We took part in Heritage Open Days again this year with a Cartshed drop in over the weekend where you could find out the latest Barn news and listen to some of our volunteer stories and memories of the Barn. We also ran a mosaic taster session where participants could mosaic their own plant pot to take home, and we had a behind the scenes hard hat tour of the building works.
If you weren’t able to join us over the weekend but are interested to know what’s been happening at the Barn this year and what’s in store for the future, take a look at our latest presentation by clicking the button below.
Keep an eye on the website as we’ll be adding a page for our Barn Sounds project where you can listen to our volunteers talking about life at the Barn past and present.
The Big Build
Work is progressing well on the Barn site, despite some very wet weather in June. There is scaffolding everywhere! From the outside many changes are obvious, including the re-roofing of the West Barn, and the start to the cow byres’ extension to provide an additional workshop unit.
The scale of the internal work can only be seen on an official ‘Hard Hat’ tour like the recent one for barn volunteers pictured above. The West Barn has been completely gutted and is full of scaffolding and props while the structure is made safe. The insides of the Medieval Barn and South Barn have been cleaned, and new limewash is being applied – you can certainly see where the builders have got to. Whitened walls are making each space lighter and brighter, and the barn rafters look even more stunning now that they have been ‘relieved’ of all their cobwebs and dust.
If you would like to see for yourself, there is a Hard Hat tour on 17 September as part of the Heritage Open Days – it is free but spaces are limited and pre-booking is essential.
The programme of events for the rest of 2019 has now been announced and new leaflets are available. All details are on the website and online bookings can be made now at www.ticketsource.co.uk . Numbers are limited by the space we currently have available on site, and so early booking is advised. There are still a few tickets available for the July events but you will need to book very soon. To allow more space, the West Gallery Music day in July and the Male Voice concert in August will be held in St Michael’s Church nextdoor to the Barn.
Coming up in 2019:
Fun summer clubs for children – archaeology or art activities
Workshops – Wine-tasting, Singing, Basket-weaving, Mosaics, Wet Felting, Christmas fabric wreath
Talks – Newport Medieval Ship, Apples, Bees and Honey, Female Brewers in History, and Christmas plants
A summer concert from Bristol Male Voice Choir and the Frampton Shantymen
Heritage Open Days – see how the building work is going, plus craft activities for children
Workshops at Hallowe’en and Advent for children and families to make seasonal things
And in February 2020 there will be another Apple-grafting workshop
The summer might feel like it’s on hold, but building work at the Barn certainly isn’t!
With demolitions and groundworks having taken place, the Corbel team have turned their attentions to the West Barn at the far end of the site. What once was a dark, pokey space with breeze blocked rooms is now a bright open space. Scaffolding has been erected to enable repair works to the roof. Some of the windows are being blocked up, and bat roosts and bird boxes have been put up to minimise any impact to wildlife.
Work on the cow byres is progressing well with preparations having been made for a large additional workshop unit on the end of the existing byres. An old french drain was found under the main grassy area onsite which explains why water was always quick to soak away after heavy rain.
Speaking of heavy rain, with the onset of relentless bad weather over the past couple of weeks, Corbel moved inside to do some jobs on the main Barn including giving the whole space a good clean (goodbye cobwebs!), and applying a coat of limewash to the walls.
Walking around on the volunteer hard hat tour, we started to get a sense of how the site will look and feel upon completion next Spring. Although we won’t be running large scale events at the Barn site until we re-open, there’s still plenty going on. See our events page for the latest information.
We’re approaching the end of April and the recent glorious weather has been bathing the Barn grounds in spring sunshine. From our position in the Cartshed, the view is starting to look very different already. Corbel Conservation have moved onto site, the cider press and mill stone have been dismantled and moved into storage, and demolition work is well and truly underway.
Donning a hard hat and looking around with the site manager, it’s easy to see where the builders have been. Stepping into the main Barn, very little has changed. However, as you round the corner to the South range, the view opens out. What was the sad looking lean-to adjacent to the kitchen garden has been demolished to slab level. From there entering the West Barn, what was a dark rabbit warren of breeze block rooms, has now been gutted to reveal a large, bright space. On the North range, another lean-to has been demolished, exposing the side wall of the main Barn.
