Elmet Exteriors

Elmet Resurrected

Elmet Farmhouse is a Grade II Listed 18th-century building dating from c.1728. The original owner would have been a yeoman clothier, an independent farmer who earned his living partly from agriculture and partly from textiles. Woollen cloth, known as kersey, would have been hand-woven on looms in the farmhouse during the 18th century. Cattle and sheep would have been reared and hay and oats would have been grown in the surrounding fields

From the 1840s to the 1860s the farm was run by William Bancroft and his sons. The farmhouse was divided and extended during the mid 19th century. The adjacent barn was built in 1861. Champion Crabtree, a farmer and carter, took over the running of the farm in the 1870s, succeeded by his sons Tatham Crabtree and later Ellis Crabtree until the Second World War. It remained a working dairy farm until around the 1980s, with pigs being kept in the barn and cattle in the meadows. 

By the late 1990s the farmhouse and the barn had fallen into disrepair. In 2014 the farmhouse took on a new lease of life after being completely renovated. Great care was taken to preserve the original fabric of the building so that its architectural merits could be appreciated again. The roof was repaired using reclaimed stone slates and the walls were re-pointed with traditional lime mortar so that the stone could breathe again. New hardwood frames were inserted in the stone mullion windows and heavy custom-made doors were fitted. Original features which came to light during the restorationsuch as the carved stone fireplaces, stone window surrounds and window seats – all of which had previously been hidden – were carefully renovated.

Wherever possible existing materials were reused, adding to the building’s mellow charm. A new hearth was created in the living room from a massive stone flag excavated from the kitchen floor, and the back of the fireplace was faced with huge blocks of stone from the wall of a dairy storage room. The cottage garden at the front of the farmhouse also incorporates bricks, stones and tiles salvaged during the renovation.                             

© Text and images copyright Lesley Jackson

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