30 Nov Taking Stock: Findings From a Survey of a Converted 300-Year-Old Farm Building
A recent survey of a Northamptonshire farmhouse threw up some intriguing findings in the grounds.
Converted from agricultural buildings originally constructed in the early 1700s, the current farmhouse comes with at least 300 years of history attached. We therefore expected the building to be pretty interesting, but it turned out to be the the grounds that held the most surprising feature.
After inspecting the property boundaries, our surveyor Nick Kelly turned back towards the house, only to find himself confronted by a stocks installation!
Despite it being more than a little unusual to find medieval torture implements during a building survey, Nick was undaunted, and stopped to examine the structure. Good thing he did too, because localised repair was required, to the tune of £150. Hopefully the damage was caused by rot and not by some unfortunate soul’s struggle to escape.
Although it’s an understatement to say a finding like this is uncommon during our surveys, stocks like the ones seen on this property were ten a penny in medieval towns. In those days, they were used to hold miscreants by their neck and wrists – a much worse punishment than the use of another type of stocks that restrained the legs. In centuries past, captives were often pelted with rotten food and eggs, or worse, with dead animals, stones and other heavy objects. Luckily, our surveyor didn’t find any signs of recent use.
The stocks weren’t the only blast from the past that our surveyor encountered on the farm. He came across a military vehicle collection in one of the outhouses, and was even treated to a WW2 aircraft flyby.
Even for one of our top heritage property experts, this was an exceptional property!
Our surveyor noted that the stocks had not been well maintained…