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A Walk Round Village Buildings

A brief description of some of the various styles and ages of village buildings

A Walk Round Village Buildings


The oldest part of the village lies between Church Lane and the Village Hall, it is thought that with the exception of the church and the lower part of Yew Tree House there is little of any antiquity to be seen. Numerous houses have been removed from this area over the last century, partially due to the road widening circa 1927.


Main Road

The current line of the main road to Nottingham was created in the seventeenth century. Up until then the main route through the village came from Nether Broughton and followed Bottom Green to a point past where the station was, where it turned and headed towards Widmerpool. The continuation can be seen in Thurlby Lane in Widmerpool.

What is now the Main Road was originally the main village street and led to Hickling down what is now Hickling Lane.

The Village Hall of 1899 replaced a row of small cottages. Rose Cottage, now part of the Village Hall is an example of such a cottage.

The Nook and The Cranny originally had gardens in front, which were swallowed up by the road widening. They are very simple in their structure and lack embellishment. They may not have been built as a pair – they have separate roof structures.

Sunny Cottage is a good example of a vernacular design of cottage, though it has been altered and extended of late. The windows are almost all on the east side, and the west side of the house was originally on the property boundary. There used to be outbuildings and possibly other dwellings in front of it.

The Golden Fleece looks to have been rebuilt in the 19th Cent.  No trace of an earlier building can be found, though there is documentary evidence of a pub being there earlier. The windows on the front have been replaced several times.


Chapel Lane

The Pinfold, stood at the junction of the main street and Chapel Lane. Stray animals were rounded up and kept in the pinfold until their owner had paid a fine for their release. A house and two cottages have gone from what is now the pub car park. The two remaining cottages appear on old maps, but are likely to have been rebuilt in the mid 19th Century. In design they are basic one-up one-down cottages, but they lack any detailing that would suggest an early date.

Bella Vista might be an example of a post-enclosure building, though the garden would seem to be enclosed by what is probably a Saxon rounded boundary, part of which can be seen in the hedgerow between Bella Vista and The Paddock. Bella Vista was at one time three dwellings. In plan it is L-shaped and one room deep.


Rectory Drive

The church has its own section on the website.

Church Farm is a good example of the traditional farmhouse of an L-shaped plan, single pile and 2½ storeys. The windows are recent and replaced the original sash windows. Between Church Farm garden and the Golden Fleece there is a brick wall that is chequer-board patterned. This is the only example of extensive patterned brickwork in the village.

Church Farm Cottage was originally next to a much larger thatched house, and would appear to be late 19th Cent., as the structure is deeper than single pile.  An early photograph exists of the next door house, which was larger, and appears to be 16th or 17th century in date and may pre-date Church Farm.

The Old Rectory was designed by S S Teulon, who also did work at Sandringham, and was responsible for the design of buildings country-wide, many of high gothic revival style. There is some evidence that the design contains sections which Teulon also used in other buildings which he was commissioned to design (c.f. Pattern Book Buildings). The Old Rectory and the chancel of the church (also by Teulon) were constructed in 1855.

The Golden Fleece stands on a narrow scrap of land between two ‘Saxon’ enclosures, and is likely to have existed as an institution for a long time, but the present building shows no signs of any fabric pre-dating the 19th Century.


Bleaching Hill from the Stockwell (opp the pub) to Top Green

Yew Tree House presents a Georgian face towards the village, but the inner parts of the house are likely to be much older, and some, reputedly are very old indeed. The stone in the lower part of the house walls is similar to that used in the Church. Peach Tree Stables is converted from a range of late 18th or early 19th century farm buildings, dating from the time when the Brett who owned it was known as ‘Brett at the Stockwell’ as opposed to his relative, who was ‘Brett at the corner’. The whole effect is of someone, in their prosperity trying to move away from Vernacular building styles towards something more sophisticated and likely to impress. It should be noted that the stone base of the walling against Church Lane is of Blue Lias, which seems only to be used for agricultural buildings.

The former Post Office buildings are interesting. The house to the left is set back, but seems to occupy the same position as an earlier building, and evidence from internal timber-work suggests that the building is late Tudor, and was re-fronted circa 1880. The use of slate for the roof, which became economically possible with the advent of the canal to Hickling at the end of the 18th century permitted the formerly steeply pitched thatched roofs to be realigned to give full height windows on the upper floor – number 2  Bottom Green Cottages is the best example of this.


The Turnpike

The Mill House is a very interesting building, as it appears to be the only example of a double-pile building in the village, though it now has a single roof span. It has been re-faced, using the same lintels as The Post Office House and Southview – so assume a late 19th Cent date for the remodelling. Internally there seems to be a difference between the age of the front and the back section, so it is likely to have started out as a basic farmhouse of the local design of two 14’ square rooms separated by a narrow hallway, which may by analogy with Dexters Close Cottage have been the stair well.

Across the road is the site of an ancient farm which is just about detectable in favourable low light (now overgrown).

Sulney Fields was originally a farmhouse, known as Overbank. It has been extended and gentrified many times, but there is some evidence of an early structure in the north-west corner of the house.


Church Lane

The cottages in Church Lane are mid to late 19th Century. Originally there was a row of small cottages along the lane, of an earlier date, which were demolished. The existing three cottages were originally six.

Long Cottage was, for a while in the 19th Century the location of a Dame School. The schoolroom was a single story section against the churchyard. The house has been extensively altered, and it is difficult to determine whether anything of historical interest remains in it, and what the date of the original house might be.


