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Latitude: 52.0018 / 52°0'6"N
Longitude: -0.5264 / 0°31'35"W
OS Eastings: 501253
OS Northings: 234733
OS Grid: TL012347
Mapcode National: GBR G3M.KQB
Mapcode Global: VHFQS.TYK9
Plus Code: 9C4X2F2F+PC
Entry Name: Park Farmhouse
Listing Date: 22 January 2003
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1350393
English Heritage Legacy ID: 489962
Location: Steppingley, Central Bedfordshire, MK45
County: Central Bedfordshire
Civil Parish: Steppingley
Traditional County: Bedfordshire
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Bedfordshire
Church of England Parish: Steppingley
Church of England Diocese: St.Albans
Farmhouse. c.1860, for the 7th Duke of Bedford. Yellow brick in Flemish bond with brick plinth, gauged window lintels and chimney stacks. Stone dressings to entrance porch, gable copings and window cills. Slate, steep pitched gabled roofs. Jacobean style farmhouse that forms an integral part of the planned farmstead.
PLAN: Square plan of intersecting gabled ranges.
EXTERIORS: WEST elevation with steep advanced gable to right, central entrance porch, steep gabled dormer to left. Pitched roof with half-hip and wide ridge stack. To both sides, 3-light casements to ground floor below 4-light casement to first floor. Porch has side buttresses with stone copings, brick piers with stone corbels, central door under semi-circular brick arch with keystone and semi-circular overlight over wide 4-panel door, glass to top 2 panels. Circular brick detail to gable and finial. NORTH elevation with slightly advanced gable to right has canted bay window with tall casements to each bay, brick cornice and parapet, 2-light casement above, and Bedford Estate plaque to apex. To left, central door and 3-light casement to ground floor, pair of 2-light casements above, and single 2-light casement to attic gable. EAST elevation with dentil course below eaves and tumbled brickwork to gabled section to right. Door under semi-circular arch and semi-circular overlight. SOUTH elevation with gabled dormers to left with 2-light casement above 3-light casement and to centre with tall stair window. To right, larger blank gable with truncated chimneybreast. Central ridge stack. Most openings with gauged brick lintels and stone cills.
INTERIOR: Entrance porch into hall with stone flag floor, off which half-turn stair with landings and moulded handrail, stick balusters and square plan newels with ogee stops and decorative cap. Windows to main rooms with panelled soffits and folding panelled shutters. Some fitted cupboards, fireplaces, and 4-panel doors.
HISTORY: The Bedfordshire estates of the Russell family form one of the most extensive in the county. They controlled almost the entire parishes of Houghton Conquest, Ridgmont, Lidlington, Eversholt, Millbrook, Marston Moretaine, Steppingly, Stevington, all in the vicinity of Woburn. Their names are firmly linked with farm improvement and complete farmstead and villages were rebuilt. After a short period of neglect Francis, the 7th Duke inherited in 1839 and a further period of estate investment began with wood and thatched buildings being replaced by brick and slate or tile. The late 1840s and 1850s were a period of great building activity to "satisfy the requirements and take advantage of the recent improvements in agriculture and to enable tenants to meet the competition to which free trade in corn and other agricultural produce has given rise, and through building chiefly in brick to protect against incendiarism and to ensure the durability of buildings." (1853, Bedfordshire Record Office R5/869/1). Expenditure of permanent improvements reached a peak in the 1850s with o17,000 being spent in several years. It is clear that this scale of investment never produced the hoped-for returns (Duke of Bedford, The Storey of a Great Estate, 1897) but it did result in some of the finest farm buildings in England. The buildings at Steppingly are described as 'new' in the 1860 Annual Report (B.R.O. R5/869/2).
SOURCE: Wade Martins, Susanna. The English Model Farm: Building the Agricultural Ideal, 1700-1914. Windgather Press, 2002.
Group value with the contemporary range of farmbuildings (q.v.) to the north that was designed with the group.
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