Building of the Month December 2023: The Old Farmhouse, 39 Mount Pleasant Road, Southampton, Hampshire SO14 0EG

This beautiful grade II* listed seventeenth-century farmhouse is situated within the suburb of Northam in Southampton on the site of a former medieval grange. It is a rare and important survivor of Northam’s history, sitting within a largely built-up urban environment. The farmhouse started life in 1611, the date picked out in brick under the gable on the right hand side, yet the core of the building is thought to have existed much earlier, featuring within a 1560 map of Southampton. It is characterised by its red brick design and large chimney stacks and is even said to have a tunnel running underneath it, connecting the farmhouse to Bitterne Manor on the other side of the River Itchen.    

The farmhouse has lived many past lives and has long played a role within the community, becoming a pub in 1843. It remained in this use until 2019 when it was forced to close. A number of alterations have been made to the building during its life, including a single storey extension. Despite this, much of its historic fabric still remains.

The farmhouse currently sits unused with its immediate surroundings being employed as overflow parking for a nearby garage company. While this activity should help to safeguard the building. without proper attention and care, the survival of this delightful building is at risk, threatening the loss of an important part of Northam’s history.