High Weald

Building losses and gains

The present day character of the whole farmstead site and its surrounding landscape is the result of past change. It is important to understand the character of the whole group, and how it has changed. Whole sections of the farm may have been lost, explaining isolated buildings, gaps and spaces in the layout. Other buildings will have been added, indicating how the farm has grown and developed. This basic understanding of how the group has changed will suggest where there may be opportunities for retention of historic structures, the reinstatement of lost features and areas or the redevelopment, redesign or remodelling of other parts of the site.

Building capacity for change

Changes after 1950, principally the building of large new sheds and redundancy of many of the traditional buildings and spaces, show how the farm has changed in response to modern farming developments and may indicate a range of options and choices for the use of these spaces. For example, wide-span multi-purpose sheds - essential to modern agriculture - tend to be sited on the farmstead perimeter or have replaced earlier buildings and relate to areas of hard standings and new access routes. These will have different capacities for change than more traditional buildings.

Measuring change

Change can be measured by comparing modern Ordnance Survey maps to those prepared in the late 19th century, supplemented by a site survey which distinguishes between traditional and modern buildings. Late 19th century Ordnance Survey maps are used because they fall at the end of a major period of investment in farmstead buildings. Changes between the Victorian period and the Second World War tend to be less radical and less significant.