History in Structure

Farm outbuilding comprising former barn, cowhouse and stables to the south west of Barlow Woodseats Hall

A Grade II* Listed Building in Barlow, Derbyshire

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Latitude: 53.275 / 53°16'29"N

Longitude: -1.5263 / 1°31'34"W

OS Eastings: 431685

OS Northings: 375435

OS Grid: SK316754

Mapcode National: GBR KZSK.CQ

Mapcode Global: WHCCX.JYD7

Plus Code: 9C5W7FFF+XF

Entry Name: Farm outbuilding comprising former barn, cowhouse and stables to the south west of Barlow Woodseats Hall

Listing Date: 31 January 1967

Last Amended: 4 July 2013

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1186957

English Heritage Legacy ID: 79494

ID on this website: 101186957

Location: Rumbling Street, North East Derbyshire, S18

County: Derbyshire

District: North East Derbyshire

Civil Parish: Barlow

Traditional County: Derbyshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Derbyshire

Church of England Parish: Great Barlow

Church of England Diocese: Derby

Tagged with: Appendage Barn Cowshed Stable

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The outbuilding range at Barlow Woodseats Hall is a multi-period and multi-purpose vernacular building complex, with evidence of structural timber framing in the earliest section prior to alteration and enlargement in stone masonry from the C17 onwards. The main range incorporates a barn and standings for cattle, part of which was later adapted to form a cart lodge. The smaller attached range at the north-west end of the site was originally built as a stable with overlofts and was later adapted for housing cattle.


The outbuilding range at Barlow Woodseats Hall is a multi-period and multi-purpose vernacular building complex, with evidence of structural timber framing in the earliest section prior to alteration and enlargement in stone masonry from the C17 onwards. The main range incorporates a barn and standings for cattle, part of which was later adapted to form a cart lodge. The smaller attached range at the north-west end of the site was originally built as a stable with overlofts and was later adapted for housing cattle.

MATERIALS: the building is constructed of Coal Measures sandstone, in both coursed rubble and squared coursed work, with quoined corners and ashlar dressings to door and window openings. Much of the masonry rises from a roughly-formed stone plinth. The roof covering is of stone slate, laid to diminishing courses.

PLAN: the building is L-shaped on plan. The stable range forms the north-west wing of the building, with the longer barn and cowhouse range extending south-eastwards to enclose the western side of a rectangular farmyard bounded on its north-east side by the garden walls of the adjacent Barlow Woodseats Hall (q.v.).

EXTERIOR: the barn and cowhouse range is ten bays in length and is lofted at the south-east and north-west ends, above the cowhouse and the beyond the open barn section. The north-east and south-west elevations incorporate two tiers of slit breathers with substantial stone surrounds which appear to be original features, extending the full length of the south-west side wall, including the gable end of the stables section. On the north-east side wall, they survive in the south-eastern half of the elevation, but have been replaced in the north-west end by occuli at loft level and by cowhouse doorways and cart openings at ground floor level. The breathers are also found in the south-east gable end of the first bay, which now has an inserted loft doorway accessed by means of a flight of stone steps. This, and a raised metal tank, obscures a number of the original openings. Bays one to five to the north-east side are formed from thin courses of stone rubble, with regular squared courses used in bays six to eight and squared courses of random widths used in bays nine and ten. These varied masonry details together with changes to roof carpentry appear to represent incremental phases of alteration from the C17 to the C19, possibly reflecting changes in farming practice and building usage. There are door openings to bays three and five, the latter originally the threshing bay, with opposed full-height double doorways. However, the quoined opening on the north-east side has been infilled and now incorporates a raised doorway and flight of steps. Bays six to ten represent stages of remodelling, bays six to eight with three wide cowhouse doorways. These have chamfered quoins and deep lintels below ashlar occuli to the lofts above. Bays nine and ten appear to have been earlier cart lodges, subsequently remodelled and partially infilled to provide additional standings for cattle, but retaining the quoining to the outer jambs of original openings.

The south-west elevation has been similarly altered, with the walling of bays one to six formed from thin courses of rubble stonework, whilst the remaining section of the walling, including the south-west gable of the stable is faced with coursed squared masonry. There are three door openings including the original entrance, which has quoined corners and a timber lintel incorporating hinge sockets for harr-hung doors. There is a wide single doorway to bay two and full-height door to the loft level of bay seven together with a number of inserted openings at ground floor level. The stable end wall has a C17 opening within the apex, set immediately below a blocked opening of similar proportions. The slit breather detailing found on the north-east elevation, although interrupted by inserted openings, is found throughout the length of the elevation, including the stable gable.

