Loxley Farm

The farmhouse (now a private house) dates to the early 16th century; it is a large two-storey timber-framed house on a brick sill, with lobby entry plan, facing north, with a two-storeys and attic west cross wing (the service wing) projecting to the front. The floors in the main range, the central chimney, and the rear lean-to are mid 17th century. In the 18th century the front was cased in red brick with grey headers. In the 19th century a small single-storey extension was added at the east end. The central door has a moulded hood on shaped brackets; to the left is a wide arch in the plinth over a capped well <1>.

The house appears to have been built partly open to the roof; the cross wing was contemporary but structurally independent. It probably had two smoke-bays back-to-back with lobby entrance to the side, as now; the mid 17th century chimney probably re-uses the lintel of the smoke hood. This chimney is of brick, but has clunch jambs to the hall fireplace and an oven under a winding stair at the rear (and the original chamber fireplace above the hall also survives). The cross wing has fine early 17th century strapwork carved on one of the substantial timbers <1>.

On the street frontage is the 16th century gatehouse, timber-framed on a red brick sill. It is a tall two-bay structure, with a carriageway through the west bay. The front and east gable end were cased in red brick with black headers in the 18th century; the west gable in the 20th century. The carriageway is lined with weatherboarding on one side and timber framing with red brick nogging on the other, with wattle and daub panels on the upper part.

The farm layout is shown on the later 19th century OS maps <2, 3>; the buildings were largely destroyed by fire in 1917 <1>. The gatehouse was at the east end of the northern range of the farmstead, with other buildings in a line around the north, west, and south sides of the yard. These enclosed the house, with gaps to NE and SE. The fire left only the southern corner, which survives, and a building alongside the house, which has been demolished <4>.

The placename is ‘Lokesley mede’ in 1447, and ‘is probably “Locc’s leah”‘ <5>.

RCHM (England), 1911, Inventory of the historical monuments in Hertfordshire, – p223 (Bibliographic reference). SHT9222.
<1> Listed Buildings description (Digital archive). SHT6690.
<2> OS 25 inch map, 1st edition, 1878 (Cartographic material). SHT8116.
<3> OS 25 inch map, 2nd edition (1897-1901), 1899 (Cartographic material). SHT8113.
<4> Hertfordshire County Council, HCC vertical photomapping, 2010 (Aerial Photograph). SHT8853.
<5> Gover, J E B, Mawer, Allen, & Stenton, F M, 1938, The place-names of Hertfordshire, – p54 (Bibliographic reference). SHT3417.