Barn Hill

Pages 60-68

An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the Town of Stamford. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1977.

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Barn Hill (Fig. 70)

The top of Barn Hill was the site of the sheep market before its removal to Sheep Market in about 1781. Nevertheless the street appears to have had relatively distinguished occupants since the later Middle Ages. No. 6 retains parts of a very large house of the 16th century, Barn Hill House incorporates reused material from another large house of similar date, and No. 9 was occupied in the 17th century by Richard Wolph, a wealthy grocer who is said to have befriended Charles I; it later passed to William Stukeley, the antiquary. The high social status of Barn Hill, which was long-standing, is revealed by the quality of the houses, especially Barn Hill House (96), No. 13 (100), and finally, from the middle of the 19th century, No. 14 (101).

Fig. 70 Map showing monuments in All Saints' Place, All Saints' Street, Barn Hill and North Street.

(93) House, No. 3 (Fig. 71; Plate 146), two storeys, cellar, basement and attics, class 14b, ashlar front wall, remainder brick, with mansard roof, is early 19th-century. The narrow front elevation comprises a doorway, with a contemporary wooden porch in 'chinese' latticework and lead roof; to the side is a two-storey timber-framed and plastered bow window with curved sashes. A bracketed cornice continues round the bay. Inside and on each floor is a single room with a small room and staircase behind. The cellar is stone-vaulted.

Fig. 71 (93) 3 Barn Hill.

(94) House, No. 4, now approximates to class 11b but is in two sections; that on the W., of two storeys, has a rear wing and a timber-framed stair turret in the entrant angle, and may be 17th-century; that on the E., of three storeys, is early 19th-century. The earlier range was refronted in ashlar in the late 18th century; the windows have plain projecting architraves and the doorway is pedimented. The roof over the rear wing has clasped purlins and is probably 17th-century. The later section has a street front of ashlar and a slate roof; on the ground floor two round-headed sash windows are set in a three-bay shallow arcade. In the rear wall, of coursed rubble, is a blocked elliptically headed arch which was still open in 1886.

At the rear is a detached three-storey building in coursed rubble, described in 1843 as a six-horse stable with granaries above.

(95) House and Range, Nos. 5–6 (Figs. 72, 73). The house, one storey and attics, partially heightened to two storeys, stone rubble walls, has a front range and rear wing of the 17th century; the wing is continuous with a range of the early 16th century (see below). On the street front a two-storey bay window with canted sides was one of the improvements carried out by John Wyche between 1774 and 1781 (Ex. MS, 90/26); Wyche, town clerk, was fined in 1783 for the encroachment of the bay onto the street. In 1824 the house was divided and a separate tenement formed in the E. part where a hallway was partitioned; a stair and kitchen were added. Another room was built in c. 1843 when the Marquess of Exeter bought the property. The main room on the W. has fielded panelling of 1774–81; the ceiling, raised in the 18th century, is enriched with geometric pattern later elaborated with floral panels. A stair of c. 1700 in the rear wing has closed string, square newels, and turned balusters. A ground-floor room in the wing has early 17th-century scratch-moulded panelling, probably once with a frieze; the corner fireplace has elaborately carved mid 18th-century surround and 17th-century overmantel comprising three bolection-moulded lozenges, frieze panels carved with arabesques, dentil cornice, cut-work brackets, and pendants. On the first floor is an 18th-century fireplace surround with garlanded rams' heads.

The early 16th-century Range, extending from the rear wing of the house to Scotgate, has rubble external walls. It originally consisted of a hall open to the roof and a two-storey range continuous with it on the S. but on a slightly different alignment. At this change in alignment there was probably an internal stone cross wall. The hall is a long one and the building was doubtless part of a large and important domestic establishment. Drastic alterations included the insertion of a floor in the hall, the addition of an 18th-century chimney stack and many large openings in the walls.

Fig. 72 (95) 5–6 Barn Hill.

