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Former barn and riding school to the NE of Wrightington Hall

A Grade II Listed Building in Wrightington, Lancashire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.5908 / 53°35'26"N

Longitude: -2.709 / 2°42'32"W

OS Eastings: 353169

OS Northings: 410697

OS Grid: SD531106

Mapcode National: GBR 9VJX.9K

Mapcode Global: WH86L.C08L

Entry Name: Former barn and riding school to the NE of Wrightington Hall

Listing Date: 20 March 2017

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1445177

Location: Wrightington, West Lancashire, Lancashire, WN6

County: Lancashire

District: West Lancashire

Parish: Wrightington

Traditional County: Lancashire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lancashire

Church of England Parish: Appley Bridge All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Blackburn

Summary

Former barn and riding school to NE of Wrightington Hall, possibly C16/C17 origins, altered in the early C18 with further C19 and C20 alterations. Coursed sandstone, slate roofs.

Description

Former barn and riding school to NE of Wrightington Hall, possibly C16/C17 origins, altered in the early C18 with further C19 and C20 alterations. Coursed sandstone, slate roofs.

PLAN: to the NE of the main buildings is the recreation hall, which comprises two buildings: a probable C16/C17 barn aligned E-W with a later N cross wing at the E end, and an early-C18 riding school (possibly with C17 origins), which is attached to the E end and is also aligned E-W with C20 lean-tos attached to the N side (the later lean-tos are excluded from the listing).

EXTERIOR: what is now known as the recreation centre lies to the NE of the main buildings and comprises a former barn with an attached N cross wing (now both largely disused) and a single-bay link connecting to a former riding school (now an archives store).

FORMER BARN: the former barn is constructed of coursed sandstone blocks of varying size (those to the S side are generally of smaller sandstone 'bricks') and probably has its origins as a C16/17 timber-framed building associated with the earlier hall that was encased in stone in the early C18 and converted into stabling with further alterations taking place in the C19 and C20. A number of exterior features are similar to those of the neighbouring former riding school, which is believed to largely date to the early C18. The barn is of one and a half storeys and has a pitched roof with slate coverings that were probably laid in the mid-late C19 when the E link bay was added. The W gable end is quoined (the quoining to the SW corner only rises to mid height) and has two cross windows to the ground floor. The gable has a deep eaves cornice and an oculus (now boarded over) with a keystone to the apex. The S elevation has three windows with ashlar surrounds incorporating carved sills; two are located towards the W end and one is located to the far E end where it forms part of a single-bay link added in the mid-late C19 to connect to the riding school. A later window opening has been inserted into the elevation, along with two later inserted openings containing glazed doors flanked by sidelights, which have makeshift timber panel lintels imitating brickwork and which light an internal function space located in the E half of the barn's ground floor. The ashlar lintel of a blocked-up opening exists above one of the inserted openings, and the roof has a small ventilator. The former barn's N elevation incorporates a series of later inserted window and door openings of varying size, including two vehicular openings. Set to the roof is a C19 small round-arched dormer window in the same style as those to the main hall building, a truncated chimneystack to the centre of the ridge, and three later two-light rooflights. The single-bay link at the E end, which is of mellow red brick on this side, has a truncated chimneystack and two two-light rooflights. Attached in front of the link on the N side is a late-C20 brick single storey lean-to, which is excluded from the listing.

Projecting out at a right angle from the E end of the former barn's N elevation is a later extended N cross wing, which is also of one and a half storeys; a corresponding cross wing at the W end depicted on early-C19 maps (forming a U-shaped range that was probably used for stabling at that time) has been demolished. The cross wing has stone quoining and a N gable end constructed of coursed sandstone with an eaves cornice incorporating two sections of horizontal cornice to form a broken pediment to the gable. An external stair with a later metal balustrade leads up to a ledged and braced door accessing the upper floor. Set to the left of the upper doorway is a square two-over-two sash window with a stone surround. A tall blocked-up ground floor doorway exists to the right of the stair. The cross wing's E elevation is of mellow red brick and has a large round-arched opening to the N end, which has been partially blocked up and converted into a doorway with sidelights. Two further openings to the S are now hidden by the late-C20 brick single storey lean-to (the lean-to is excluded from the listing) attached in front of the link bay, but the openings are visible internally and are glazed. Set to the roof on this side is a two-light rooflight. The cross wing's W elevation is rendered with two segmental-arched windows to the ground floor containing replaced glazing; a third window at the S end has been blocked up. A tiny square window exists to the top right corner of the wall and set to the roof is a two-light rooflight.

