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Hen House at Old Green Street Farm

A Grade II Listed Building in Little Hadham, Hertfordshire

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Latitude: 51.8781 / 51°52'41"N

Longitude: 0.1116 / 0°6'41"E

OS Eastings: 545447

OS Northings: 222051

OS Grid: TL454220

Mapcode National: GBR LCB.C03

Mapcode Global: VHHLT.W2C3

Entry Name: Hen House at Old Green Street Farm

Listing Date: 30 April 1985

Last Amended: 7 January 2019

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1210756

English Heritage Legacy ID: 395337

Location: Little Hadham, East Hertfordshire, Hertfordshire, SG11

County: Hertfordshire

District: East Hertfordshire

Civil Parish: Little Hadham

Traditional County: Hertfordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Hertfordshire

Church of England Parish: Little Hadham

Church of England Diocese: St.Albans

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A group of three farm buildings, formerly four: granary; stables and hen house; mid to late C18.


Granary, stables and henhouse; elements of a range of formerly four contiguous buildings that originally included a barn dating to the mid-to-late C18.

Timber framed and weather-boarded with thatched roofs.

The buildings form a slight arc from the granary to the north-west, to the hen-house to the south-east. The east gable of the former barn forms the west gable end of the stable and consists of posts, mid-rail and most of the tie beam, with straight diagonal braces running between studs from post to mid-rail and central stud. Part of the brick plinth of the barn also survives.

The surviving buildings have entrances facing south onto the farmyard. The granary has a shallow brick plinth and raised door, with entrances at ground level to the space below a raised floor. The stable has two half-hung doors, and the henhouse has two doors and a small opening at ground floor level.

Granary: the interior has a suspended floor and grain bins. The walls are timber-framed with external walls sealed by lath and plaster between the timbers. The roof has a ridge piece and collars clasping purlins. Both collars and purlins are of machine cut timber.

Stable: the stable is divided into two compartments by a boarded stud wall partition; each compartment has its own entrance from the yard with half-hung doors. The east compartment is further divided into two by a wall-plate-height board partition, to the west of which are two stalls. There are no mangers or hay racks. Jowled posts support the wall plate and tie beams, and the studs are tenoned into the wall plate and butt against straight diagonal braces. There is a central tie beam to the east section, while an additional beam, framing the partition, has struts attached to it that rise to clasp purlins. These are evidently a later addition. The roof is hipped to the east and has a ridge piece and purlins.

Henhouse: the henhouse is also divided into two spaces, each with their own entrance. The roof is constructed of coupled rafters which oversail the wallplate, except for the principal rafters which rest on posts. The thatch is laid directly onto widely spaced lathes. In the south end is a timber trough attached to the wall, while the north space has nesting boxes made of machine-cut timber boards. The walls are constructed of weather boarding attached to studs with straight diagonal braces.


Green Street is a small hamlet, a scatter of houses and farms around a green, through which runs the main street. C19 maps, from the tithe map of 1844 onwards, indicate that Old Green Street Farm, to the south-west of the green, was the settlement's most substantial farmstead, consisting of a C16 house with C17 and C18 farm buildings on three sides forming an evolved courtyard plan: these included an implement shed and three barns, one of which formed part of a continuous range consisting of granary, barn, stables and hen house. A long pond immediately to the east of this range is thought to represent one arm of a moat, suggesting the presence of a farmstead here from the medieval period; another possible section can be seen to the south of the south barn. In 1976 these farmstead buildings survived almost as shown on the tithe map of 1844. Since then, however, the barn to the west has been demolished, while the C16 and C17 barn to the south is now (2014) a separate property. In 2014 the barn central to the range of buildings to the north was blown down in a gale, leaving only the gable ends, which also formed gables to the granary and stables. A historical assessment of May 2009 describes the framing of the barn as typical of the mid-C18, with primary bracing to the walls and arch-braced tie beams with raking queen struts supporting a clasped purlin roof. The report records that the external walls were at that time largely complete.

Reasons for Listing

The granary, stables and henhouse at Old Green Street Farm are listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Historical interest: the granary, stables and henhouse, with the Grade II listed house and south barn, form a significant part of an evolved farmstead plan. Their mid to late C18 date places them firmly within the early years of the Agricultural Revolution, and may illustrate an increase in productivity and prosperity as a result of agricultural innovation. Together, the buildings represent a range of agricultural practices relating to livestock and arable husbandry from the mid-C18 through the C19. The henhouse, in particular, is a rare survival;

* Architectural interest: each building is of special interest for the surviving details of construction, both form (particularly that of the henhouse and granary) and carpentry detail to timber framing and roof structures;

* Group value: the range of structures has group value with the farmhouse, listed as The Old Farmhouse Green Street NHLE 1290335, and with the south barn, listed as South Barn at The Old Farmhouse, NHLE 1210755, and also with the C18 implement shed to the west of the south barn, NHLE 1210754.

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