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55 and 56 Dertford

A Grade II Listed Building in Corsley, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.2063 / 51°12'22"N

Longitude: -2.2665 / 2°15'59"W

OS Eastings: 381477

OS Northings: 145264

OS Grid: ST814452

Mapcode National: GBR 0SR.9SR

Mapcode Global: VH97F.NYN4

Plus Code: 9C3V6P4M+G9

Entry Name: 55 and 56 Dertford

Listing Date: 5 November 1987

Last Amended: 1 February 2021

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1285406

English Heritage Legacy ID: 313734

Location: Corsley, Wiltshire, BA12

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Corsley

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Corsley and Chadmanslade St Margaret of Antioch

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury

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Two semi-detached cottages, formerly one house, dating to the late-C18. The cottages were extended to the east and west in the late-C20 and these elements are excluded from the List entry.


Two semi-detached cottages, formerly one house, dating to the late-C18. The cottages were extended to the east and west in the late-C20 and these elements are excluded from the List entry.

MATERIALS: the historic core is of stone and brick construction, partly rendered, with chamfered stone quoins and stone mullion windows. Clay tiled roof, with a C20 brick stack to the west gable end and a brick axial stack to No 55.

PLAN: rectangular in plan, with a small wing on the north side. Internally reconfigured from a probable three-cell plan.

EXTERIOR: two-storeys with attics and a basement to No 55. The south elevation appears to have historically been the principal front facing away from the road, and has five window bays with a central doorway to the late-C18 core of the house, now forming parts of the two cottages. The central doorway has a flat stone hood on cyma-moulded brackets with a planked door, and the windows to the core are stone-mullion two-light casements. On the north elevation there is a small protruding gabled wing split between the two cottages, and No 55 has a brick porch and concrete/stone mullioned windows.

INTERIOR: No 55 has a lounge located in the room immediately off the principal entrance door on the south side. This space has a stop-chamfered ceiling beam; a historic timber-panelled internal door with glazed diamond-shaped openings at the top (possibly relocated); and historic built-in timber cupboards with H-hinges to the right of a C20 brick fireplace on the east wall. Opposite the doorway is a stone staircase to the basement. On the first floor are two further bedrooms in the historic part of the cottage. The larger bedroom here has a stop-chamfered ceiling beam (which runs through to a corridor on the north side of the house), a cast-iron fireplace and a built-in timber cupboard with H-hinges. The smaller bedroom has a ceiling beam to the wall adjoining No 56. The principal attic rafters to the late-C18 core are historic but the rest of the roof structure has been altered.

The interior of No 56 was remodelled in around 1988; this involved moving the staircase into a newly-created hallway, accessed from the north via a modern porch. The ground floor comprises a kitchen (in the north wing) and dining room in the historic part of the cottage. On the first floor there are two bedrooms in the historic section. Features of note include the stone-mullion windows, a chamfered beam with stops in the dining room, and exposed floor joists in the kitchen. Windows and internal doors throughout the two cottages are C20 replacements, except where stated.

Pursuant to s1 (5A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (‘the Act’) it is declared that the late-C20 extensions to No 55 and No 56 Dertford are not of special architectural or historic interest and are excluded from the listing.


The hamlet of Dertford (historically also Dartford or Dertfords) lies approximately three miles to the west of Warminster on the far-west side of Corsley parish, the boundary of which was not defined until the enclosure of 1783. On Andrews’ and Dury’s 1810 map of Wiltshire Dertford is labelled as ‘Whitburn’ - an additional hamlet to the ‘three Whitbournes’ to the east. These were part of the manor of Whitbourne and Bugley which was sold in 1544 after the Dissolution to Sir John Thynne (1515-1580) of Longleat House. In 1934 the parish received the northern part of Longleat Park and woods, the modern northern boundary of which is less than a mile to the south of Dertford.

The small settlements of Lane End and Corsley Heath lie to the north of Dertford, all loosely connected by a network of narrow lanes. The enclosed landscape defined the principal industry in the area - pastoral or arable farming - although the cloth trade was also prosperous in the C18 through to the 1840s. There were at least two dye-houses for the local woollen industry at Dertford; one was recorded in 1783 as belonging to Thomas Singer. In the late C19 and early C20 the people of Corsley were prosperous, having good-sized gardens, and abundance of allotments and smallholdings (allotments were in place opposite Dertford in the interwar period). In the early C20 there was also a brickworks at Dertford. It is unknown as to whether the building now known as 55 & 56 Dertford was connected to any of these industries; it is thought to have been built as a Longleat estate cottage and was certainly in the ownership of the Marquis of Bath until 1953.

A building in the location of 55 & 56 Dertford is shown on Andrews' and Dury's Map of Wiltshire, 1810, and on the 1811 one-inch Ordnance Survey (OS) map. It is likely that this represents the building in its historic C18 form. On the more detailed 1886 OS map (1:2500) the building is shown as having a rectangular footprint, with an extension on the north side and the east end subdivided into ancillary or service structures; the bay at the far east end was slightly recessed on its north side. On both the 1904 OS and the 1925 edition the land to the south (historically the principal front of the house) is labelled as ‘watercress beds’, fed by the springs and brooks in the shallow valley. The 1971 OS map depicts the building as two cottages, No 55 to the east occupying a larger footprint than No 56 to the west, which had a separate outbuilding to the west again. No 55 was sold at auction in 1978, and the sales details show that the structures at the east end of the cottage comprised a single-storey ancillary building with a clay-tile roof and small chimney (fuel store), attached to the east of which was a further lower structure (earth closet); and that the windows to the cottage had three and four-pane timber casements. The ancillary structures were removed and a new two-storey extension built between 1978 and 1981, at which time the interior of the house was renovated including the replacement of the historic stair and ground-floor fireplace. An extension was added to the west of No 56 in around 1988 when the interior was also renovated.

Reasons for Listing

55 & 56 Dertford is listed for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

*as an example of a late-C18 rural domestic structure with considered architectural detailing;
*the late-C18 building retains most of its historic fabric externally including a bracketed stone porch hood, stone mullion windows and chamfered quoins;
*good-quality joinery survives within No 55.

Historic interest:

*for its historic connection to the Longleat estate.

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