebuilt in concrete block to form a trough, suggesting its use as a cattle loosebox. The easternmost four bays are divided internally by stud partitions. These, generally, have stout uprights with struts, and are clad in horizontal boarding. There third cell has a brick floor with a central gulley and stable door. The westernmost bay partition is brick. The western two-thirds of the north elevation was rebuilt in brick when the covered yard (not listed) was constructed in the late C19. The two westernmost bays have three cattle stalls with timber partitions and brick and timber mangers, with a brick floor and drainage gulley. There is a feeding passage along the southern side.


Evenwood Farm (ref 22905), Shropsire Historic Environment Record, accessed 06/03/2020 from
List entry: Acton Burnell (park and garden), ref 1001112, accessed 06/03/2020 from
Evenwood Farm, notice of sale of stock etc, Shrewsbury Chronicle, 17 January 1862, 1


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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