Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Impney Farm

Impney Farm, prior to demolition

Impney Farm was recorded by Worcestershire Historic Environment and Archaeology Service, shortly before it was demolished.

It was noted then that there were a series of re-used timbers within the roof of the cellar. The majority of the building dated from 1757, a date incorporated in the brickwork of the farmhouse. Following examination of the structure, it is thought that parts of the building date to the 16th century, and the footprint of an earlier building survived beneath the current structure. Parts of the cellar, chimney stack and cross-wing were from an earlier period.

Around the time of the 1757 reconstruction a number of farm buildings were also added, or replaced other previous buildings. This fits in to the period 1750 – 1820 when there were vast improvements in agricultural methods and crop production to supply an increasing population. The rebuilding of Impney Farm might suggest the occupier then was a successful gentleman or improver farmer.

It would appear that the earliest building (late 16th /early 17th century) consisted of a cross wing building possibly of the standard “H“ shape form. The house would most likely have been a baffle entry house with the entrance(s) facing the chimney stack.

The ten timbers re-used in the cellar were used as joists to hold up the living room floor. These joists may have been taken from the timber framing of the earlier farmhouse. All had mortises and peg-holes and some pegs were still present and intact. One of the timbers had a groove between the mortises, which would have had wattles sprung into it from holes in the beam above to create a wattle and daub panel. There was no groove between the next mortises, then a further groove on the opposite side suggesting that the ungrooved portion was the position of a door. From the information gained from the positions of the mortises, the researchers were able to determine that the original build would have had square panelling – a style common in Worcestershire during the 16th – 18th centuries.

The researchers were able to extract a large amount of evidence from what were, in fact, leftovers from demolition. Samples from the timbers were sent for dendrochronological (tree-ring) dating. One of the timbers was felled in the summer of 1613, and two other timbers possibly came from the same tree. Another timber with a felling date range of 1599-1629 was unlikely to have come from the same tree or location. Another timber belonged to a tree which was felled in 1467-9. Whilst it cannot be certain that the timbers came from the original build of the farmhouse the dates are important in gaining a better understanding of carpentry techniques and styles used in buildings across the county.

Based on an article in Worcestershire Archaeology No 6 July 2002, with additional information from the Worcestershire Historical Environment and Archaeology Service Report which may be accessed from the Dodderhill parish section to be found at http://www.worcestershire.gov.uk/home/archeo_dr_list-public

A building site view from Impney Farm across the new building site at Riverside
Buildings - now gone view from Impney Farm across the new building site at Riverside
More Barns at Impney Farm - now demolished
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