Building of the Month August 2022: Studley Grange Farmhouse, Cancourt, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN4 9QS
Studley Grange Farmhouse is a Grade II (LEN: 1022664) listed farmhouse on the outskirts of Swindon which comprises the original three-bay farmhouse and an extension to the right. The listing description for the farmhouse states that it is 18th century at the earliest, however it is now believed to be much earlier in date.
This site was the medieval grange of Stanley Abbey from at least 1460. It remained in the possession of the Abbey until the Dissolution when it came into the ownership of Sir Edward Seymour. It is likely that the original farmhouse was built in this period. Interior photographs show that the building is cruck-framed, and recent dendrochronology studies by the Wiltshire Buildings Record have shown that crucks are not found in Wiltshire after c.1530. There are other features which suggest an earlier date, such as a finely moulded beam.
The exterior of the original farmhouse is whitewashed rubble limestone with a Roman tile roof. The ground-floor windows have timber lintels, but the first-floor windows have segmental brick arches and brick jambs. When an extension with a new front door was added to the right of the original farmhouse, the original door was blocked. The extension is lower than the original farmhouse but uses the same materials and has an outshot porch with a Roman tile roof.
The house is long unoccupied as it is owned by a waste company who have used the surrounding fields as a landfill site. Though the house is becoming derelict, its shell is still intact, and there is every hope that it could be restored to use. This is especially the case now as the land around it which was used for landfill is in the final stages of being restored with environmental mitigants in place and the planting of grassland and woods, with public footpaths and tracks through the site linking it to a restored section of the Wiltshire and Berkshire canal and adjacent Garden centre, Butterfly and farm attraction.
It is expected that, once the restoration of the land is complete, it may be put up for sale. Given the use of the land around it, the house may qualify for a grant from the waste company, although further research on that would be needed. Click here for a link to further information.
Anyone wanting more information about this site should contact the Wiltshire conservation team in the first instance. Due to the nature of the site and, as with many buildings on the register, the condition of the building, it is not currently accessible to the public.