Wyver Farm was built as one of the Strutt farms and has an early 19th century Grade II farmhouse [SMR28844]. Situated north of the town of Belper, the farmstead of Wyver Farm was built by the Strutt estate. The farm was in Strutt ownership by 1818, but it is not known when the present buildings were erected. It demonstrates many of the features for which the Strutt farms are famous: the stone fire-proof construction of the ceilings and floors; the careful arrangement of feed storage for ease of delivery; and the use of natural ingredients allowing feed such as wet grains, cereals or hay to be tipped into pits or carted into stores that open into the first floor mixing room above the cow byres. The cow byres are well ventilated - another Strutt design feature. The main part of the farm complex comprises an L-shaped group built into the hillside and enclosing a north-west facing yard. The group is constructed of stone with slate roofs. The east and south ranges consist of cow byres with loading bay and hatches opening into the cow byres just below the first floor level. Both ranges have arched stone ceilings supporting the stone floor lofts above. Eight feed drops in the south wall serve the cow byres below. At the west end of the range, to the rear, three brick-lined wet grain pits are dug into the slope with doors into the loft where the food was mixed. The western range comprises a stable block with a stone floor and separate feed storage areas. An east-west range of buildings comprises a wagon lodge, stable and barn. This also is constructed of coursed stone and has a slate roof. The four-bay cart shed has been added to the main range and has a lower roof level supported on four cast iron pillars which have been inserted on massive stone bases. Other subsidiary buildings include a small stable, free-standing cow-house, hen houses and piggeries. (1)
By 1826 the Strutts owned a large amount of land in and around Belper, including at least four farms. The layout of these farmsteads owed less to conventional pattern books than an understanding of the work flows of factories. The most impressive surviving examples are Moscow Farm (now converted into houses) [SMR 28733], Crossroads Farm [SMR 17012], Wyver Farm and Dalley Farm [SMR 28723]. They all contain the same innovative features which so interested the Strutts in their factory design - ventilation ducts, iron framing, stone floors and vaulting for fire proofing. The lack of symmetrical formal layout does not detract from the 'planned' nature of the farms, but rather increases the interest of these innovative designs. Wyver Farm is a good example of a farmstead designed to make the best use of the sloping valley sides. It consists of one long east-west block to the west of the house which contains a barn and stable with a later cart shed abutting to the east. The use of iron is seen in the massive cast-iron columns which support the open side of the cart shed. The barn at the east end has a single threshing floor and was never mechanised. Across the yard were the cattle sheds with a feed store above. The cattle sheds were typical of the Strutt farms in that they had brick vaulted ceilings and above, the floor was stone flags with chutes from the feed store into the troughs below. Ventilation was through iron grills just below ceiling level. The slope of the land allowed for ground level entrances into the loft from the rear and pits for spent brewers' grain which could be filled at ground level outside and emptied through doors into the loft where they would be mixed with other feed before being fed into the troughs through the chutes. The feed store roof was supported on iron king posts - a further precaution against fire. A large hay house, smithy, piggeries and hen house complete the group. (2,3)
Listed Building File: Historic England. 2011. The National Heritage List for England. List entry number 1109192.
Bibliographic reference: Wade Martins, S. 2002. The English Model Farm. Building the Agricultural Ideal, 1700-1914. pp 94-100.
Article in serial: Wade Martins, S, Menuge, A and Storer, A. 2003. 'The Strutt farms of the Derwent Valley, Derbyshire', Journal of the Historic Farm Buildings Group. Volume 17, pp 11-35.
Find a placename, postcode or grid reference
The map is limited to 3000 records per layer so not all records are being displayed for this area. Zoom in to see more.
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.