Fig. 73 (95) Range behind 6 Barn Hill


The surviving original features of the hall are two large windows and the roof. The windows, of two lights, have transoms and hollow-moulded jambs with upper lights having four-centred heads and sunk spandrels. One is at the N. end of the W. wall, the other at the S. end of the E. wall; the head of the latter has been destroyed. A small ground-floor window with splayed jambs, at the N. end of the E. wall, and another on the first floor in the S. range, may also be 16th-century. Some of the later openings, now blocked, are probably in the positions of original ones but no early details survive. The roof, of modest design, has collars clasping purlins, principal rafters with reduced thickness above the purlin, cambered tie beams and broad wind-braces (Plate 77). The hall roof is in five bays of which the two on the N. are narrower; the roof over the S. section of the range, of four unequal bays with two closed trusses implying at least three rooms, originally extended further to the S. The division between the hall and the S. section is marked by two later trusses. The two N. bays of the hall have chamfered beams and wide joists, laid flat, indicating a date of c. 1600 for the insertion of the floor into the hall. The compartment in these bays is 'the low room now divided by a partition into two small rooms and used as a larder . . . ' which Charles Snow bought from William Noel in 1720 and incorporated into his house, No. 6 Barn Hill (deeds; Ex. MS, 90/26). In the W. wall are two round-headed early 19th-century doorways with stone surrounds and capitals.

(96) Barn Hill House, No. 7 (Fig. 74; Plates 96, 156), two storeys, attics and basement, is mainly of ashlar but with coursed rubble basement which, because of the sloping ground, is entered at ground level on the S.; the plan, conforming to class 9, originally had fireplaces in all four corners, but one has been removed. A quoin inscribed '1698' presumably denotes the building-date. The carcase and most of the internal walls of the original house survive, but the window surrounds, which are repeated on all elevations, have a mid 18th-century character suggesting a total refacing, except for the basement, at that date. In 1843–4 Bryan Browning made considerable alterations for the Marquess of Exeter (Burghley Estate Account Books, ledger 8) including the complete transformation of the N. front.

Fig. 74 (96) Barn Hill House.

The building has a wave-moulded plinth belonging to the house of 1698. The N. front has windows with simple projecting surrounds and triple keystones. Under Browning's instructions the central doorway was given a round head, sculptured keystone and spaced voussoir-blocks (Plate 157); it is flanked by small niches. He also added a large four-column porch in the Roman Doric style, which obliterated earlier ground-floor windows. Other alterations included the addition of an attic parapet carved with swags and rams' heads, the removal of a platband linking the heads of the upper windows, and the construction of a low rusticated terrace along the front. The S. elevation of three bays with rubble basement, moulded plinth, platband, gabled roof, has windows with simple surrounds with roll-moulded arrises and small keystones, those on the first floor being linked by a narrow band, presumably all of the 18th century; the basement windows have either three or four mullioned lights with triangular heads, probably 16th-century, reset. A basement quoin is inscribed 'GP 1698'. A forebuilding reaching to the platband, added by Browning in 1843, has windows of the 16th and 18th centuries reused from the main wall. Both the E. and W. elevations have twin gables with a chimney stack on each apex. The windows are uniform with those on the S., and are similarly linked. The flush, roll-moulded quoins on the S. elevation remain, but those on the N. have been replaced by the later rusticated quoins. The masonry of the E. wall is of smaller size than that on the W.; in the basement is a reset three-light window of the 16th century. An early 19th-century wooden porch on the E. has Tuscan columns; the sides are now filled in.

Internally, the basement has heavy unchamfered beams, and a fireplace with depressed four-centred head, presumably 16th-century, reset; a doorway with four-centred head, and a small circular window above, are possibly c. 1698. The central room has reset early 17th-century moulded panelling. The arrangement of the ground-floor rooms in double depth with a central entrance hall is broadly original but the present principal stair is a replacement by Browning in the position of an earlier one. The stair is cantilevered and has cast-iron balusters with floral motifs. In the entrance hall are three pilasters with Ionic-type capitals, a rounded arch with key-block, and a plaster cornice, all c. 1698. Browning was responsible for the panelling. In the N.E. room is early 17th-century reset panelling composed of larger and smaller rectangles with moulded surrounds; of c. 1740 is a fireplace with carved eared surround. The N.W. room contains early 18th-century bolection-moulded panelling in two heights with wooden cornice. The corner chimney was moved to the N. wall necessitating the blocking of two windows, the W. of which remains externally; the 18th-century eared surround of the fireplace has Rococo-style central panel and carved pulvinated frieze (Plate 127). The S.E. room is lined with reset 17th-century panelling, as in the N.E. room. The S.W. room has early 18th-century bolection panelling in two heights. The rooms on the first floor have block cornices, and a central lobby has round-headed arches with key-blocks, all of the 18th century, but one length of plaster cornice may be of 1698, as well as a bolection-moulded fireplace surround in the S.E. room. Some early 18th-century splat balusters exist at the head of the service stair.

