Skip to main content

Listed Building record MDR10620 - Dronfield Hall barn, Dronfield Hall, Dronfield

Type and Period (3)

Protected Status/Designation

Full Description

The Barn, Dronfield, appears from the outside to have its origins as an 18th century barn but it contains a late medieval king-post roof. The quality of the timberwork and the location of the building on the edge of a steep slope commanding views over the river valley suggest that it represents the remains of an important house. (1) Storage building, formerly farm outbuilding. Late 17th century, but containing the substantial remains of a timber framed building, possibly a medieval hall. Coursed squared coal measures sandstone with coped gales and moulded kneelers, and a stone slated roof. Lplan, with formr threshing door to central bay beneath a segmental relieving arch and a timber lintel. King post roof. The wall plates now carried by the stone wall have mortices and peg holes for the former studs of the timber framed walling. (2) The barn, of Coal Measures sandstone construction and roofed in stone slate, is 'L'-shaped in plan and achieved its present form in the first half of the 18th century. It was surveyed in 1970, when in poor condition [survey drawings in Derbyshire Record Office], and was re-examined in 2005. The survey showed that the building incorporated the remains of a timber-framed structure of an earlier domestic phase, with a king-post roof that was almost intact. It had been a 4-bay, two-storeyed building, aligned east-west, and may originally have had a coeval hall attached to its south wall. A provisional date, based on the framing characteristics, would be mid-15th century. When it was converted to a barn a bay of building was added to its west end, the timber-framing below eaves level was mostly removed and replaced by coursed squared rubble walling and the necessary opposed large wagon entrances installed. The quality of the surviving timber-frame and details of its carpentry single the building out as an outstanding example of late medieval craftsmanship. (3) Test pitting both inside and around the outside of the Old Barn was carried out in 2009. Although no archaeological features were found in the external test pits, a series of different floor surfaces were found in several of the internal pits. Most of these related to development of the site from the 19th century onwards; however, one test pit contained a potentially late medieval beaten surface. (4) Dronfield Hall Barn stands back from the High Street and was restored in 1975 by George Jowitt & Sons. It received an award in European Architectural Heritage Year. The simple appearance of the building is misleading for it contains a late medieval king post roof. The careful finish, moreover, of some of the interior timbers and carpentry joints, which may be pre-1500, indicates that this was clearly not built as a barn, but as an important house on a fine site overlooking the river valley. Its situation adjacent to the 18th century hall [SMR 4788] suggests the possibility that it may have been its medieval predecessor. (5, 6) This building probably started life as an early 15th century hall on a fine site overlooking the river valley. It has a late medieval king-post truss roof and some carefully finished interior timbers and carpentry joints in the L-shaped projection. It stood in the yard of Old Hall Farm (which faced High Street in front of the barn). It was given to the town by J Sainsbury Ltd in 2006. (7) Dendrochronological analysis was undertaken on samples obtained from the main range and the short, south wing of Dronfield Hall barn. This analysis produced a single dated site chronology with an overall length of 89 rings, dated as spanning the years AD 1341-1429. Interpretation of the sapwood on the dated samples would suggest the likelihood that all the timbers used for the construction of the main range were cut as part of a single episode of felling in, or very shortly after, AD 1429. See report for more details. (8)

Sources/Archives (8)

  • <1> Unpublished document: Cowley, H (North East Derbyshire District Council). 1978. Dronfield Town Centre Conservation Area Appraisal.
  • <2> Listed Building File: Historic England. 2011. The National Heritage List for England. 4/3578/048.
  • <3> Unpublished document: Jones, S. 2005. Dronfield Hall Barn, High Street, Dronfield, historic building recording.
  • <4> Unpublished document: Tinsley, A (ARS). 2009. Old Barn, High Street, Dronfield, Derbyshire: Report on an Archaeological Evaluation.
  • <5> Archive: Derbyshire County Council. Sites and monuments within Dronfield.
  • <6> Bibliographic reference: Old Dronfield Society. 1987. Dronfield Local History Trail.
  • <7> Bibliographic reference: Old Dronfield Society. 2009. Explore Dronfield: Heritage Trail No. 1 Dronfield Old Town. p. 5.
  • <8> Unpublished document: Arnold, A & Howard, R (English Heritage). 2014. Dronfield Hall Barn, 19 High Street, Dronfield, Derbyshire: Tree-Ring Analysis of Timbers. HER Doc. No. 1801.



Grid reference Centred SK 35115 78548 (19m by 13m)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (6)

  • EDR3851
  • EDR1911
  • EDR3829
  • EDR1909
  • EDR2679
  • EDR4208

Please contact the HER for details.

External Links (0)

Record last edited

Jan 17 2024 1:24AM

Comments and Feedback

Do you have any more information about this record? Please feel free to comment with information and photographs, or ask any questions, using the "Disqus" tool below. Comments are moderated, and we aim to respond/publish as soon as possible.