The stable section is connected to the barn and cowhouse range at an acute angle, possibly to ensure that its outward-facing (north-east) elevation could be seen in the same plane as the entrance front to the Hall. The gable has moulded kneelers and copings, and its west corner has long ashlar quoins. The north-east elevation to the stable has a pair of C17 single-light windows to the upper floor, and a small occulus to each end bay. The north-east gable has coped gable, moulded kneelers and two single-light C17 windows below drip mouldings to the upper floor. The south-east elevation is near-symmetrical, with a central doorway flanked by stacked window openings, originally of two-light chamfer-mullioned form with drip moulds, to both floors. Between the upper floor windows is a glazed occulus. The wide central doorway has a four-centred arched lintel and drip mould, whilst the ground floor windows have lost their mullions, and the openings to the right of the doorway have been enlarged to form a door opening with an additional inserted window opening further right. The upper level of the stables is accessed by means of a flight of stone steps built in the inner junction of the two sections of the outbuilding range, possibly replacing an internal stair which may have been removed when the stables were converted to provide additional standings for cattle.

INTERIORS: the principal features of the interiors are the roof structures, which vary in form as a result of the incremental alteration and remodelling of the building. The south-east half of the long range incorporates four substantial cruck trusses. The trusses define bays three, four and five, bay four having originally been a threshing bay. The trusses have tie and collar beams, and support single side purlins and a diagonally-set ridge purlin. The trusses flanking bay four are open, whilst the other remaining two were formerly closed, as evidenced by empty housings for studs in the soffits of tie and collar beams. Three of the trusses have straight bearers on the backs of the cruck blades set in the same plane as the rafters. The purlins were originally wind-braced, the threshing bay (bay four) retaining curved braces, bay three with straight braces. Bays one and two have inserted lofts and partitioning, but the truss between bays one and two appears to be of modified cruck form, with curved wind braces. Bays six to ten have tie beam trusses with collar beams, straight wind braces supporting single or double purlins and diagonally-set ridge purlins notched into the truss apexes. The roof to the stable section is of similar form with collar and tie beam trusses with mainly single side purlins and a diagonal ridge purlin. However, the junction of the long range and the stables created an irregularly-shaped south-west bay to the stable which is open to a roof structure without a truss but supported by a number of beams and posts.

FIXTURES AND FITTINGS: bays six to ten of the long range, and the interior of most of the stables were last used for cattle and retain C20 standings and stalling. The interior of bays six to eight includes a rear feed passage with a manger partition set above brick walling with feeding apertures. The loft floors are supported by heavy chamfered bridging beams and closely-spaced joists. The upper floor of the stable has a blocked hearth and plastered walls, which may indicate a former use as grooms' accommodation.


Barlow Woodseats Hall and its associated outbuildings date to the C17 with structural evidence of earlier origins. There are strong historical associations with the Cavendish family, and the estate lies mid-way between the principal mansions at Hardwick and Chatsworth. Both the hall and the outbuilding range retain evidence of early phases of construction, with timber-framed partitions and arch-braced roof trusses extant within the hall, and wall posts encased within the walls of the cruck-framed section of the outbuilding range suggesting that this part of the building may have originally been of timber-framed construction. On the evidence of the stone masonry, the outbuilding appears to be of three phases of construction. The earliest part is probably the cruck-framed south-east end of the building range, which appears to have the earliest masonry as well as the cruck trusses. A second phase of construction or alteration may date to the mid-late C17, when the area most recently used as the cowhouse was built or remodelled in well-coursed squared masonry, with ashlar occuli ventilating the loft area, and tie beam roof trusses with wind-braced purlins supporting the roof. At the same time, the stables range at the north-west end of the range may have been added, the junction between this and the earlier range formed at an acute angle to ensure that the outer wall of the stable aligned with the front wall of the hall. This suggests a phase of development at Barlow Woodseats involving both the hall and its outbuildings. Later, the stables were converted to provide increased accommodation for cattle, and an external stone staircase constructed at the courtyard junction of the two ranges. Further alterations were made in the C19 and early C20 with additional openings being inserted into the south-west side wall of the long range, a feed passage and new standings created within the cowhouse area, and former cart lodges at the northwest end of the long range infilled to form additional cattle standings.

Reasons for Listing

The farm outbuilding, comprising a former barn, cowhouse and stables, with origins before the C17 and with significant C17 phases, is designated at Grade II* for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural interest: the building range is an outstanding example of a multi-function vernacular farm building, the external and internal detailing of which is specific to the function of each part of the structure. The building is strongly representative of distinctive regional vernacular building traditions and is constructed almost entirely from locally-sourced building materials;
* Chronology: the building retains evidence of multiple phases of construction and remodelling from the C17 to the early C19, and of the displacement of timber-framed construction by increasingly sophisticated masonry skills as stone construction became more widespread;
* Carpentry: the building retains significant elements of structural carpentry from the main stages of construction which illustrate the development of carpentry techniques related to the timber-framed and stone-walled phases of building on the site; * Farming history: the building incorporates legible evidence of the agricultural characteristics of the region, with both arable and pastoral agriculture represented on site, together with evidence of the ongoing adaptation of building to meet changes in farming and the impact of increasing mechanisation;
* Completeness: the building reflects ongoing development over three centuries but remains substantially complete, with a sequence of masonry and carpentry construction legible within the building envelope, and with the different phases of development clearly distinguishable one from the other;
* Group value: the building is sited close to Barlow Woodseats Hall, listed at Grade II*. It is a notable element of the hall's setting, and forms a group with the hall, the attached wall and gatepiers, and the gatepiers at the lower end of the farmyard.

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