Farmhouse, late C17 with C18 alterations, and bank barn of later C18 or early-C19 date.
Reasons for Designation
Mireside farmhouse of later-C17 date and bank barn of later-C18 or early-C19 date are listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* a later-C17 evolved dwelling where the original two or three-unit plan is preserved and highly legible within the evolved building;
* good survival of structural fabric including mass walling, original roof structures and various ceiling beams, and a range of historic internal fixtures and fittings, including an C18 oak dog-leg staircase, panelled cupboards and doors with door furniture, and a suspended cheese shelf;
* the bank barn retains its original vernacular character through which its threshing, storage and animal housing functions are clearly expressed;
* the bank barn illustrates good interior survival including an original tie-beam roof structure;
* taken together, the farmhouse and bank barn are a good example of an evolved Westmorland farmstead that characterise the area and contribute to our understanding of regional diversity and local vernacular style and materials.
Thomas Jeffrey’s 1770 map and C and J Greenwood's 1824 map of Westmorland do not depict buildings at Mireside as these maps are too small in scale and typically only depict settlements above a certain size. Mireside farmhouse and bank barn are depicted as an L-shaped farmhouse with and a T-shaped bank barn on the 1:2,500 Ordnance Survey (OS) map of 1858. By the time of the second edition 1:2,500 OS map of 1898, an additional rear outshut had been added to the house, but otherwise the buildings retain the same footprint as in 1858, and are unchanged on subsequent map editions to the present day.
The farmhouse and attached cottage were recorded by the Royal Commission on the Historic Monuments of England (RCHME) in 1937. They were described as C17 in origin, with two storeys, rubble walls and slate roofs. They probably originated during the C17 reorganisation and expansion in this region, from which time other groups of farm buildings survive. The original dwelling is thought to have been constructed as a single-storey two or three-unit-plan house, that might have included the ground floor of the subsequently separate cottage. C17 details such as chamfer stops to the main entrance door jambs suggest that the original dwelling dates from the late C17, and that that the rear dairy and staircase outshuts were a later, probably early-C18 addition when the building was raised to accommodate a second storey. The cottage forming the east end of the present farmhouse has also served as a one-room building with an inglenook to the east wall, and a loft bedroom, probably in the second half of the C18. At an unknown date the cottage and house were amalgamated into a single dwelling. The parlour has more recently been extended into the rear outshut. The bank barn conforms to a later-C18 or early-C19 date.
The 1841 census records a John Noble as the farmer at Mireside Farm, with seven other members including two servants. In 1851 Thomas Noble is recorded as farmer of 70 acres. By the 1881 census John Airey is listed as farmer of 77 acres, and by 1901 William Airey is the farmer living at the farm with his wife and eight children.
Farmhouse, C17 with C18 alterations, and variant bank barn of later C18 or early C19 date.
MATERIALS: stone rubble construction and graduated Westmorland slate roofs; the farmhouse and cottage are partially roughcast rendered.
PLAN: the farmhouse is situated on the north side of a farmyard, with a variant bank barn on the south side.
A two-storey house and an attached two storey, single-bay cottage, forming one dwelling. All windows have uPVC replacement frames and stone sills. The south elevation of the house has three bays beneath a pitched roof of slate with end gable stacks and large quoins. It has a central entrance with a one-sided, gabled porch made from a large stone slab. The entrance has a chamfered oak door frame with a possibly incised curved step chamfer stop to each jamb conforming to a late-C17 date. The original oak panel door also has an upright door handle of a similar date. To either side there is a window, with a continuous slate drip mould, and three regular first floor windows. The east gable has a corbelled external chimney stack. The attached two-storey, single-bay cottage is slightly set back and lower, beneath a pitched roof of slate with a right end chimney stack. It has an entrance with a boarded door and a C17 handle, and a window to the right with a slate pentise roof and slate drip mould above, and a single, central first floor window. The right return is unrendered and blind, with a substantial external chimney, and the left return, also unrendered and blind, has two windows with slate drip stones to the outshut. The rear elevation has an integral outshut to the west end beneath a cat slide roof with a single ground floor window with drip stone, and a stair window to the upper left; a later quoined outshut is attached to the east.
A variant bank barn, with its west end embedded into the rising ground, is built of stone rubble with alternating stone quoins beneath a pitched roof of slate. The south elevation has first floor ventilation slits, and a full-height former threshing door, now blocked. To the right there are two openings with boarded doors and slate canopies, giving access to the byre under croft, with a small rectangular window in between, and ventilation holes and through stones to the east end. The east gable also has ventilation holes, regular rows of slate through stones, an owl hole to the apex and a ground-floor window with a slab lintel. The west gable has ventilation slits. The north elevation has a central gabled projecting range with an upper window with a slate dripstone; there is also an entrance with a timber lintel through each side wall. To the right of this, the upper barn is entered from ground level through a full-height threshing door with timber lintel, which opposes that to the south elevation, and with a ventilation slit to the right. To the left of the central projection there is a pentice roof partly supported on a narrow stone wall, through which there is access to a stone stair leading to the upper level, and an entrance down to the byre undercroft.
The house is entered into the main living room; the internal face of the main door has a door latch with rocker bar and a rectangular lock case with incised lines, both conforming to a C17 date. Walls are mostly plain and plastered and floors are mostly C20. The room has a pair of substantial chamfered ceiling beams and exposed ancient rafters. The more easterly beam is thought to be a firebeam that supported a former chimney hood to an inglenook set against the east wall; this area is now occupied by a chimney breast flanked by a full-height cupboard with doors of fielded panels. There are hooks in the ceiling and a wooden cheese shelf is suspended from the rafters. A two-panel door opens into a rear passage , giving access to the western room, which is plain and has been extended into the rear dairy outshut. The passage continues east and has substantial exposed ceiling beams and rafters, one of which has a moulded decorative edge forming coving. There is a square cupboard to the north wall of the passage with double wide board doors that retain strap hinges with ends, characteristic of C17 or early-C18 date. The passage gives access to the ground floor of the attached cottage through a rustic door frame; the cottage has a stone-flagged floor and a substantial chimney breast to the east wall, the site of a former inglenook; a substantial chamfered beam running from front to rear is considered to be a fire beam. There is a chamfered, corbelled beam running the full length of the west wall, supporting the upper floor of the house, and an opening though the north wall fitted with a boarded door, opens into a larder/dairy with a stone-flagged floor, ceiling hooks and slate benches. The first floor is reached by an C18 staircase within the rear stair outshut, behind a fielded two-panel door. The oak dog-leg staircase with plain square newel posts and turned balusters is lit by a stair window with fielded panelling. A first-floor corridor with wooden floorboards of varying width gives access to three bedrooms in the west end of the house, all with timber floorboards of varying width, all with later fireplaces removed, and some with two-panel doors of C18 form with contemporary door furniture. Part of the roof structure could be viewed through a hatch, and has pegged triangular trusses, double purlins and a ridge piece. The single first floor room of the attached cottage is set at a lower level and has an exposed waney roof structure.
The bank barn characteristically has a first-floor full length threshing floor with storage to either side and cow houses and loose boxes to the undercrofts. The first floor is accessed from ground level at the west end: it retains its original pegged triangular truss double purlin roof structure and has large stone slabs to the former threshing floor. There is a ground floor byre with historic byre fittings including three rows of three timber stalls, a central feeding passage and two manure passages. The stalls posts are crotched, and are chamfered and stopped, and vertical stone slabs form the stall sides; floors are large stone slabs or cobbled surfaces. The north projection contains a loose box with hayloft over.