FORMER RIDING SCHOOL: the former riding school, which is attached to the former barn via the mid-late C19 link bay, is constructed of coursed sandstone incorporating a plinth, with ashlar dressings. It is a tall single storey building that is double height internally and has quoining to the external corners and a pitched slate roof with a dentil eaves. A mullioned window on the N side of the building that does not correspond with the styling and detailing of the rest of the building suggests that its origins possibly lie in a vernacular C17 building associated with the earlier hall that was given a polite makeover in the early C18 and converted into a riding school.

The S elevation has three four-light fixed pane windows set at the first floor level, which provide the appearance of sash windows from a distance and have ashlar surrounds in the same style as those to the S side of the neighbouring former barn. Later inserted openings have been inserted to the ground floor with makeshift timber lintels intended to mimic brickwork and containing French windows. The E gable end has two windows at first floor level in the same style as those to the S side and the dentil eaves cornice incorporates a horizontal cornice creating a pediment to the gable. Set to the gable apex is an oval-shaped blind oculus with a keystone and scrolled decoration to the shoulders and containing a small later inserted window. Only the uppermost part of the W gable end is visible due to the presence of the mid-late C19 link bay connecting to the barn, which cuts into the horizontal cornice of the gable end's pediment. The W gable end is surmounted by a weathervane. The former riding school's N elevation is largely hidden by a mid-C20 stone, brick and timber lean-to that runs along the full length of the riding school on this side and is excluded from the listing. Two three-light rooflights have been inserted into the main roof. The lower part of the N wall is contained within the C20 lean-to and has been painted. It incorporates a four-light mullioned window with a hoodmould above (one of the lights has been boarded over and partially hidden by a partition in the lean-to) and a mid-C20 inserted doorway at the E end of the N wall, which was probably inserted to access a C20 stage located in the riding school. A tall Gothic-arched doorway exists to the centre of the N wall with chamfered jambs and panelled double doors. The doorway appears to have possibly been rebuilt: the inside arch (visible internally) is slightly larger than the outer arch and appears to be of rubblestone rather than ashlar construction.

INTERIOR:

FORMER BARN: the ground floor of the former barn has been altered and the W half has been partitioned* (the partitioning is not of special interest) into a series of rooms and lobbies, but parts of the lower sections of cruck blades are visible in places. Some early-C20 three-panel doors survive. Two modernised rooms with suspended ceilings* exist to the far W end with late-C20 wall panelling* and padded walls* (the suspended ceilings, wall panelling and wall padding are not of special interest). One of the W rooms contains a C19 chimneybreast and a truncated stair leading up to the upper floor (the lower section of the stair has been removed). At the time of inspection the chimneybreast was largely hidden by furniture so it wasn't possible to see if a fireplace survives. The room also contains a cast-iron column to the NW corner with saddlery pegs and modern kitchen units* along the S wall adjacent to an inserted serving hatch* (the kitchen units and serving hatch are not of special interest) in the E wall, which connects through to the neighbouring room. The E half of the ground floor is formed of a large modernised room latterly used as a function space that contains a modern counter*, which is not of special interest, to the W wall in front of the serving hatch. Two inserted doorways in the E wall access the mid-late C19 link bay, which has panelled walls and has been partitioned to create a passageway through to the former riding school and a room on the S side; the link bay's N wall incorporates a sash window now hidden externally by the mid-late C20 single-bay lean-to. The inserted opening accessing the link bay is now contained within a mid-late C20 vestibule* (not of special interest) and also has an inserted doorway in the N wall that leads into the ground floor of the N cross wing, which has been heavily altered and modernised and converted into a bar area with a large mid-late C20 bar counter*, which is not of special interest. Ceiling beams in the N wing are supported by later inserted brick columns* and sections of walling* that are not of special interest, and all three round-arched openings are visible to the E wall (two are now hidden externally by the late-C20 lean-to attached to the N side of the mid-late C19 link bay).