The garden consists of a parterre levelled from the sloping ground, with a terrace on the N. and W. On the terrace, and approached by steps at the side, is a mid 18th-century Summer House (Plate 104) of ashlar, having central round-headed doorway with rustication, side sash windows, and a pediment; the window sills have been lowered. Ancillary features include 18th-century walls enclosing the forecourt, with two ashlar gate piers surmounted by classical urns; a rustic arch of undressed stone in the N.W. corner of the sunken area of the garden, originally leading to a tunnel beneath Barn Hill Lane to a garden beyond, is now blocked but was in use in 1842 (Ex. MS, 63/66).

(97) Stukeley House, No. 9 (Fig. 75; Plate 148), two storeys, cellar and attics, class 11a, has front and rear walls of ashlar and gable walls of coursed rubble; the stone-slated mansard roof has at the rear subsidiary mansard roofs at right angles. The property, once owned by the Rev. William Stukeley, was bought by Henry Tatam, alderman and cabinet maker, in 1796 (All Saints' vestry, deposition, 1854). The house was built and presumably designed by Tatam between that date and 1801, and was described as newly built in 1802 (LRO, Barn Hill Methodist Church records, conveyance, 1802). In about 1840 the rear wing was rebuilt, perhaps by James Atter who purchased the house in that year (All Saints' vestry, allegations, 1854); it is of two storeys, in coursed rubble with freestone dressings.

Fig. 75 (97) 9 Barn Hill

Front elevation.

Fig. 76 (97) 9 Barn Hill

Detail of chair rail.

The design of the main elevation derives from Tatam's calling as a cabinet maker. The central sections of the heads of the four larger windows are raised to a flat segment; the lower windows have rusticated surrounds and the upper, of slender and individual character, have shafted jambs and shallow moulded heads (Plate 120). The cornice concealing the gutter is carried on small shaped brackets reminiscent of cabinet work. Dormers have segmental heads. The Greek Doric porch was added in the early 19th century (Plate 124). Inside, many fittings of 1796–1801 remain, and include a stair with inlaid handrail, a chair-rail with nail-head ornament (Fig. 76; cf. 234), reeded door architraves, and plaster cornices. Over a back door is a reset panel 'Johanni Rogers Ob Hydram Podagrae Domitam Gratitudinis Ergo Wilhemus Stukeley MDCCXXXIII'; the panel was set up by Stukeley in his garden on 27 June 1743 (Surtees Soc. 76 (1883), 331).

Of William Stukeley's garden little remains; it was described in 1785 as having temples and an obelisk (Mercury, 9 Sept.), and a prospect mound. Set in the N. wall which follows the line of the medieval town wall are fragments, presumably from Stukeley's collection, which include a capital and a corbel of the 13th century and medieval responds. Against the wall is a rectangular summer-house, timber-framed, with half-hipped roof, and weather-vane perforated with date 1849; over the four-centred doorway is an 18th-century stone tablet inscribed with a Latin eulogy on flowers.

Adjacent is a Gateway (Plate 90) built into the town wall and altered by Stukeley in 1744 (Surtees Soc. 80 (1885), 457). It probably dates from the first half of the 17th century and may have been constructed by Alderman Richard Wolph, a wealthy grocer, who lived here. It consists of a massive round-headed arch with rusticated voussoirs radiating to a rectangle, and heavy bracketed cornice above a plain frieze panel inscribed, 'Beatae Tranquillitati P Wilh Stukeley MDCCXXXVII'. Above is a battlemented parapet with panel carved with a shield in a quatrefoil and inscribed 'Anno Victoriae Cullodonianae 1746', and behind the arch is a halfdomed recess with a doorway, and a stairway within the thickness of the wall, all of which were additions by Stukeley in the 18th century when he converted the gateway to a garden alcove.

