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Roughwood Farmhouse

A Grade II Listed Building in Chalfont St Giles, Buckinghamshire

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Latitude: 51.6481 / 51°38'53"N

Longitude: -0.5502 / 0°33'0"W

OS Eastings: 500405

OS Northings: 195365

OS Grid: TQ004953

Mapcode National: GBR F6J.RQ5

Mapcode Global: VHFSJ.FT0X

Plus Code: 9C3XJCXX+7W

Entry Name: Roughwood Farmhouse

Listing Date: 17 March 1982

Last Amended: 14 October 2019

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1124982

English Heritage Legacy ID: 44426

Location: Chalfont St. Giles, Buckinghamshire, HP8

County: Buckinghamshire

Civil Parish: Chalfont St Giles

Traditional County: Buckinghamshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Buckinghamshire

Church of England Parish: Chalfont St Giles

Church of England Diocese: Oxford

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Chalfont Saint Giles


A farmhouse of late-C19 date with a wing added by CFA Voysey in 1902 for Captain Williams and other, late-C19 and C20 additions and alterations.


A farmhouse of late-C19 date with a wing very probably added by CFA Voysey in 1902 for Captain Williams and other, late-C19 and C20 additions and alterations.

MATERIALS and PLAN: red brick laid in Flemish bond with stone dressings and a slate roof. The addition of 1902 has roughcast and colourwashed brick walls with a slate roof. The building is of two storeys, with a basement and the northern wing has a lower ridge.

EXTERIOR: the entrance front faces south and has three bays, symmetrically disposed. There is a projecting brick plinth and a stone band at the level of the first-floor window sills, both of which continue on the flanks of the building. At the centre is a projecting porch wing with a half-hipped roof. This has, at ground-floor level, an arched entrance with prominent keystone. It appears to have formerly been open to the front and sides, but now has later, panelled double doors and a fanlight, with arched windows to its sides. Above this at first-floor level is a four-pane sash window and the bays at either side have similar windows to both floors.

Recessed at right is the Voysey wing. This has low eaves at ground floor level to its left and a canted bay window to the right, which rises through both floors and turns the corner to connect with a chimney stack on the eastern side of the wing. The ground-floor windows are taller and have wooden mullions and transoms with leaded casements. First-floor casements are divided by mullions. The low parapet above the first-floor windows ramps up to connect with the stack, which is tapered. The eastern flank of the house has the stack at centre with the canted bay to its left and a recessed bay with a doorway at ground-floor level, containing a C20 glazed door, and a leaded casement to the first floor. The north side, or rear of the wing has blind, roughcast, walling to its left with some evidence of original lime-wash and narrow casement lights to both floors at far right, that at first floor level set in a dormer with lead cladding to its eastern flank.

The eastern side of the earlier house, to the right of the Voysey wing, has brick walling with a projecting stack and four-pane sashes to ground and first floors.

The western side of the house has a canted bay window of two storeys at the right, set beneath a half-hipped gable. To its left is a doorway, flanked by slender sashes and there is a tall staircase window above this which causes the stone sill band to dip. At left again is a single, ground-floor bay with a triplet of small, first-floor sashes above. Recessed at left is an addition with a garage door to the ground floor. The first floor walling in brown brick appears to be a further addition, probably of C20 date.

The north front, or rear, has the added C20 portion at right, with a jettied first floor supported by a central pillar and lateral brackets. To the left of this is an original portion of the house with stone sill band, half-hipped gable and random fenestration.

INTERIOR: the porch leads to a staircase hall which has panelled double doors leading to the reception room on the west side. To the east, the doorway has been replaced by a semi-circular archway, flanked by thin pilasters which support a deep cyma moulded cornice, which appears to be of the same period as the addition of 1902. This creates a living hall, with the Voysey wing attached to the eastern end of this reception room. Three of the ground-floor rooms in the older part of the house retain their original marble fire surrounds. The staircase has an open well and turned balusters and a closed string and newels of square section with chamfered corners. Mid-C19 joinery also includes window shutters and several sash windows retain their original glass. First -floor bedrooms have original fitted cupboards but original fire surrounds have been removed.

The ground-floor reception room of the wing designed by Voysey has a fire surround with cyma moulding below its shelf. The casements to the bay window retain their original metal handles and fastenings, but the fitted wooden benches below have been replaced. The north-western corner of the room appears to have been adapted to create a larder entered from the kitchen. At first-floor level the fire surround has been removed, but a grille in a distinctive pattern often used by Voysey and illustrated in The British Architect as his own design (see SOURCES, Hitchmough) remains in the upper wall of the chimney breast. As in the room below, the casements retain their metal fastenings. Fitted window seats have been removed. The change in levels between the main house and the wing required a short staircase, which has characteristic stick balusters and moulded hardwood handrail. Doors to the rooms and cupboards are of two panels with heart-shaped lock plates.

Persuant to s1 (5A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (‘the Act’) it is declared that the cottage known as Roughwood Cottage and the connected stable block, both of which stand to the north of Roughwood Farmhouse, are not of special architectural or historic interest.


The farmhouse appears to be of later-C19 date, with the addition of a north wing in 1902 very probably to the designs of CFA Voysey for Captain Williams. It is shown on the Ordnance Survey map published in 1876, but does not appear to be part of the farm grouping on the earlier map published in 1822. The original house is recorded in The Buildings of England; Buckinghamshire (see SOURCES) as designed by JP Seddon, but this is due to an error, inspired by the mis-cataloguing of a drawing in the V&A Drawings Collection, and the architect is not known. Later additions to the northern side appear to date from the late C19 and mid C20.

The extension cannot be credited to Voysey with absolute certainty, as there is no record of the scheme amongst his surviving drawings or accounts, but the overall design, the materials used and many of the details including window furniture, joinery, heart-shaped lock covers and the distinctive chimney grille with birds in profile can all be seen in other schemes by him. In addition, Voysey had built his own house approximately a mile away across the fields from Roughwood. CFA Voysey is regarded as one of the foremost architects of the late C19 and early C20, using vernacular traditions and hand-crafted objects in his designs. His own house, The Orchard, Chorleywood (Grade I) was built in 1899 and is very close to Roughwood Farmhouse. It inspired a number of commissions in the neighbourhood, including Sunnybank (also known as Hollybank) of 1903 for Dr Fort (Grade II) and Holly Mount (Grade II*) of 1905 for CT Burke.

Roughwood Cottage and the associated stable block stand to the north of Roughwood Farmhouse and are of mid-C19 date with various additions and alterations of later dates. Both the cottage and the stable block to its south west are shown on the OS map published in 1876, but do not appear to be on the map of 1822. The cottage was recorded in the census of 1881 as lived in by the Roughwood estate gardener and his family.

Reasons for Listing

Roughwood Farmhouse, Roughwood Lane, Chalfont St Giles is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

* for its combination of a polite, C19 farmhouse with a later Arts and Crafts addition very probably by CFA Voysey, which shows the architect's assured style and adaptation of internal spaces.

Historic interest:

* as a relatively modest example of Voysey's style applied to an earlier-C19 house which, notwithstanding some losses, retains a high proportion of its original fixtures and its internal planning.

Group value:

* with the barn to the south-west of Roughwood Farmhouse and the barn to the west of Roughwood Farmhouse (both listed at Grade II).

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