Stable complex at Evenwood Farm, mid- to late-C19.
Reasons for Designation
The Stable complex is listed at Grade II, for the following principal reasons:
* a characterful building originating in the mid-C19, and retaining a significant proportion of fabric from that phase, and from the additions made in the later C19;
* a multi-purpose building complex, each element of which is functionally legible;
* retaining a complete range of stable fittings, with mangers of good-quality construction and unusual design.
* providing evidence of historic local agricultural practices and vernacular building traditions;
* part of the development of one the Acton Burnell Estate’s tenant farms.
* with the other Grade II-listed buildings in the farmstead: the south barn and granary, and with 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 east-west range of the stable complex had by then been added to the farmstead. The range consists of the stable and cartshed, with a pigsty to the west and privy to the east. The 1902 map shows the extension to the north, providing two additional pigsties and a store.
Stable complex at Evenwood Farm, mid- to late-C19.
MATERIALS: rubble stone with brick dressings and tiled roofs.
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: a barn to the south (Grade II), 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 of the house is the STABLE complex. It has a T-shaped footprint, with the east-west range containing a pigsty, stable with hayloft, and a cartshed, with the privvy detached from the east end. The northern range contains two pigsties and a store.
EXTERIOR: the stable and cartshed form the south-facing, east-west range, and are the earliest element. The STABLE is two-storeys with a pitched roof. It has a doorway and window on the ground floor, both with rubbed brick segmental arches and brick architraves. The roof line steps down to a single storey above the CARTSHED, which has a wide carriageway opening with timber plank doors and a window to the left. The windows to both the cartshed and stable are in multi-light metal frames. The eaves are lined with brick, and roofs are pitched. Other elevations are blind, except for a brick-lined square opening to the hayloft on the north elevation of the stables.
There are three PIGSTIES. One abuts the west gable of the stable, and the other two project from its north elevation. All are low stone structures with pitched roofs. The single sty has brick detailing to the doorway, and a small window in its gable. Each sty is fronted by a yard enclosed by stone walls. Abutting the north gable of the pair of sties is a STORE room. It is a single-storey, square-plan structure with a pitched roof and a brick chimneystack. It has a window on the north gable, and a doorway on the west elevation; both openings are lined in brick, and the angles of the building have rough stone quoins. The PRIVVY stands detached from the east gable of the cartshed, though is linked by low walls. It is a single-storey structure with a pitched roof. The doorway is on the east gable, and has a pegged timber frame. There is a small window in the gable, and the elevation is enclosed by stone screen walls.
INTERIOR: the STABLE retains mangers set upon brick arches, and wall-mounted iron hayracks, above which are openings to the hay loft. There is a timber stall partition, and the floor is brick with a drainage gulley. Within the adjacent CARTSHED there is an internal partition creating two cells. The narrow cell to the west has a small brick corner hearth with an arched brick smoke hood, possibly truncated from a functioning chimney. The PIGSTIES and STORE have brick floors. A blocked brick fireplace within the southern wall of the store suggests it may have once functioned as a tack room. The PRIVVY has a quarry-tiled floor. The roof structure to each element of the building has coupled rafters and a ridge board, and the stable and cartshed have a single tier of purlins.