(98) House, No. 10 (Plate 149), is in three sections: that in the centre, of two storeys and cellar, is perhaps late 17th-century; that on the S., of three storeys with mansard roof and attics, was built in 1804 for Miss Frances Treen (Burton, 227) and that on the N. has a date-stone inscribed 1866. The earliest section consists of one room with two large chamfered cross beams, but has no other early features. The block of 1804, entered from the side, comprises a large parlour, stair and entrance hall; the quality of the ashlar is noteworthy. The elevations are of idiosyncratic design with voussoirs and quoins in alternating planes giving a lively effect (Fig. 10; Plate 121); the sills continue as platbands. Above the round-headed entrance doorway with fanlight and enriched pilasters is a stair window with alternating jamb blocks, round head and gothic glazing bars. A thin projecting stone cornice conceals a gutter. Interior fittings of c. 1804 include a moulded chair-rail and plaster cornices; a moulded stone fireplace surround with enriched frieze is in the first-floor room, perhaps originally the drawing room.

(99) House, No. 12, two storeys, five gabled dormers, attics and cellar, has walls of coursed rubble. The front range on the S. is probably c. 1700 but the rear wing, originally timber-framed, is earlier. This wing was cased or replaced in stone in the 17th century and now has blocked ovolo-moulded two-light mullioned win dows. The front range has an abnormal plan of five principal bays with the entrance in the end bay; it has been shortened at its W. gable end. The window openings have lintels channelled to simulate voussoirs, and no sills; the proportions are squat and the present sash windows may have replaced ones with wooden mullions and transoms. The main doorway has a moulded surround with projecting hood and curved pediment carried on elaborately carved console brackets (Plate 124), c. 1700. At the rear of the main range is a large ground-floor Venetian window. In front of the house is a low wall with 18th-century wrought-iron railings with scrolled finials at intervals (Plate 125). Inside, the house has many fittings of the first half of the 18th century, the principal being the staircase, with a lower enclosed flight, first-floor balustrade with turned balusters having square knops, and the upper flight with splat balusters (Fig. 15); other fittings include bolection-moulded and fielded panelling in two heights, wooden cornices and a moulded door-case with pulvinated frieze and entablature.

Fig. 77 (100) 13 Barn Hill

Front elevation shown with window glazing restored.

(100) House, No. 13 (Figs. 77, 78; Plate 103), two storeys, cellars and attics, class 11b, was built in 1740, the date on the two lead rainwater heads; it has been little altered. In the side wall of the rear wing, at a low level, is a blocked three-light ovolo-moulded window with hood mould indicating a 17th-century origin for this part of the building.

Fig. 78 (100) 13 Barn Hill.

Fig. 79 (100) 13 Barn Hill

Upper window.

The front wall is of ashlar with rusticated quoins (Plate 121), the remainder, including the ellipticallyvaulted cellars, are of coursed rubble. The main elevation is in five almost symmetrical but unequal bays; the ground-floor windows have voussoirs and rusticated jambs; those on the first floor have eared surrounds, continuous sills and pediments (Figs. 10, 12, 79). The central entrance with pilasters and pediment is plainer, and a side entrance to a passage is unemphasized. Contemporary wrought-iron railings with scrolled finials survive in front (Plate 125). Internally two main rooms and the entrance hall are lined with panelling of two heights with a cornice; the long axis is accentuated by decorative doorcases in the end walls. The doorways have eared architraves, and a fireplace has shell-and-dart surround. The generous stair hall (Plate 135), reached through an elliptical archway with scrolled brackets, is lit by a tall round-headed window with panelled reveals. A rear room, now the kitchen but formerly a sitting room, has fielded panelling; the earlier kitchen was in a wing now demolished. The stair (Plate 134) rises in three flights with turned balusters, cut string with scroll brackets (Plate 130), panelled dado and ramped handrail; the walls have plastered panels above a scroll frieze and the decorative plaster ceiling has an enriched cornice (Plate 136). The large drawing room on the first floor has an elaborately carved wooden fireplace surround (Plate 127). The roof of five bays has principals with curved feet, two sets of purlins, one set square the other canted.

Fig. 80 (101) 14 Barn Hill

Loggia on line of town walls.

(101) House, No. 14 (Plate 159), class 11b, three storeys, cellars, two-storey rear wing, main walls of ashlar, remainder of coursed rubble, hipped slated roof, was probably built between 1840 and 1850. The main elevation is severe without emphasis to the window openings; above the lower windows is a string-course of corona profile on which a pediment is set unclassically over a round-headed doorway. Beneath the parapet is a deep cornice. The side elevation, in contrast with the front, is meant to impress. On each floor are triple windows in a vertical shallow recess; that on the first floor is accentuated by a pedimented cornice on brackets. The interior is relatively severe with simple plaster cornices providing the main ornamentation. The cantilevered stair has cast-iron balusters decorated with Greek motifs, and a continuous handrail (Plate 133). Several original fireplace surrounds of simple design remain. The drawing room was on the first floor.

