The Nookin

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The Nookin is a Grade II* listed building in Oulton that dates to the 16th Century, which architectural historian Nikolaus Pevsner called "the best piece of timber architecture in the district".[1] While the date on the front beam is the 10th April 1611, this is likely the date of its renovation by Edward Tailor,[2] and carbon dating has shown that this beam is upwards of 1000 years old.[3]

Etymology

The name "Nookin" means "corner of".[1]

It is referred to as the "former Nook Inn" in Pevsner's architectural guide of the West Riding.[4]

History

16th Century

Despite the date 10th April 1611 listed on the bressumer, the Nookin was likely constructed in 16th Century.[5] Albert Brown claims that carbon dating of the main beams by Leeds University[2] dated them at upwards of a thousand years old.[3]

17th Century

Edward Tailor and Isabel Tailor

Around the 10th April 1611, the restoration of the Nookin likely finished. This restoration was undertaken by Edward Tailor, who transformed what had been a "run down cottage".[2] Edward Tailor was a gentleman from Thorne in what is now South Yorkshire, who had married Isabel Lumby[6] (or Lumly[3] or Lumley[2]) of Rothwell. The couple had six children (Elizabeth, Maria, Robert, Agnes, Edward, Sarah) between 1599 and 1637 and were likely married in Thorne as no records exist in Rothwell of their marriage.[6]

19th Century

In 1845, the Nookin was owned by John C. Blayds and the tenants of the four cottages it then comprised were William Backhouse, John Clarkson, John Smith, Harold Potter and John B.[7][original source verification needed]

20th Century

In 1960, the Rothwell Urban District Council decided that the building should be demolished after the four families living there were rehoused at the recommendation of the Health Committee. The Council had, at first, suggest it become a folk museum. However, after inspecting the building, one council member told the Yorkshire Evening Post[8]:

We're pretty hard-headed. We don't like idea of wasting money on something that could be a running sore. The house will certainly have been taken down by the middle of June, probably before. It will be demolished under supervision, so that anything valuable can be preserved. The demolition contractors tell us no part of the house is any good for recovery.
an unnamed RUD councillor's words, Yorkshire Evening Post, 1960

However, no such plans came to fruition.

21st Century

The Nookin is currently an office space for Powerbetter Soil Solutions.[9]

Exterior

Due to the technical language, links have been provided to definitions.

The Nookin is T-shaped with the centre projecting wing possibly a later addition. The building is 2 storeys with the ground floor being rendered stone and the second floor is a close studded box frame. The roof is slate stone. The front-wing gable has passing braces at the corners, a king post roof truss with v-shaped struts, and an apex finial. The return walls of the front-wing have similar passing braces. The roof is also gabled at the rear, with a chimney. The main range front walls and left gables are similarly timber-framed however the "gable trusses have 3 pairs of A-struts (suggesting that this range is earlier than the front wing)". The right-wing gable wall has an external chimney. The rear is mostly altered but with a massive external chimney stack. The front-gable has an altered window at the ground floor, a 4-light window at the first floor with altered glazing, while the return walls have small-framed in windows, and the rear was has a small chamfered window at the ground floor. The bressumer on the front gable reads "EDRUS TAILOR T I.T. 1611. APR.10". [5] However, Pevsner's architectural guide to the West Riding suggests that the short main range is older than the date listed on the beam. [4]

Local historian John Batty believes that the house likely would have been enclosed by a park and surrounded by extensive gardens.[6]

In Pevsner's guide, it is suggested that the Nookin was perhaps a non-domestic building.[4]

Interior

Inside the Nookin, most of the timber frame is visible. Two closed frames can be seen in the main range, which have king-post trusses with two pairs of A-struts, and scored carpenter's marks. The first frame is altered which has left vacant mortices for angle-braces and studs). The left end has 2 longitudinal beams with ovolo moulding. There is a very large arched stone fireplace in the main range, as well as Tudor-arched stone fireplaces on both floors of front wing. There is another such fireplace backed to that at ground floor of middle unit, and a there is fourth fireplace at the right-hand end of the main range. The former external doorway in rear wall now enclosed by later addition.[5]

Poem

Local historian Albert Brown references two verses of poem, the "Ballad of Edward Tailor's House", which he describes as providing a "potted history of events". The verses Brown included are as follows:[3]

The Lumly's and Tailor's lived jowl by side,
In a pokey old cottage that riled his bride.
As Edward's family continues to grow
Isabel's temper did more often show.
Anna, Beth; poor Maria died when eight,
Ne'er reached as tall as the garden gate.

In Out-ton fair is a house of wreck,
On the hillside near t'beck, said Isabel.
Re-make this cott, if you love me true.
A goodly place for our children, too. So Edward
re-built the house to please the ego of his spouse,
Where once had stood a Dower House.

Unknown, "The Ballad of Edward Tailor's House", in Albert Brown's Rothwell in the 900 Years After Domesday

External Links

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Anon (2010) “Oulton Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plan,” Leeds City Council, The Sustainable Development Unit, Leeds City Council, [online] Available from: https://www.leeds.gov.uk/docs/oulton%20conservation%20area%20appraisal%20and%20management%20plan%20final.pdf (Accessed 3 February 2023).
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Brown, A. (1978) “Mystery surronds real age of Oulton's ‘Nookin,’” Wakefield Express, 14th April.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Brown, A. (1987) “Edrus Tailor's House, Oulton,” In Rothwell in the 900 Years After Domesday, essay, Leeds, Rothwell's Advertiser Press Ltd., p. 19.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Pevsner, N., Leach, P.E. and Minnis, J. (2009) Yorkshire West Riding. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press (Buildings of England).
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Anon (n.d.) “The Nookin, non civil parish - 1135675: Historic England,” Historic England, [online] Available from: https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1135675?section=official-list-entry (Accessed 3 February 2023).
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Batty, J. (1888) “Ancient Houses,” Rothwell Times, Leeds, 13th April. Available at: <https://archive.org/details/1888rothwelltimescompletefrombritlibvolume/page/n15/mode/2up>
  7. Mercer (c. 1948) “From a Survey of Oulton made for John C. Blayds in 1845.,” In Notes on Local History. Available at: <https://newwoodlesford.xyz/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/MERCER-Village-Rothwell-actually-Oultonpdf.pdf>
  8. Ward, S. (ed.) (2020) “Famous Oulton Landmark to go,” In Rothwell & District, Pictures & Memories from the Past, essay, Leeds, Stephen Ward Photography & Publishing, pp. 242–243.
  9. Anon (n.d.) “Home,” Powerbetter, Powerbetter Developments Limited, [online] Available from: https://www.powerbetter.biz/ (Accessed 3 February 2023).

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