Barwickstead barn and attached ancillary buildings


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
Barwickstead, Beckermet, Cumbria, CA21 9YA


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Statutory Address:
Barwickstead, Beckermet, Cumbria, CA21 9YA

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

Copeland (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:


Barn 1858, extended by the addition of a west range by 1898.

Reasons for Designation

This bank barn, of mid-C19 date with later additions, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

* a handsome barn of good architectural quality, detailing and materials reflecting its higher status context; * its original multi-functional form and individual functions including animal housing, stabling and ventilated storage is highly legible; * the original plan-form and a number of original fittings are retained, including increasingly rare timber and cast-iron horse-related fittings to the former stable, and various feeding troughs and chutes; * a characteristic Cumbrian multi-functional barn that reflects regional character, and illustrates the diversity of past farming practice in England. 


Beckermet developed from the late C17 as an agricultural village with linear farmsteads strung out along its main road. Barwickstead was constructed in 1858 as a prestigious planned farmstead comprising a farmhouse with a walled garden, a barn and a pig and hen house (a hennery-piggery). Its layout illustrates the more hierarchical arrangements of the C19, with the farmhouse being physically separated from the barns and ancillary buildings. The barn is present on the first edition 1:10,560 Ordnance Survey (OS) map surveyed in 1861 (published 1867) with a T-shaped plan. By the time of the map revision in 1898 (published 1900), the barn's eastern elevation had been modified by the removal of a small projection and a substantial rear ancillary west range has been added. The latter is thought to have housed a horse gang with a rear stable, and a boiler house and store. The footprint of the buildings is unchanged on subsequent OS editions to the present day.


Barn 1858, extended by the addition of a west range by 1898 MATERIALS: random red sandstone with dressed red sandstone dressings and a Lakeland stone slate roof. The later extension also incorporates block work and corrugated metal.

PLAN: the detached barn is oriented roughly east to west with a pair of projecting wings to either side of the rear entrance and an additional small range to the right side.

EXTERIOR: not inspected, information from other sources. The barn conforms to a bank barn and has two floors plus an attic and has dressed sandstone lintels, jambs and quoins beneath a pitched roof of graduated local slate with an ornate central cupola. The east elevation displays the scar of a former narrow projecting range (demolished). There is a central entrance with a double entrance to its left, both with boarded doors and strap hinges, and the double opening incorporates a six-pane window. A second single entrance with a four-pane over light is situated in the north corner. The first floor has a single centrally placed pitching door, and the attic floor is pierced by a series of six ventilation slits. The right return has an entrance with a boarded door with a four-pane over light and a window to the left with a modified multi-pane fixed casement. A second entrance also has a window to its left with a six-over-six sliding sash window. There are three stepped ventilation slits to the apex and a trefoil finial. The left return has a trefoil finial to the apex, and at attic level there is a pair of small windows and resting ledges. The rear elevation has a wide, central opening beneath a pentice roof, and to either side is an attached, three-storey projecting outshut with pitched roofs, stone coping, finials and water tables. Both turrets have an original central eight-over-eight sliding sash window and stone feeding hatches at the base of their walls with lift-up boarded covers. Their respective north and south gables each have a small window to the apex and an owl hole with resting ledge; the right turret has a crenellated chimney pot.

INTERIOR: not inspected, information from other sources. The ground floor of the barn contains a byre and a stable. The former has a central feed passage with a stone flagged floor set between raised stone kerbs and opposing entrances. The walls are whitewashed and the ceiling beams and rafters exposed. All boarded doors are original. The stable has a drainage system with gullies covered by slotted iron plates, and exposed ceiling beams and rafters. The three original boarded timber stalls with ornate cast-iron columns are retained; each stall has a rectangular feeding hatch through its west wall with simple boarded doors with strap hinges and an original iron manger. There is a cast iron trough or sink at the end of the row of stalls. Each of the small rear turret projections contain a simple room that retains stone stall divisions and the lower parts of the external feeding hatches. The wash house attached to the most southerly turret projection retains an early-C20 wash copper within a brick structure with a copper lid. The first floor of the barn (the former granary) is a large open space with upper ventilation slits, and a king post roof structure, part of which at the south end has an inserted timber pigeon loft.

SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: not inspected, information from other sources. Built against the right rear turret and extending westwards there is a pair of attached later-C19 additions. The first is rectangular beneath a pitched roof of slate with a central ventilator, whose gabled south elevation has scattered fenestration, and whose north wall is a modern block work and corrugated metal replacement. The building is thought to have housed a horse gang and retains two of its original three ceiling beams. Attached to the rear is a roofless building standing to eaves height with an asymmetric north gable containing a single entrance and retaining evidence of several roof lines, and it has a chimney stack to the south gable. The building is thought to have housed a stable, boiler house (to heat a former glasshouse) and a store. The stable is thought to retain the remains of stalls and has a series of double openings through its east wall giving access to the horse gang.


Books and journals
Brunskill, RW, Traditional Buildings of Cumbria, (2002)
Historic Farmsteads Preliminary Character Statement North West, accessed 06-11-2020 from


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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