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Nyetimber Farm Barn

A Grade II Listed Building in West Chiltington, West Sussex

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Latitude: 50.964 / 50°57'50"N

Longitude: -0.4576 / 0°27'27"W

OS Eastings: 508412

OS Northings: 119417

OS Grid: TQ084194

Mapcode National: GBR GJ9.K3V

Mapcode Global: FRA 96XK.KK8

Plus Code: 9C2XXG7R+HX

Entry Name: Nyetimber Farm Barn

Listing Date: 8 April 1986

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1260798

English Heritage Legacy ID: 361791

Location: West Chiltington, Horsham, West Sussex, RH20

County: West Sussex

Civil Parish: West Chiltington

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Sussex

Church of England Parish: West Chiltington St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Chichester

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Nyetimber Farm Barn

Barn, in three parts, with a primary construction date of C15, which has been extended, remodelled and repaired throughout its history.

Nyetimber Farm Barn can be considered as three components: Medieval (north) Barn, Middle Barn and South Barn. This description uses these distinctions to provide a more accurate depiction of the building.

MATERIALS: Oak-framed, with weather-boarding and clay tile roof covering to the Medieval and Middle Barn, and skeletal to the South Barn. All on a rubble stone plinth. Drilled dowel holes indicate that the walls of the Medieval Barn were initially fully infilled with wattle-and-daub, as were the upper parts of the Southern Barn, although the lower walls were weather-boarded. Thin dark stains on the underside of some of the rafters in the Medieval Barn and South Barn indicated that the former roof covering was thatch.

Plan: The original, C15, oak-framed, three-bays of the Medieval Barn measure 12.85m by 6.76m; the northern c.1700 bay 3.95m. The reconstructed western aisle measures 1.85m wide, giving an overall width of 8.6m, and a length for the four bays and two end aisles of 23.8m.

Exterior: The principal entrance is the full-height wagon doorway in the eastern façade; the opposing western wagon door has been blocked in timberwork. Two C20 single doors have been added, one each in the northern and southern elevations, the latter giving stepped access to the Middle Barn. There are no windows in the northern, eastern or southern elevations, but one per bay in the western aisle. These are unglazed and are of one or two lights with wooden mullions and glazing bars, situated directly under the wall-plate.

Interior: The C15 walls comprise ogee-shaped passing braces that rise from the principal posts, half pass the side girt and are morticed-and-tenoned into the wallplate. The wall of the c1700 bay incorporates equally-spaced studs both above and below side-girt level. In the C20, braces have been added, to match those in the older wall. The timbers of the extensions are of an inferior finish to the C15 ones and in places bark has been retained. The medieval barn has a crown post roof and although heavily reconstructed, the crown posts and enough rafters survive to illustrate its original design. At the trusses the rafters are not set over the tie beams, but to one side. The collars (all of which have been removed) were halved to the rafters. The northern roof terminal was formerly hipped and the southern terminal is currently hipped, with the roof slope continuing down over the southern return aisle. However, this is a complete rebuild and it is possible that the southern terminal may originally have been gabled, particularly if the building originally abutted an earlier structure. The roof of the c1700 bay is of clasped-side-purlin construction, the northern terminal having a hipped end. The rear aisle originally had a roof of square-set butt-purlins, of which only three-bays now survive. Internally, the barn is open to the roof. The late C20 concrete floor is set 1.15m above that of the Middle barn.

Plan: Four-bay, single-storey barn, with a total width of 4.7m and length of 12.8m.

Exterior: Of uncertain date, being much restored and rebuilt, probably c1800 and in the C20, the surviving original parts have a C17 appearance, though it may be that earlier material was reused in a c1800 rebuild. The external walls have been heavily rebuilt and now comprise regular-stud construction. There are three doorways into this barn. The principal entrance is a single-door in the third-bay of the eastern elevation. Secondary doors lead from the first-bay in the western elevation into the C20 lean-to, and up five brick and concrete steps in the north-east corner into the Medieval Barn. Windows have been inserted into the southern three bays of the western façade and northern three bays of the eastern façade. All but one are single-light unglazed windows with timber glazing bars; the other a three-light unglazed window with timber mullions and glazing bars; all are situated directly under the wall-plate.

