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Cruck Barn at Mere House

A Grade II Listed Building in Baschurch, Shropshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.8015 / 52°48'5"N

Longitude: -2.8477 / 2°50'51"W

OS Eastings: 342943

OS Northings: 323002

OS Grid: SJ429230

Mapcode National: GBR 7C.WJS0

Mapcode Global: WH8B6.7V64

Entry Name: Cruck Barn at Mere House

Listing Date: 27 May 2010

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1393820

English Heritage Legacy ID: 508110

Location: Baschurch, Shropshire, SY4

County: Shropshire

Civil Parish: Baschurch

Traditional County: Shropshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Shropshire

Church of England Parish: Baschurch All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Lichfield

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Listing Text

BASCHURCH

1585/0/10012 STATION ROAD
27-MAY-10 (Northwest,off)
Cruck Barn at Mere House

II
A pre-1700 cruck barn with later modifications.

MATERIALS: The oak structure is encased in red brick and supported with cast iron straps. Red sandstone cills and wall match an adjoining sandstone cart shed. The threshing floor is partially covered in slate. The hayloft is constructed of timber. The roof is covered in clay tile.

PLAN: A three bay barn on a north-south alignment with two 7.5 metre tall cruck trusses either side of a central threshing bay. The south bay has an inserted hay loft with trap door and timber ground floor covering. The north bay of the barn has an inserted C20 water tower at upper level. There is an additional two-storey bay attached to the south. A single-storey cart shed is attached to the north.

EXTERIOR: The brick elevations have a series of ventilation panels and agricultural openings, with a dentil eaves cornice facing the farmyard (east). There are opposing double doors to the threshing bay and other agricultural openings across the east elevation. The west wall is predominantly characterised by the threshing doors and a sandstone block section of wall. Attached to the south is a further red brick bay is slightly taller profile and has a slate roof. Attached to the north is a single-storey sandstone building with cart entranceway. The roof slope of the barn is steep, in profile with the cruck trusses, and the C20 water tower prominently in the roof at its north end.

INTERIOR: Two 7.5 metre tall cruck trusses stand either side of a threshing floor, mainly covered in slate. The timber frame is pegged, with cambered collars, arch braces, curved wind braces, trenched purlins, wall plates and ridge beams. There are slot holes and mortices for wind braces and former timber framed walls in the north ends of the purlins and wall plates. The north truss is notable for its blocking pieces between the blades and purlins. The south truss has visible C17 carpenter's marks. Both trusses have iron straps supporting the pegged junctions of the blades and collars, and at the feet of the cruck blades. Each blade has a prop mark on the inside of the elbow. The bases of the cruck blades are embedded in the brick walls, approximately one metre above ground level. There are some remaining tooled sandstone plinths at ground level.

HISTORY:
A farm is likely to have stood on, or close to, this site since at least early medieval times. The farm lies to the south of The Berth, an Iron Age fort, and Berth Pool, a glacial lake or mere. The pool provided fishing for tenants from pre-Conquest times, and gave name to the owners, the de la Mere family. A deed of circa 1316 refers to a town of Meare, which may have stood on The Berth. The Mere estate was in the ownership of the Warde family from 1470 for many centuries. A document of 1731/2 shows a dispute over fishing rights in the mere, then called "Burghe Pool or Mere". At this time it appears to have been under the ownership of nearby Boreatton Hall (listed Grade II*). The farm has evolved through the centuries and currently has a cruck barn, possibly of late-medieval origin, and further, later farm buildings. Cruck buildings were built in Shropshire from at least the C13, but were most popular in the C15 before a decline in the C16. The farmhouse is C19 in date.

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION
The cruck barn at Mere House Farm, Baschurch, Shropshire is recommended for designation at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Architectural: The barn is a good example of an agricultural building with cruck-faced construction, with the added interest that it may have been moved and re-erected c.1700.
* Historical: The barn stands in a locality rich in historic and archaeological interest, notably the Berth, a scheduled Iron Age fort which adjoins the nearby mere.
* Rarity: The cruck barn is rare in Shropshire, one of the most important foci of cruck construction, in terms of size and quality. It also has unusual features such as prop marks.
* Intactness: The barn cruck frame is largely intact although the end trusses have been replaced.

SOURCES
Records from The National Archives: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/ a2a/results.aspx?tab=2&Page=1&ContainAllWords=mere+house+baschurch

Shropshire files, 938/16 circa 1316 - deed
Shropshire files, 938/47, 48 1731/2 - document

Retrieved 17/02/2010

Baker, N., An historical assessment of farm buildings at Mere House Farm, Baschurch, Shropshire (2009).
Moran, M., Vernacular Building of Shropshire (2003), 43

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

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