Building record BNL 049 - Benhall Place Barns

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18th-19th century farmstead


Grid reference Centred TM 3545 6134 (45m by 44m)
Map sheet TM36SE


Type and Period (11)

Full Description

The site contains a grade II-listed farmhouse dated by Historic England to the 18th century and two separately listed farm buildings that form part of a sophisticated farm complex chiefly of the mid-19th century that is now in separate ownership to the west of the house: a substantial red-brick stable on the north and a timber-framed threshing barn of six bays with lean-to brick additions to the south. The barn is listed as 17th century but is conspicuous by its absence from a plan of circa 1810 by Isaac Johnson and in fact dates from circa 1820. Its three southern bays contain the principal timbers of a late-16th or early-17th century three-bay barn but these were re-used when the present structure was built. This imposing six-bay barn remains largely intact, with a roof of staggered butt-purlins, original bolted knee-braces and nailed primary wall braces, reflecting the East Anglian cereal boom of the Napoleonic wars (which raised grain prices by restricting imports). The brick stable was shown in circa 1810 when the property was known as Wade’s Farm and extended to 119 acres. A finely executed inscription on an internal door jamb bears the name J Fisk and the date 1793, which may commemorate its construction – although the farm was then owned by John Wade Esquire and Fisk may have been his builder. The structure is a high-status building with fashionable blind arches facing the road to the north and a series of circular loft windows, but was converted into a relatively normal stable with mangers and hay racks against its rear wall only in the 19th century. It appears to have been designed primarily as a coach house and granary with a central thoroughfare containing a fine grey-painted ceiling and a small utilitarian stable to the west. This layout is highly unusual and the building is of considerable historic interest. The northern arches are reflected in the western service range of the house, but map evidence suggests this was not added until after 1847. The farm complex also includes a mid-19th century piggery (an increasingly rare survival but extensively altered and therefore of limited historic value), and a more utilitarian coach house and stable of the same period. This latter is a characterful structure but the removal of its ceiling has diminished both its historic significance and its structural viability (S1).

Sources/Archives (1)

  • <S1> Unpublished document: Alston, L.. 2018. Historic Buildings Record: Benhall Place Barns, Benhall Place, Benhall.

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Protected Status/Designation

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Related Events/Activities (1)

Record last edited

Sep 11 2019 2:40PM

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