On the barn's upper floor level a series of at least four crucks are fully visible (the far W room on the upper floor was not accessible for inspection due to unsafe floors) along with pegged roof timbers, including stop-chamfered side purlins. Some rafters have been replaced, but much of the original roof appears to survive. Partly-glazed C19 panelled partitions have been inserted in the E half of the upper floor on the S side, creating a series of three rooms (probably for stablehands) and effectively creating a corridor along the N side. Floor joists remain in situ, but floorboards have been removed and sheet boarding has been placed over the joists in the corridor, which incorporates a C19 round-arched dormer window (boarded over externally) on the N side. One of the rooms has a stone fire surround containing a large late-C19 cast-iron range and some shelving to the walls. A stair to the centre on the S side has stick balusters and a square newel post, but the lower section leading down into a room below has been removed. The W half of the upper floor contains two large rooms, and at the far E end off the end of the N corridor is a room in the mid-late C19 link bay, which has a slightly lower floor level and has a built-in cupboard to the E wall and a stone fire surround and raised hearth to the W wall. A doorway inserted into the N side of the corridor accesses the upper floor of the N cross wing, which also has a lower floor level. The cross wing has machine-cut king post trusses and roof timbers with assembly marks, and a brick chimneybreast to the centre of the N gable wall with a blocked-up fireplace opening (a corresponding chimneystack has been removed externally).

FORMER RIDING SCHOOL: the former riding school is a large double-height space with a later floorboard floor. The tie beams and curved braces of a series of roof trusses are visible beneath a mid-C20 inserted ceiling* (the later ceiling is not of special interest). The trusses are supported by carved stone corbels, although one of the trusses has lost one of its braces and corbels. A blocked-up window exists to the W wall, and it has been suggested that a rendered section to the upper part of the walling in the NW corner is evidence that the building was possibly lower in height originally and then later raised; a suggestion that would concur with the presence of the mullioned window and the differentiation in styling. The roof was not accessible for inspection, but a consultant's report of 2012 records 'a simple trussed purlined roof'. A photograph within the report reveals a series of collared trusses and it is believed that the purlins are chamfered.

* Pursuant to s1 (5A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 ('the Act') it is declared that these aforementioned features are not of special architectural or historic interest.

History

The former barn at Wrightington Hall is believed to have been associated with the earlier hall on the site and was probably originally constructed in the C16/17 as a timber-framed building that was encased in stone in the early C18 and converted into stabling, with further alterations taking place in the C19 and C20.

The former riding school possibly originated as a C17 vernacular building associated with the earlier hall that was given a polite makeover in the early C18 and converted into a riding school.

From the mid C20 both buildings were used as a recreation centre for hospital staff with a stage and dancefloor in the former riding school and function room and bar in the former barn and cross wing. The former riding school has latterly been used as an archives store, whilst the former barn is disused.

Reasons for Listing

The former barn and riding school to the NE of Wrightington Hall are listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Historic interest: they are important survivals associated with the estate's now-demolished earlier hall that reflect the historic development of the Wrightington estate from the C16/C17 to the present day;

* Architectural interest: the buildings' C18 polite modifications with their classical styling are well detailed with features including eaves cornicing, carved oculi, pedimented gables and carved window surrounds, whilst significant earlier features include a series of crucks and early roof timbers in the former barn;

* Legibility: despite some later alteration the early origins and functional evolution of the buildings remain readable in the physical fabric;

* Group value: they have strong group value with the Grade II listed Wrightington Hall and other listed features on the Wrightington estate.

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