History in Structure

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Nant Farmhouse, with attached former cider mill

A Grade II Listed Building in Llangattock-Vibon-Avel, Monmouthshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.8488 / 51°50'55"N

Longitude: -2.8165 / 2°48'59"W

OS Eastings: 343856

OS Northings: 217005

OS Grid: SO438170

Mapcode National: GBR FG.TL0Q

Mapcode Global: VH794.4SDK

Entry Name: Nant Farmhouse, with attached former cider mill

Listing Date: 19 March 2001

Last Amended: 19 March 2001

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 25036

Building Class: Domestic

Location: Approximately 1km W of Newcastle, on the N side of a lane running to Llanfaenor. Sited beside a tributary of Crofft hir Brook.

County: Monmouthshire

Town: Monmouth

Community: Llangattock-Vibon-Avel (Llangatwg Feibion Afel)

Community: Llangattock-Vibon-Avel

Locality: Newcastle

Traditional County: Monmouthshire

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Llanfaenor

History

At least four phases of building are evident: a C17 house with a later extension of unknown date; a cider mill added in the C18; and C19 wing apparently designed as a separate dwelling.

Exterior

An elaborate and historically interesting complex, the core of which is a C17 vernacular 2-unit, 2-storeyed house on a N-S axis, on land sloping down from N to S, with a 1-unit extension to its N end, a 2-storeyed C18 cider mill continued from its S gable, and a taller 3-bay C19 house attached at right-angles to the E side of the original house, facing S, its W gable almost completely hiding it. In the NE angle a single-storey outbuilding at right-angles to the rear of the C19 house is now linked to both ranges by a monopitched roof, covering a doorway at the junction which is now the main entrance to both parts.
The earlier house and the cider mill are built of sandstone rubble, the roofs of blue slate except the E slope of the house which is now mostly corrugated sheet; the C19 house is rendered and has a blue slate roof. The external walls are all painted white except the S gable of the cider mill which is unpainted, and its W side which has remains of whitewash. The chimneys are mostly red brick.
Seen from the lane, the principal architectural element appears to be the C19 house, which has a symmetrical 3-window facade with a small gabled wooden porch in the centre and 12-pane sashed windows on both floors. Its SW corner is slightly embraced by a very short outshut of the original house, which has a chimney just in front of the ridge at this point. The other element of this view is the E side of the cider mill, roofed to the same level as the original house but with slightly lower eaves, and longer than either of the domestic ranges. The first opening is a doorway with wooden lintel and board door, and to the left of this there are 3 windows on each floor, vertically aligned. Those at ground floor all have thin wooden lintels and fixed glazing but are slightly irregular in size and shape, while those above are all small square openings immediately below the eaves, furnished with wooden shutters.
The only exposed elevation of the C17 house (and its N extension) is the W, which is enclosed by a rectangular garden wall. A path through the centre of this garden leads directly to a former doorway with a thin wooden lintel, now reduced to a modern 2-light casement; to the right of this opening is a large oblong 4-light casement window with relatively modern joinery and glazing; and at the right-hand end of the ground floor is an extremely small slit-window (lighting the staircase: see Interior below). At 1st floor there are 2 small 3-light casements, the joinery relatively modern but the openings probably original. The extension to the left has only a single 6-pane fixed window at about mid level, with a wooden lintel. There is a ridge chimney at the junction with this extension.
The junction of this domestic range with the cider mill is interesting, the wall of the house continuing to the right beyond the slit-window about half a metre under the roof of the cider mill (suggesting that the domestic range formerly continued further), from which point the wall of the cider mill breaks forward slightly.
This has a blocked doorway near this end (i.e. opposed to the doorway in the E wall), with a thin wooden lintel but now reduced to a small window; a 9-pane fixed window to the right, with a similar lintel, and above this a 2-light unglazed wooden mullion window under the eaves; a large loading doorway with double board doors offset right of centre of the upper floor, and a doorway to the ground floor below the right-hand corner of this.
At the N end of the complex the gabled outbuilding is open on its W side, forming a covered way to the angle between the 2 domestic ranges, which is at a lower level and now roofed over, from which the main doorway leads into the house with a further step down.

Interior

The ground floor of the C17 house, now a single volume, has 2 lateral beams, that nearer the chimney breast at the S end chamfered on both sides, with tongue stops, the other chamfered only on the inner side and with mortices in the soffit showing that there was formerly a plank-and-muntin partition here. The fireplace at the S end is now blocked but the chimney breast is approximately 3m wide. To the right of this a narrow doorway with a batten-and-board door opens onto a spiral stone staicase lit by a very small looplight in the W wall. To the left another doorway leads into a service room approximately 3m wide (now under the roof of the cider mill but perhaps representing a former cross-passage) which contains a bread oven. Beyond this room another doorway opens into the cider mill. This still contains an original circular stone "horse mill" at the N end, complete with a massive stone crushing wheel, and an original pummace press, apparently complete, with its circular stone base and massive oak frame with iron screw. In addition there is a large forge hearth at the S gable wall, with rubble jambs and a high-set oak lintel, and in the corner to the left an enormous leather bellows aimed through the side wall of the hearth. The upper floor has 4 principal-rafter roof trusses, with collars on 2 levels, and the windows on both sides have chamfered wooden mullions and internal shutters with strap hinges.

Reasons for Listing

Listed both as a historically interesting domestic building with a C17 core and for its exceptionally complete cider mill.

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