Hereford Public Library
Royal Commission on Historical Monuments: Herefordshire, Volume 1: H 936.244
Transcript of Original Publication
Oldcourt farm and barns: architecture, construction and history
Up to 1700
(5) OLDCOURT FARM, farmhouse and barns, 1 ¼ miles N.E. of the Castle. The House (Plate 14) is partly of one storey with attics and partly of two storeys. The walls are of coursed sandstone-rubble with some ashlar dressings; the roofs are covered with stone slates. The house was built in the I4th century with a central Hall, open to the roof, and Solar and Buttery cross wings on the E. and W. sides respectively. In the 16th century the wings were extended towards the S. and outer wings were added E. and W. of the cross wings. The latter possibly incorporating an earlier building. Alterations made during the17th century probably include the insertion of the upper floor and chimney-stack at the W. end of the Hall, while in modern times there has been some rebuilding to the S. end of the Solar-wing and other minor alterations.
On the S. or entrance-front, the roof over the Hall-block is carried down to the first-floor level; in the return W. wall of the E. wing is a blocked window of a single square-headed light. On the N. front at the end of the E. cross-wing is a projecting chimney-stack. In the main block is a 14th-century transomed window (Plate 13) of two trefoiled lights, the chamfered mullion has, on the inside, a central roll-moulding which is brought forward in the middle with a flat pierced projection, presumably for an iron shutter-bar. Farther W., opening to the Kitchen, is a doorway with an old battened door hung on strap-hinges. In the N. wall of the 16th-century E. wing is a blocked doorway with an old oak frame and a narrow segmental head below the lintel; E. of the doorway is a three-light transomed window and in the upper part of the wall is a two-light window with an old oak frame. On the E. side of the house, on both the ground and first floor of the Solar-wing, is a four-light window with oak frame and mullions, and in the gabled end of the 16th-century block is a five-light transomed window of similar type. Inside the building, on the ground floor, the Hall has the exposed beams of the inserted upper floor. In the doorway between the Hall and the Kitchen is a battened door hung on two strap-hinges. Immediately W. of the inserted chimney-stack, in the Kitchen which now occupies the original Buttery-wing, are the exposed feet of one of the original roof-trusses with a tie beam between them. This beam appears to have formed the head of the partition between the former ‘Screens’ and the Buttery and has, cut in the soffit, the mortice holes, for the posts, and two ogee-shaped arched heads of former doorways. In the ceiling of the kitchen are stop-chamfered beams and exposed joists and in the W. wall a stone doorway, with chamfered jambs and two-centred arch, giving access to the 16th-century W. projecting wing now used as a Dairy. In the ceiling of the Dairy are exposed beams. The ground floor of the Solar wing is divided into two rooms by a central passage, the S. partition of which is of small square headed panels and the N. partition with stop-chamfered framing and ogee arch cut in framing to form a door-head. The northernmost room has an old fireplace spanned by a stop-chamfered stone lintel. The 16th-century E. extension, now used as a Cider-store, has chamfered ceiling-beams and joists. On the first floor, in the Hall block, are three original 14th-century roof trusses (Plate 23) of steep pitch and of crutch-construction with the crutches tapering towards the ridge. The central truss is cut away below the floor; it has the principal timbers chamfered and is tied with a cambered collar-beam supported by curved braces in the form of a two-centred arch. The other two trusses have the crutches tied together with collars but are without braces; the easternmost forms part of a partition-wall; the wind-braces are retained in the bay in which the later chimney-stack is inserted.
The Cartshed and Barn, S.W. of the house, appears to have been built as a dwelling. It is of one storey with attics, the walls are of coursed stone-rubble and the roof is covered with stone slates. It was built late in the 16th century. The projecting chimney-stack at the N. end has two detached diagonal shafts. Built against the E. side of the stack is a small gabled wing containing a staircase. In the N. end of the E. wall is an unusually small doorway with a heavy chamfered frame and segmental head and in the staircase-wing is a window with an old chamfered frame. Inside the building are stop-chamfered beams and exposed joists.
The Barn, S. of the house, is partly of stone-rubble and partly of weather-boarded timber-framing on a stone base; the roofs are covered with stone slates. It is of late 17th or early 18th-century date. Internally it is in four bays with queen-post roof-trusses.
The Cow-shed, E. of the house, is of one storey with a loft. The walls are of rubble and the roof is covered with stone slates. The ground floor and the loft have each a five-light window, with diamond-shaped mullions, in the N. wall. In the side walls are loops. Inside the building the roof has queen-post trusses.
Condition—Of house, fairly good.
Description documented c 1930 by the Royal Commission on Historical Monuments