Full Report for Listed Buildings

Summary Description of a Listed Buildings

Reference Number
Building Number
Date of Designation
Date of Amendment
Name of Property
Upper Dyffryn House  


Unitary Authority
The Dyffryn  
Street Side
On the N side of the minor road to Norton, some 2 km SE of Grosmont village.  


Broad Class

A fine early C17 Rennaissance farmhouse. Two unit plan, with stair housed in projecting rear wing. Lower Dyffryn, like Kingsfield in Grosmont, represents a considerable advance in layout with chimneystacks placed laterally against the long back wall and the staircase housed in a specially designed stair wing at the back. The stair, accessible from the cross passage, gave independent access to the upper rooms and thus more privacy. Repositioning the chimneystacks laterally, freed space in the gables which meant much wider mullion windows could be inserted, creating a much brighter cross-lit interior. The interior at Lower Dyffryn survives remarkably unaltered. In the C19 the first floor bedrooms were partitioned, and a small rear outshut added, but since there have been few changes. Upper Dyffryn is said to have been built by John Gainsford, Sheriff of Monmouthshire in 1604, whose will was proved in 1635.  

Early C17 farmhouse. Rubble stone, slate roof, tile ridge. Two storeys plus attic. SE Front has centre two storey porch which is rendered: on first floor of porch is C20 2-light wooden mullion with dripstone and stone sill, and on ground floor, a long dripstone and below a blocked 'cyclopean' doorway with inserted C20 window. Windows of main house have segmental arched stone voussoirs and wooden ovolo-moulded mullions. Front wall, to left of porch, on ground and first floor has C20 2-light mullions. Front wall, to right of porch is rendered: on first floor is C17 2-light mullion (with stanchions), dripstone and stone sill; on ground floor, a 4-light mullion with 3+2+2+3 panes and stone sill. SW gable has C17 mullion windows (with stanchions) under broad segmental arches: a 3-light to attic and a 5-light on both first and ground floors; centre opening casements. NE Gable is rendered with C20 3-light mullion to attic, 4-light on first floor with 2+2+2+2 pane casements and 5-light on ground floor with 3+3+1+3+2 panes. The wall below is obscured by a corrugated metal roof but lower wall contains C17 cellar doorway and (to right) 3-light mullion. Rear elevation has off-centre stair wing: attic of stair wing has 2-light ovolo with dripstone, first floor a blocked window, and ground floor a 2-light ovolo. To right of stair wing, broad chimneystack rises above eaves and has moulded caps with three tall flues set diagonally. On ground floor is projecting single storey kitchen wing with hipped roof.  

Exceptionally fine early C17 interior. Entrance doorway has flat head with half-round moulding to frame; studded door with strap hinges and drawbar. Stone flagged cross passage has post-and-panel partition (to right). Partition planks are beaded and have chamfers with hollow and fillet (Wern-hir) stops. C19 four-panel doors to hall (left) and parlour (right). Hall has well-preserved C17 mullions with turnbuckle window catches and spiral handles. Parlour (right) is divided by C19 boarded partition. Opposite end of cross passage has similar flat headed doorway with roll moulding, leading to back stair well. C17 quarter-turn stair with landings ascends in short flights around a square boxed well. First floor has corresponding transverse post-and-panel partition. The two C17 upper chambers are now divided by axial C19 boarded partitions. Ceiling beams are chamfered with scroll stops. NW chamber window sill is inscribed 'MM 1760'. Attic of four bays forms habitable space; two rooms divided by C17 plank partition, plastered on one side. Roof trusses are without collars; feet of principal rafters are tenoned into the tops of the ceiling beams below, three tiers of trenched purlins.  

Reason for designation
Remarkably well preserved early C17 house with important Renaissance plan and exceptionally fine interior.  

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