At the N. end of the garden, on the line of the town walls, is an early 19th-century Loggia (Fig. 80) comprising a central flight of steps to an upper terrace, flanked by pairs of segmental-headed arches now blocked. In the rear parapet wall are reset three carvings (Plate 44): crocketed niche with figure of St. Lawrence with gridiron, 15th-century; corbel head, medieval; grotesque head in octofoil probably a vault-boss, medieval, recorded in 1736 by Stukeley as coming from the site of the Austin Friary (Stukeley, Designs, 74).

Fig. 81 (102) 15 Barn Hill

Plan of office.

(102) Office, No. 15 (Fig. 81; Plate 159), two storeys, ashlar front and rear walls, coursed rubble side walls, hipped slated roof, was built as an office probably for the firm of Richardson in the mid 19th century. The threebay S. front has sash windows, round-headed doorway with fanlight, platband and moulded cornice below a parapet; the N. elevation is in similar but plainer style. Inside, the strong-room, an original feature, has a brick barrel vault.

(103) House, No. 16 (Fig. 82; Plate 71), formerly All Saints' Vicarage, was built towards the end of the 15th century. It is now of two storeys throughout but originally had an open hall, class 1a. The walls are of coursed rubble. The rear wing and most internal fittings date from the late 19th century but the medieval priest's house survives substantially.

Fig. 82 (103) 16 Barn Hill

Plan as existing; sections with later floors and partitions removed.

The front elevation has two-light mullioned windows of 17th-century style but mostly of early 19th-century date; their disposition may be compared with that shown by Stukeley in 1735 (Plate 71; Designs, p. 28). The hall in the E. half was previously lit by two tall two-light windows with pointed heads, transoms and labels. These have been replaced by square windows with terracotta labels, on two floors. The doorway, with depressed four-centred head, moulded jambs. square hood mould and sunk spandrels, remains as shown by Stukeley; a jamb stone is inscribed 'IH 1695', The doorway is probably late medieval; it preserves the position of the original entrance but appears to be later than the hall windows shown by Stukeley. Upper windows in the two W. bays are apparently as shown by Stukeley, but the lower window replaces one with a single light. The rear wall is now featureless, but a plan of 1841 (deeds) shows at the W. end, where the present wall is thin and rebuilt, a rectangular projection which may have been an early stair turret (Surtees Soc., 76 (1883), 324). Internally, the former open hall now has an inserted upper floor of the 17th century. In the N. wall is a partially-blocked fireplace with tall relieving arch and a flue rising within the thickness of the wall; it is probably medieval. At the W. end of the hall most of the timber-framed screens partition survives although hidden on the hall side by a mid 19th-century elliptical headed recess flanked by cupboards. The partition consists of top rail and chamfered studs with an interval for a central entrance to the hall. The screens passage is marked on the W. by a heavy ceiling beam but the partition below it is possibly not original. At the N. end of the passage is an original but mutiliated doorway, the rebate of one jamb only remaining. Over the service rooms is a chamber which overhangs 2 ft. beyond the screens passage into the hall. The roof, of four bays, has crown posts braced downward to the tie beam and upwards to the collar purlin; the central truss is closed.

Stukeley records that the open hall had 'many scripture sentences around it' (Surtees Soc., 76 (1883), 324). Later fittings include an 18th-century moulded stone fireplace with eared surround.

Fig. 83 (104) 17 Barn Hill.

(104) House, No. 17 (Fig. 83), has a S. range of two storeys with ashlar walls, and a rear two-storey wing in two sections, the further with attics, of coursed rubble walls and freestone dressings. The front range has a central doorway flanked by timber-framed, full-height, shallow bow windows with sashes. The front wall dates from c. 1800, but the thick rear wall with a massive chimney stack indicates the partial replacement of an earlier structure perhaps of class 2. The present roof of unequal pitches had the street side raised in c. 1800; one rafter of the former, steeply-pitched, front part of the roof remains in a partition. The rear wing is 17th or early 18th-century; the S. room is probably a rebuilding of an earlier wing. The wooden windows have mullions on the ground floor, and mullions and transoms on the first floor; internal partitions are timber-framed and of poor quality.