There is a C20 lean-to abutting the west of the Middle Barn, which currently acts as a bicycle shed and a C20 half-aisle to the southern end of the eastern side, under a catslide roof.

Interior: The roof comprises clasped-side-purlin construction with raking struts supporting the purlins. Internally, the best preserved sections are the open trusses. These have standard principal posts with swelling jowls and incorporate relatively short arch braces (many replaced). The spur tie beams and principal posts at the southern truss project to both east and west of the earlier South Barn. The C20 concrete floor is considerably higher than that within the wagon bay of the South Barn, though this could be the result of later floor level changes.

Plan: The three-bays of the skeletal oak framed South Barn measure 9.45m long and, for its height, is narrow at only 3.85m (with a total width including the east and west aisles of approximately 9m). In comparison, the height of the walls is also 3.85m.

Exterior: Apart from the two-thirds height wagon doors in the eastern and western walls of the northern bay, the stud positions give no suggestion of other external ground-floor doorways. Set centre of the southern wall at the upper level is an area of tie beam absent of stave notches or grooves: this area may represent a hatch or loading doorway.

Interior: The roof is of clasped-side-purlin and raking-strut construction with a hipped terminal to the south. The rafters are heavy and neat, the principal rafters being of equal scantling to those of the common rafters. The floor is currently uncovered. Although a little C17 original work may survive, the c1800 rebuilt and C20 restored Middle Barn is not of special interest in its own right.

GROUP VALUE: Nyetimber Farm Barn, in its entirety, forms a group with the adjacent C17 or earlier L-shaped timber-framed farm house (listed at Grade II) and associated buildings.

Historic building analysis demonstrates that the southern three bays of the single-aisled Medieval Barn date from the C15, and comprise a single open storage bay either side of a wagon-way, possibly having a southern return aisle. No historical fabric survives in the southern aisle, nor is there any evidence for it. It may be that the southern wall was originally constructed against the wall of an earlier structure, on the site of the Middle Barn, as evidenced by a lack of infill framing which would have been necessary to close the end. A northern bay was added in around 1700, the original northern wall having been removed at this date. The rear aisle was rebuilt in the late-C18 or early-C19 and a lean-to outshut was added to the north.

In the C20 the barn was extensively repaired and restored and much false timbering was added. This includes the further reconstruction of most of the rear aisle and of the northern outshut.

At an uncertain date, the Middle Barn was added to the north of the c1600 South Barn, utilising the northern truss of the earlier barn as its end wall. It is unclear whether it was used for crop storage or as an animal house. Much restored and rebuilt, probably c1800 and again in the C20, the surviving original parts have the appearance of being C17, though it is possible that earlier material was used within a c1800 rebuild. The extensive repair work makes interpretation very difficult.

Dendrochronology gives a construction date for the South Barn as the middle of the first decade of the C17. The surviving three bays comprise an open crop storage area of two bays with, to its north, a bay that served as a wagon entrance, presumably originally with a threshing floor. As the present northern truss is not designed as an external wall, it is assumed that it was either built against a since rebuilt earlier building, or that the frame has been truncated. Given the high quality of this work in relation to the inferior quality of the Middle Barn, it seems unlikely that the frame has been truncated, and thus the former possibility seems the more likely. In the mid/late-C18, regular stud, weather boarded lean-to outshuts were added to the east and west. The South Barn was at the time of survey in a skeletal state and protected by scaffolding and tarpaulin.

Martin, D, Nyetimber, West Chiltington, West Sussex. Archaeology South-East Report No. 1375. 02/05/01 (2001)
H&R, Nyetimber Vineyard Specialist timber decay survey of Nyetimber Medieval Barn - G5. Report No. 406.94, (October 2009)
English Heritage, Preliminary Dendrochronological Report for Nyetimber, West Chiltington, West Sussex, (January 2010)

Nyetimber Farm Barn in West Chiltington is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural Interest: The barn has C15 origins as a threshing barn and despite being re-built in approximately 1700 and extended retains original fabric and form.
* Group Value: the historic relationship with the Grade II listed farmhouse, and other unlisted but associated farm buildings add to the historic value of Nyetimber Farm Barn.
Listing NGR: TQ0841219424

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