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Heady Fields Houses and Attached Barns

A Grade II Listed Building in Meltham, Kirklees

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Latitude: 53.5856 / 53°35'8"N

Longitude: -1.834 / 1°50'2"W

OS Eastings: 411086

OS Northings: 409901

OS Grid: SE110099

Mapcode National: GBR HVMZ.RD

Mapcode Global: WHCBD.S4VK

Plus Code: 9C5WH5P8+6C

Entry Name: Heady Fields Houses and Attached Barns

Listing Date: 24 January 1984

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1184175

English Heritage Legacy ID: 340896

Location: Meltham, Kirklees, HD9

County: Kirklees

Civil Parish: Meltham

Built-Up Area: Meltham

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Christ the King, Meltham

Church of England Diocese: Leeds

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Heady Fields houses
and attached barns

The building at Heady Field comprises a pair of two-storey weavers' cottages with attached laithes at either end extending to the north to form two short wings. They are constructed of coursed hammer-dressed stone, mostly watershot, with ashlar dressings, and a stone slate roof which is hipped at each end of the main range and gabled on the north elevations of the laithes. One ridge ashlar chimney stack survives on the main range. The barns have four bays each and the cottages each have two cells side by side, forming a four-bay range and extending over two storeys.

EXTERIOR: The south elevation is a continuous run of masonry with large quoins at each end. The ends of the laithes at each end of the elevation are blank, while the cottages each have an 11-light run of windows at the first floor set in flat- faced mullions. On the ground floor, where levels have been raised, all the openings are blocked and consist of, to the left, a three-light then a five-light then a single-light window, and to the right, a three-light window, a second three-light with an adjacent blocked entrance, and a single-light window. The roof on this side has iron brackets formerly supporting guttering. A number of slates are missing and the roof timbers exposed.

The east and west returns are similar, being the side walls of the laithes. Each has a central cart entrance with arched ashlar dressings and large quoins at each end. The roofs are hipped to the south and have moulded kneelers to the north. Apart from small ventilation holes there are no other openings.

The north elevation of the cottages has one three-light window on the first floor of each dwelling with an entrance below. The right hand cottage has a later inserted entrance adjacent to the laithe. The inner return walls of the barns have blocked threshing doors opposite to the cart entrances and mistal doors near the northern end, blocked on the western laithe. The north elevations of the laithes each have a blocked window on the ground floor and an oculus high in the gable. The roof on the north side has stone corbels and the gables have moulded kneelers. There are quoins on each corner.

INTERIOR: the eastern cottage has two rooms on the ground floor each with a fireplace. Flagged floors have been removed throughout. The larger eastern room has a blocked entrance to the south with an attached run of three-lights and a single-light. The fireplace on the east wall has the remains of a brick-lined range within a stone surround. The timber stair to the first floor is situated along the north wall and is divided from the room by plain timber panelling, with stone steps leading down to a cellar (inaccessible) below. A door leads to the second room which has a fireplace with a later lintel against its west wall and an altered three-light window to the south. The ceiling timbers are machine cut and support broad floorboards on the first floor. The stairs lead to a single upper- floor room with a timber partition. The smaller eastern room has a three-light window to the north and the easternmost three-lights of the continuous run to the south; it is accessed by a plank door and has a blocked fireplace and hearth stone on the eastern wall. The ceiling is mostly planked.

The western cottage is similar to the eastern with a fireplace in each of the two ground-floor rooms. Part of the wall between the two rooms has been demolished. The five-light south window on the western ground-floor room shows evidence of alteration with a brick infill below the current cills. The fireplace in the western room has a heavy stone lintel with a projecting ledge above, and the eastern room fireplace has a heavy stone lintel and is partially infilled with brick. The stairs have gone, though a timber edging shows their former position against the north wall and the stairs to the cellar are extant though blocked with debris. The upper floor is only accessible by ladder and the floor is unsafe and partly lost. The remains of a fireplace on the western wall are visible as is the roof structure. This is composed of braced queen-strut trusses in machine cut timber with double side purlins held between the principal rafters.

The two barns are similar, being open to the roof structure and having two queen-strut trusses and one king-post truss at the south end which is linked to the structure for the hipped corner. Both have evidence in the form of beam settings of an intermediate floor over part at least, and this is extant at the north end of the eastern building. The internal surround of the oculus is straight to the sides and top and there is a timber wall plate below the apex of the gable end. Some of the settings of the tie beams of the trusses indicate that they formerly held larger timbers, and some of the timbers appear older than others.

HISTORY: There are records to suggest that there was occupation on the site from the C17, and a local tradition of a tannery. The current buildings date from the early-C19 and accounts indicate that it was part of the estate of Joseph Green-Armytage of Thick Hollins Hall. The 1841 Census records a large family living at Heady Fields, engaged in the woollen trade, and this would accord with the extensive weavers windows in the houses. The 1854 OS map shows the buildings, including the barns at each end, together with a detached building to the north and another to the east, forming a courtyard. The laithes to either side of the dwellings indicate an agricultural component, and this was contemporary with involvement in the woollen trade throughout much of the C19, as shown also by Census returns.

The footprint of the main buildings appears largely unchanged from the early-C19, apart from the loss of a small extension on the south side of the right-hand unit and a greenhouse or conservatory on the south side of the left-hand unit: these were present until the mid-C20. A golf course established in 1908 included the building and subsequent landscaping altered the ground levels to both front and back.

The building was occupied by the Head Greenkeeper before the First World War, but have been used only for storage since 1933. In 1977 the stone slate roof was turned with the loss of all but one chimney stack and copings. The building was listed in 1984, since when it has been allowed to deteriorate with the loss of some roof slates and, consequently, some internal damage.

Bottomore, D, Proposed de-listing of 'Heady Fields', 'Justification' and 'Structural Report' (2010)

Heady Fields, a group of two cottages with attached laithes in Wilshaw, Meltham,dating to the early-C19, is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architecture: the buildings are well constructed examples of local vernacular architecture
* Historic interest: the distinctive runs of weavers windows in the cottages and openings in the barns show their dual function and are physical evidence of the use of the buildings in the C19
* Survival: despite the loss of some interior detail, a number of historic features still remain in situ, including fireplaces and a wooden staircase
* Date: the buildings date to the early part of the C19, when most surviving buildings are listed

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