Todmorden Antiquarians: Learning about historical farmhouse porches

Tudor timber-framed porches are all listed buildings
Tudor timber-framed porches are all listed buildings

Kevin worked on construction for McAlpines and has studied intricate architectural details. He is an enthusiastic member of several vernacular architectural societies, locally and nationally, and tutors at day-schools and evening classes.

Kevin has an encyclopaedic knowledge of historical architecture, besides his art of photographing specific details. He began by joking that he was only showing 85 slides during the evening and that porches are not just for logs and wellington boots!

There are 16th century stone-built porches with upper floors seen in South Lancashire and Cheshire, but few in West Yorkshire which have not been encased in brick or stone. Masonry jettied porches are peculiar to our Pennine area.

Kevin showed samples of Tudor timber-framed porches with quatrefoil and herringbone effects, all on listed buildings. The yeoman farmers tried to make their homes look like the gentry, their elaborate porches were status symbols. Displayed pigeon holes are often seen at the top of tiered porches, though nowadays these have been blocked.

Peter Thornborough, former Todmorden historian, listed and photographed local traditional buildings in the past. Kevin showed detailed features of our local historical gems, such as Todmorden Old Hall, Old Edge at Colden, Redacres and Little Burlees in Mytholmroyd, Kershaw House at Luddenden, and so many more further afield. He described each with relevant dates, grading and individual information.

Todmorden Antiquarians learnt traditional vocabulary such as ogee-curving, finials, chamfered, mono-pitched roofing, corbels and quoins! Kevin’s vernacular societies are often privileged to visit private architectural properties. He recommends us to Pendle Heritage Centre, 16th century Turton Tower near Darwen and to take advantage of special occasions such as Heritage Opening in September, Open Farm Sundays and our numerous local authority Museums.