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Upper Southmead Farmhouse and barn

A Grade II Listed Building in Bisley-with-Lypiatt, Gloucestershire

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Latitude: 51.7704 / 51°46'13"N

Longitude: -2.1325 / 2°7'56"W

OS Eastings: 390954

OS Northings: 207979

OS Grid: SO909079

Mapcode National: GBR 1M9.TZQ

Mapcode Global: VH94T.0R0P

Entry Name: Upper Southmead Farmhouse and barn

Listing Date: 22 January 2018

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1452848

Location: Bisley-with-Lypiatt, Stroud, Gloucestershire, GL6

County: Gloucestershire

District: Stroud

Civil Parish: Bisley-with-Lypiatt

Traditional County: Gloucestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Gloucestershire


A detached farmhouse of the late C16 or early to mid-C17, with associated threshing barn of the later C18/early C19.


A detached farmhouse of the late C16 or early to mid-C17, with associated threshing barn of the later C18/early C19.

MATERIALS: local limestone rubble with dressed limestone quoins and Cotswold stone slates; ashlar and brick stacks and limestone dressings.

PLAN: the HOUSE is a linear range, single depth, rectangular on plan.

EXTERIOR: the house is of six unequal bays, a single storey and attic. The windows are on stone mullioned, mainly with rectangular leaded glazing, of one or two lights, some with hood moulds. The principal elevation has a central entrance doorway, set slightly out of line with one of two gabled half-dormers. There are stacks at the left hand gable end (rebuilt in brick) and to the centre (ashlar), marking the end of the original three-bay house; there is a related break in the roofline. The left bay has a two-light mullioned window; the next bay to the right has a two-light ground-floor window with hollow-chamfered mullion, and a similar single light in the gable above, both with hood moulds. To either side are wrought-iron, cross-pattern patress plates indicating that the wall was historically tied in, probably in the C18. To the right again is a two-light ground-floor window without a hood mould, converted from the original baffle-entry doorway. To the right again is the present entrance bay, with the doorway set off-centre below an enlarged single light. To the right is a very small, square light with metal casement, and to the far right, an enlarged two-light window. The eastern gable end has enlarged window openings to the ground and first floors, housing mid-C20 multi-paned casements. The western gable end is rendered; there is a two-light, mullioned window to the attic. The rear elevation has two windows to the ground floor of the original range, each with two rectangular-leaded casement window. Above are the patress plates corresponding with those in the main elevation. There are large quoins to either end of this original range. To the left, the additional range has a gabled dormer matching that in the main elevation, with two timber casements under timber and stone lintels to the ground floor. There is a tall, brick stack rising from the eaves in the left-hand bay.

INTERIOR: the earlier range of the house is two-roomed, with a fireplace at either end. The original entrance was a baffle entry, on to the side of the large inglenook at the eastern end, to the larger room. The fireplace is wide, and has monolithic limestone uprights with chamfers and stepped scrolled stops; the timber bressumer is similarly chamfered. There are recessed to the left and rear, that to the rear smaller, and possibly originally a spice cupboard. To the left of the fireplace are cupboard doors to the opening which formerly housed a winder stair. There is a single, chamfered transverse beam with stepped and scrolled stops. The adjacent room has a later axial beam and mid-C20 stone fire surround. The present entrance doorway gives access to the later range. The porch has a flagged stone floor, on top of which a timber floor has been added to the hall beyond. The hall houses the present stair, which turns through 90 degrees, against the rear wall, probably added in the C20 to replace the earlier winder stair; the balustrade is mid-C20. The hall has a large cupboard forming a baffle and a later partition to create a bathroom. The second room in the range is set up a short flight of steps. It has later partitions, one creating a large cupboard, likely formerly used as a dairy, as a stack rises from this area and there is a small ventilator towards the top of the wall.

The stair rises to a landing, off which is a bathroom to the front of the house. The other room in the later range has a hatch to the lower floor, probably dating from its use for livestock. The roof has narrow scantling and single, trenched purlins meeting the A-framed trusses. The roof is ceiled above collar level. There are two rooms in the earlier range, the second reached through a late C16 or C17 plank door with applied fillets. The window openings are splayed. The roof carpentry is much more substantial to this range: pegged A-frame trusses with two rows of purlins, the lower of which are trenched and chamfered; the upper tier are threaded. The roof is ceiled above collar height, but limited access to the roof shows that the mid-truss was always closed, and retains its common rafters, with later rafters added for strengthening alongside.

SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: to the east of the house are the main farm buildings, principally the THRESHING BARN, to which are attached various later ranges of farm buildings. The BARN dates from the later C18 or early C19, and is a high single storey with a large projecting porch to the north side. The barn is built from limestone rubble brought to course, with stone slates to one roof slope and clay pantiles to the rear and porch. The west end has taking-in door in the gable end. The south elevation has a wide opening to the centre. The rear has a deep porch with double doors. The interior is open to the roof in the central section, with either end divided horizontally. The barn appears to retain all its historic roof structure: trusses of tie beam and principal rafters with threaded purlins. The barn has a number of later lean-to and linear extensions dating from the C20 (not included).


Upper Southmead Farm (also known as Upper South Meads Farm) appears to date from the C16 or early C17, though the site may be earlier as it stands alongside Southmead Lane, which was a significant route as early as the C13. The present house originated in the later C16 or early C17, as a two-bay, baffle-entry house. The house was extended, probably in the early C19, by the addition of two further bays, originally to accommodate livestock. A barn and other outbuildings were added by the time of the tithe map published in 1841. The tithe apportionment shows Upper Southmead was owned by Philip Pearce. In front of the farmhouse was the ‘soaphouse ground’, probably indicating the place for the burning of ash and elm, the resulting potash being used for soap making. Further farm buildings and small-scale extensions to the house were added and removed up to the mid-C20, including a garden wall and likely privy to the front of the house, which survive as lower stubs. The site was sold in 1947, and the house modernised. The main entrance had been moved to the former animal accommodation, which was by this time in domestic use, and the original doorway converted to a window. Further additions were made to the barn and dairying buildings, and a small building set a short distance from the western end of the house was converted to an annexe sitting room. By the time the farm was sold again in 1958, all these changes were established, and the buildings were largely as they appeared in 2017. Some further additions were made to the farm buildings in the second half of the C20.

Reasons for Listing

Upper Southmead Farm house, dating from the later C16 or early C17 and extended in the C19, and its associated late C18/early C19 threshing barn are listed at Grade II, for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

* the house is a later C16 or early C17 building in Cotswold vernacular style, with fabric of good quality, and a high degree of survival, internally and externally; the evidence of its evolution, with the addition of a C19 range, adds to its claims to special interest;
* the associated threshing barn demonstrates a similar level of survival and quality in its construction;

Historic interest:

* as the most significant elements in an evolved farmstead originating in the later C16 or early C17.

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