Longnor Hall

The Grade II* Listed Longnor Hall © Copyright ARS Ltd 2022
View of the Grade II* Listed Longnor Hall from the parkland to the south © Copyright ARS Ltd 2022
View of the timber panelling and fireplace with austere surround and delft tiling within one of the Hall's main bedrooms © Copyright ARS Ltd 2022

In 2022, Archaeological Research Services Ltd had the pleasure of producing a Heritage Statement on the wonderful Longnor Hall, Penkridge, Staffordshire. The site comprises the main Grade II* Listed Hall, the Grade II Listed Coach House and Weighbridge House, 7 traditional farm buildings, and a number of modern barns.

Longnor Hall dates to 1726 and comprises a provincial Baroque small style country house, functioning as a farmhouse and representing the principal seat within the small settlement of Longnor, in the manor of Bradley. The building had been constructed by Ralph Edge, with the initials “R.E.I.”, inscribed on a cast iron rainwater head, likely relating to Ralph Edge I. The building comprises an ‘L’ plan formation with a service wing to the rear. It is constructed of red brick in a Flemish bond over three storeys, and has a symmetrical and decorative main façade. This features a central Gibbs surround doorway with pediment, and a range of sash windows with central pronounced keystones and brick aprons. Formal public spaces for the small country house are within the main hall, featuring an entrance hall, dining room, drawing room, library, dressing room and bathroom, as well as eight bedrooms. A range of early timber panelling survives within the principal rooms and the main bedrooms, as well as original austere fireplace surrounds, many of which feature delft tiling depicting religious imagery. The service wing features a pantry within the cellar, kitchen and small servants’ hall at ground floor level, and bedroom with cast iron range at first floor level.

A range of farm buildings had been depicted on an 1839 Bill of Sale, but these had been demolished in the 1840s during Henry Leaver’s ownership. Leaver went on to make substantial changes to the site including the demolition of earlier farm buildings, and replacement with a ‘U’ plan range of farm buildings to the north-east of the Hall in the 1840s. These buildings were constructed during the period of High Farming, which had made extensive technological improvements to agricultural practices, as evidenced within the extant buildings. The farm buildings comprise a range of different typologies, including stables, a cart store with farm hand accommodation, a piggery, and a threshing barn with granary and dovecote.

Francis Leaver had been responsible for further extensive changes to the site throughout the mid-late 19th century. This included the construction of additional farm buildings, which enclosed the ‘U’ plan range. The late 19th century had seen a range of upgrades to the site as part of H. Mitchell’s ownership, which included the construction of the Grade II Listed Coach House and Weighbridge House in 1890. Extensive modifications were also made to the Hall, including alterations to the entrance hall with the insertion of the in-situ staircase, and the insertion of the stained glass Serlian window of the northern elevation. There are also a range of Victorian cast iron fireplaces and timber surrounds within the Hall, likely dating to this phase. The exact date of the calling system is unclear, though it seems likely to have coincided with these extensive changes to modernize the Hall for Late Victorian life.

The Hall represents a unique example of a small-scale country house, functioning as a high status farmhouse. The building is significant due to its design, formation, and surviving historic features. The Coach House and Weighbridge House are significant due to their connection with Mitchell’s upgrades to the site, as well as from their surviving features and attractive design. The range of traditional farm buildings have been constructed in the vernacular style, with their original functions clearly legible from the surviving features.

 

> Click here to learn more about our Historic Building Services

> See more of our work at the local UNESCO World Heritage Site of Cromford Mills

View of the Grade II Listed Coach House, added in the late 19th century during H Mitchell's ownership of the site © Copyright ARS Ltd 2022
View of the one of the barns constructed in the 1840s during Henry Leaver's ownership of the site © Copyright ARS Ltd 2022
View of the dovecote in the first floor of one of the barns added in the 1840s © Copyright ARS Ltd 2022
View of the calling box within the service wing of Longnor Hall © Copyright ARS Ltd 2022
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