Case Study

SERVICES - Case Study

Parkhouse Farm, Parkhouse Road, Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria: Archaeological Building Recording

Following a recommendation by Cumbria County Council a planning condition was placed on the conversion of a group of former farm buildings by Barrow Borough Council requiring a programme of archaeological recording. This comprised a recording of the standing buildings, incorporating a rapid desk-based assessment, intended to create permanent record of these historic structures.

The original farmhouse at Parkhouse Farm is thought to date to the late 16th century, although the site is recorded as a grange of Furness Abbey from at least c1510. The farm buildings are, however, clearly much later and comprise a main L-shaped block made up of three structures and a separate building to the north. The building investigation involved the production of a written, drawn and photographic record of the structures, which were then compiled into a report, the results of which were used to produce a brief discussion of the structures, their phasing and development.


The building recording revealed that the earliest structure was a threshing barn in the centre of the main L-shaped block. A small cow house was added to the south-west end of this and a larger one added to the south-east. All three buildings were subject to considerable alterations during their lifetime; the threshing barn and large cow house had been severely damaged by fire resulting in the replacement of the floors and roof, while the small cow house had been converted into a shop and living accommodation. The separate building to the north was a comparatively later hay barn or linhay.

The L-shaped block was probably constructed during the late 18th or early 19th century, although it incorporated numerous large re-used timbers from an earlier building and dressed fragments of stone undoubtedly taken from Furness Abbey, including some inscribed with mason’s marks. The map evidence showed that the hay barn was built between 1889 and 1911, but it also contained several re-used pieces of medieval masonry.

The results of the building recording were compiled into a report, with illustrations and photographs, professionally printed and bound. Copies were sent to the client and deposited with the Cumbria Historic Environment Record.

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