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Battles Hall Barns, Maggots End, Manuden, Essex

Fletcher, Taleyna (2012) Battles Hall Barns, Maggots End, Manuden, Essex. Project Report. Bar Hill. (Submitted)

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Oxford Archaeology East was commissioned by Lowden Developments to undertake the historic building recording of a number of redundant farm buildings associated with Battles Hall just outside of the village of Manuden, Essex. The work took place in early October 2011 and was carried out in accordance with a Brief issued by Richard Havis of Essex County Councils Historic Environment Team and a Specification prepared by Oxford Archaeology East. The work follows on from a Desk-Based Assessment of the site carried out by the author in 2010.
Battles Hall barns are located to the immediate north of Battles Hall on the Furneux Pelham Road approximately 1.5 kilometres north west of the village of Manuden, Essex. The current Battles Hall is a Grade II listed manor house believed to date back to the early seventeenth century. The buildings surveyed comprise a range of redundant farm buildings associated with arable farming located to the immediate north of the hall. They are no longer part of the hall estate but fall within the listed building curtiledge.
The proposed development includes the conversion of a number of the existing farm buildings into residential accommodation. The buildings under investigation are constructed of timber and brick and cartographic evidence suggests that they are, on the whole, no earlier than nineteenth century in date.
Historical research carried out has found that a fire in the 1880s destroyed much of the farm and it is therefore likely the current buildings were erected on the footprint/foundations of these earlier barns. Additional research carried out by members of the Manuden Local Historical Society into the use of fields around the time of the tithe survey in the mid nineteenth century has found the immediate area was almost exclusively used for crop and arable farming with little evidence of dairy or livestock farming. With the introduction of more efficient and non-labour intensive methods of farming, these buildings became redundant and have been adapted in recent years to house chickens and also used for storage.
The survey identified four main phases of development, predominantly during the 19th century. Most of the buildings were built as, and are typical of, a planned layout designed for cattle, a common adaptation during the second half of the nineteenth century when grain prices collapsed. This system includes a large open, south facing stock yard with a taller barn along the northern boundary, bounded by a series of cattle sheds and yard walls. This is best depicted on the Second Edition Ordnance Survey Map which shows the subdivided stock yards, open sided shelter sheds, implement shed and even the track leading into the complex from the west.
Additional monitoring of below ground works took place in October/November 2011. No surviving archaeological remains were encountered other than burnt layers which may be associated with the late 19th century fire..

Item Type: Monograph (Project Report)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Building recording
Subjects: Primary Archives
Geographical Areas > English Counties > Essex
Period > UK Periods > Medieval 1066 - 1540 AD
Period > UK Periods > Post Medieval 1540 - 1901 AD
Divisions: Oxford Archaeology East
Depositing User: Chris Faine
Date Deposited: 15 Jun 2012 12:34
Last Modified: 15 Jun 2012 12:34
URI: http://eprints.oxfordarchaeology.com/id/eprint/854

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