Top Green

Westwards from Well Lane the older properties are on the north side of the road, probably because it is postulated that the Well Lane – Bottom Green – Top Green triangle was all village green from circa late 13th Century. Three of the cottages are end-on to the road, which is a feature of local village land use.

Greenhill Cottage and Holly Cottage are late 19th Cent, and have the same ornamentation of their gable ends, suggesting contemporaneous construction. It should be noted that the same ornamentation is found at Top Cottage (this may not be visible due to a recent extension) and Manor Barn Farm – all 19th cent estate cottages. Normally the gable ends of buildings in the vernacular style are plain. Greenhill Cottage is two rooms deep, and is in the style of modest suburban villas of the 1880 – 1890s, whereas Holly Cottage is still of the vernacular plan (now much extended).

Stone Cross Cottage, formerly Barrack Yard was a series of one-up one down cottages, probably 17th Cent in origin. Despite modern alterations it still displays much of the character of the archetypal vernacular cottage of the area. The roof was formerly thatched, and the original roof line has been kept.

Opposite is the Cross, the base and shaft of which survive. Note the stone used in its construction, which is not local – it appears to be Millstone Grit.  Fragments of tracery made of ironstone have been found which suggest a date in the second half of the 13th cent.  It is probably a market cross for a failed attempt to establish a market by the Sulney family, who had recently acquired the manor.


Bottom Green starting from the main road

White House has a large late 19th Cent. extension parallel with the road, but the older section of the house is end-on to the road. This was reclad at the same time as the extension was built, as it has saw-tooth pattern corbelling as opposed to the older and more traditional denticulate pattern.

Southview is probably 16th or 17th Century in origin. The recladding of the front matches that of Mill House and The Post Office House – probably circa 1880. The roof was clearly thatched, and the roof at the rear is a ‘catslide’, enclosing a lean-to kitchen. The attic windows are in the gable ends as they should be. Dormer windows are extremely rare if not non-existent as original features of the local style (planners please note).

Hill Farm, formerly ‘The Greyhound’ is on a narrow strip of roadside land, which is in part common land. It looks like a 18th Cent Pattern Book building, possibly built to serve the coaching traffic on the Turnpike, but it does contain parts of an older building within. It ceased to be a pub in 1904.

Corner House Farm does contain an old building, but nothing is visible of this from the outside.

Ivy House is interesting for its fusion of Georgian formality of appearance with a traditional L-shaped single pile layout  (c.f. Dexters Close Cottage). It is likely to have been built in the late 18th Century. The end of the outbuilding to the left of the house (now incorporated in it) shows the outline of a cruck frame, though no timber-work was found during the recent renovation.

1 & 2, Bottom Green Cottages have a date plaque on them – 1753 – though the wall in which this is incorporated is clearly not part of the oldest section of the building. A study of the brickwork shows that the original building was probably single storey with a steeply pitched thatched roof, providing sleeping space in the loft (there is a fine example of this style of building in Upton near Southwell). A later extension provided a more substantial upper floor, which may have been timber-framed originally, but is now made of bricks which appear to be 19th Cent. The ground floor bricks are of the earliest date in the village

Pear Tree Cottage is marked as a barn on the oldest maps. Some aspects of the style of the restoration are a prime example of the guidance provided by the planners of Rushcliffe B C, who fail to understand what the local vernacular style is.

Bottom Green Farm and associated buildings (now a dwelling) are a good example of the post-enclosure farmhouse. Note the decorative gable end and corbelling on the buildings.

Willow Farm contains a simple 1½ storey farmhouse with a much larger Georgian extension.

Willow Cottage is timber framed house of the ‘braced box’ type, probably of the early 17th Century. This structural type seems to have been used in this area from about 1540 to 1660, though in other parts of England it is known from a much earlier date. Note the wide separation of the studs.


Station Road from Cross Green end

The Lodge appears to be a Victorian gentleman’s residence, but as it appears on older maps with a reduced size it is at least on an old site.

Dexters Close Cottage is on an ancient site – allegedly early 17th Century, but nothing remains of this except foundations found beneath the floor. The front part of the structure dates from circa 1740, and is little altered. In particular the windows and probably the front door are original. Inside the house there is some cob walling which would seem to have originated as animal pens.

Greystone Cottage has a long and complex history. The front part, end-on to the road was an agricultural building according to the 1816 map. It was converted into four dwellings circa 1840 but is now a single house. The use of Blue Lias stone on the road end is, as at Peach Tree Stables, typical of outbuildings as opposed to houses.

Hillside Farm was not a double pile building until 15 years ago. The rear extension is in keeping. Before repointing it was evident that the eaves level had been raised on removal of a thatched roof.

The cottage behind the butchers shop is a cob building which has been clad in brick. The rear view shows how it has grown over the generations. It is a splendid example of the local vernacular style. Note the windows all on the west side – the property stands on the eastern boundary.

Holme Farm is undecorated and typical of simple farmhouses of the time, it dates from the mid 18th Century. The remaining farm buildings are somewhat later and are of great interest for being unchanged.

The Croft is allegedly built round an old cottage, but no evidence of this can be seen from the outside.

Village Farm is a good example of an 18th Century farmhouse of 2½ storeys.

Tudor Cottage was the original Pond Farm, a 17th Century timber-framed cottage, which has been very much changed in recent years.

Whitehouse Farm comprises of an older 1½ storey section end-on to the road with a later (late 18th – early 19th Cent.) extension parallel with the road giving the property the appearance of being gentrified. The plan remains vernacular.

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