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Barn at Bears Copse House

A Grade II Listed Building in Waltham St. Lawrence, Windsor and Maidenhead

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.4739 / 51°28'26"N

Longitude: -0.8155 / 0°48'55"W

OS Eastings: 482361

OS Northings: 175662

OS Grid: SU823756

Mapcode National: GBR D6Z.JMH

Mapcode Global: VHDWW.T67X

Entry Name: Barn at Bears Copse House

Listing Date: 7 October 2009

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1393470

English Heritage Legacy ID: 506013

Location: Waltham St. Lawrence, Windsor and Maidenhead, RG10

County: Windsor and Maidenhead

Civil Parish: Waltham St. Lawrence

Traditional County: Berkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Berkshire

Church of England Parish: Waltham

Church of England Diocese: Oxford

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Listing Text

WALTHAM ST LAWRENCE

1214/0/10007 PLOUGH LANE
07-OCT-09 WEST END
Barn at Bears Copse House

GV II
Threshing barn with stabling and storage extensions, C18 with C19 and C20 extensions.

MATERIALS: Timber frame with boarded walls to south, east and west; north wall and extensions in red brick. Main roof of corrugated asbestos, with Welsh slate roofs over stables and clay tile over storage room.

PLAN: The barn is of five bays aligned east-west. The western three bays comprise the original structure with enclosed bays flanking a central threshing floor with large doorways to north and south; the southern doorway is now blocked, and that to the north has been extended to form a large projecting cart porch. To the east are two later bays with a first-floor gallery. A series of lean-to extensions adjoin the north wall of the barn, comprising a row of stables to the east of the cart porch, and a small storage room to the west.

EXTERIOR: The main barn is a gabled structure with a steeply-pitched roof. Above the western gable is a weathercock. The weatherboarded south wall has small inserted windows at its eastern and western extremities. The east wall has large double doors, and a small square window in the gable. The brick north elevation is dominated by a series of extensions: in the centre a tall cart porch with full-height double boarded doors and an overhanging hipped roof supported by diagonal struts; to the east a range of three stables with half-doors under a shallow lean-to roof; and to the west a small storage room with a partly hipped roof.

INTERIOR: The earth-floored main interior displays the building's timber-frame construction. The walls of the three original bays are of close-studding, with two intermediate rails between cill and wall plate, and some diagonal bracing between wall-posts and wall-plate. Some of the stud-work in the north wall has been lost, and the posts have been re-set on brick plinths. The two intermediate roof trusses are of queen-post construction, with curved braces running from posts to tie-beams, and diagonal struts reinforcing the queen-posts between tie-beams and principals. The western end wall has a central vertical post rising from the ground to the middle of the tie-beam (where it is braced by a pair of diagonal struts), and another from the tie-beam to the collar. The eastern wall was removed with the building of the extension, but the surviving truss shows similar construction. The roof has two tiers of purlins, the lower ones staggered and tenoned to the principals, the upper ones clasped between collar and principal. Many of the common rafters have been replaced, but some curved wind-braces survive. Another surviving feature is the cranked beam spanning the middle bay of the south wall, which once formed the lintel of the (now blocked) southern doorway; empty mortices show where the jambs have been removed.

The cart porch appears to be the earliest of the additions to the main barn. Its walls are of simple timber frame with brick infill. Its hipped roof is supported on the wall-plate and lower purlin of the main roof slope, where the original common rafters have been cut away to accommodate it.

The two-bay eastern extension to the main barn is of light softwood framing, with a gallery supported on two rows of posts. The contemporary stable extensions to the north-east have tiled floors and softwood lean-to roofs. The storage room interior was not inspected.

HISTORY: The oldest of the present structures on the site are of the C17. The present building was probably added to the complex in the early C18 as a threshing barn: the middle bay, with large doorways on either side for cross-ventilation, would have been the threshing floor, with the flanking bays used for storage. The northern entrance later received a tall covered porch to shelter carts delivering and collecting corn via the farmyard.

By the later C19, the mechanisation of agriculture had made the traditional threshing barn redundant, and the building seems to have been converted to serve another purpose, possibly that of hay storage. The southern door was blocked up, and the main barn extended eastward in two phases, with an upper floor inserted in the new section. Ancillary structures for stabling and storage were also added, and the north wall of the barn rebuilt in brick. Later still, the development of new materials made it possible to replace the original roof covering, probably thatch, with corrugated asbestos.

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION: The C18 barn at Bear's Copse Farm is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* It is a good example of a timber-framed threshing barn built in the vernacular tradition;
* Although extensively altered, it retains a high proportion of its original fabric, and its original layout and function can still clearly be made out;
* It has group value with the roughly contemporary barn to the north-east.

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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