Barnards, Town Green Road.

By David Miller

Photo:Barnards in 2012

Barnards in 2012

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Barnards, Town Green Road.' page
Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Barnards, Town Green Road.' page

The name Barnards has been taken from the Chicheley Map of circa 1686. On that map, just south of the Lordship mound, can be seen 'Barnards Homestall,' and then south of that is 'Barnards Close.'

Photo:The Chicheley map showing Barnards.

The Chicheley map showing Barnards.

In addition to the map, we are fortunate in having five wills of the Barnard family, dated 1575; 1615; 1640; 1685; and 1736 respectively. There is also an Inventory of 1693 (above), and all these documents give us a good idea of what the house was used for and how each room might have looked like. 

It is probable that the house has not changed in its basic form, although most of the outbuildings at the rear have now gone. There is a crosswing of two storeys, with a cellar, and a hall range parallel with the road. The house is now tiled, although of course it would have been thatched originally. It is listed Grade II. There is a large chimney stack at the junction between the range and the crosswing. The chimney has distorted over years to a spectacular degree, possibly as a result of the lime mortar becoming rather soft when damp.  In fact, the whole house was leaning dangerously when it was in the

Photo:Leaning chimney at Barnards.

Leaning chimney at Barnards.

Photo:The SCDC architect took steps to preserve the house.

The SCDC architect took steps to preserve the house.

  ownership of the South Cambs. District Council, who were preparing to have it demolished so that the land could be redeveloped. It was saved by public protests from the village, and the SCDC architect took steps to save the house. Orwell resident Veronica Wolfe gives an account of this matter here.

The Hearth Tax records of 1660 show the resident Barnard as having only one hearth. This is strange, because there are two hearths there now, and unless the Barnard in question was only living in half the house, it is hard to see how he could have got away with a wrong

Photo:Clunch and brick fireplace

Clunch and brick fireplace

declaration. The Inventory indicates that Richard Barnard occupied the whole house in 1693.

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Barnards, Town Green Road.' page

 

 

 

 

The builder of the house obviously put considerable effort into making two fine fireplaces with clunch blocks, the one on the parlour side of the stack having moulded decorative work.

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Barnards, Town Green Road.' page
Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Barnards, Town Green Road.' page
Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Barnards, Town Green Road.' page

The timber carpentry, however, is very solid but a little crude, and the studs are more widely spaced than one would expect in a large house of this period. Some of the timber is pine.

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Barnards, Town Green Road.' page
Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Barnards, Town Green Road.' page
Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Barnards, Town Green Road.' page

The cellar at Barnards. Cool and damp!

This page was added by David Miller on 12/02/2013.

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