As the demolition progresses, Corbel are cleaning and storing stone materials that can be repurposed elsewhere. This is an approach that will continue throughout the build with an emphasis on reusing and recycling.
We’ll be writing a monthly building update so do keep coming back to check on the progress. We’ll also introduce you to different tradespeople with a closer look at some of the specialist techniques used in renovation. And of course, although the main site is closed, we are still running small events in our Cartshed so check our events page for the latest information.
Winterbourne Medieval Barn Trust will be getting a brand new toilet block and kitchen facility as part of the conservation and building works taking place throughout 2019. This work has been made possible due to a £15,498 grant from Ibstock Enovert Trust (IET), an Environmental Body funded through the Landfill Communities Fund (LCF).
The money will be used to develop much needed facilities at the Barn site on Church Road in Winterbourne. It will allow us to bring the site into use as a heritage hub for the whole community with these facilities helping to ensure the sites future sustainability.
For more information on Ibstock Enovert Trust and the projects they support, please click here.
Winterbourne Medieval Barn Trust and South Gloucestershire Council have been working together to transform the Winterbourne Medieval Barn site into a heritage hub for the local community. This £1.7 million project is supported by an award from The National Lottery Heritage Fund of £936,600.
Work to conserve, redevelop and find new uses for the magnificent Grade II* listed 14th century Winterbourne Medieval Barn (Court Farm Barn) will begin on Monday 18 March with work anticipated to last one year. Corbel Conservation Ltd have been appointed as the main contractor for the build.
Although this work is set to start, the Trust are still fundraising the final amounts to support the project including a Raise the Roof campaign.
During this time, conservation work will be carried out on the main barn to preserve the timbers (which date back to 1342) and supporting infrastructure for years to come. There will also be work carried out on its two ranges – the South Barn, and the dilapidated West Barn which will see the installation of new facilities including a kitchen, office, and historical interpretation gallery, celebrating the history and heritage of the site and its environment.
The existing Victorian Cow Byres will be transformed and brought back into use for local micro-businesses. Once completed, the units will be let to small ventures including artisan trades.
Vice-Chair of South Gloucestershire Council Cllr Brian Allinson said: “It’s fantastic to see this project progress and the conservation and development work begin on one of our area’s most important heritage sites. These improved facilities will ensure the long-term sustainability of this nationally-significant heritage asset by placing it at the heart of the community.”
Chair of Winterbourne Medieval Barn Trust, Sue Parsons, said: “Winterbourne Medieval Barn Trust are thrilled that work is about to start and it marks the culmination of many years effort by the Trust and the local community. We are also looking forward to the site reopening next year with new and exciting events and activities in the enhanced facilities.”
Access to the site is restricted throughout the year but members of the public will be able to participate in ‘Hard Hat Days’ during significant parts of the works programme.
The Cartshed, which opened after renovation in May 2018 will remain open to the public for use throughout the year for various events, lectures, and workshops. See here for the latest events.
Winterbourne’s West Barn is currently dilapidated and needs extensive restoration. Its roof is made up of 8,500 red clay pantiles which have to be removed, checked and cleaned while the internal structure is repaired, and then placed back on the finished roof.
Having almost raised all the funds required to restore the buildings on the site, we’re now hoping that local people will come together and help us raise the roof! This will ensure that the site can be used for generations to come.
Please could you help us by sponsoring a tile for just £5.00? And if you can, it would be wonderful if you were able to Gift Aid your donation. Obviously if you would like to sponsor more than one tile we would be delighted.
To say Thank You, everyone who sponsors a tile will be acknowledged on our website. Please let us know if you wish to remain anonymous.
If you wish to donate, please click here for our Localgiving page.
As we approach the end of the year, we’re preparing to go into hibernation ready for the start of the building works on Winterbourne Barn, its two ranges – the South and West Barn, and the outbuildings. We’re very pleased to announce the news of a grant from LEADER of £42,837, as part of the project to transform the Victorian cow byres and bring them back into use for local micro-businesses. The units will be let to small ventures including artisan trades, and this rental income will help secure the future of the whole Medieval Barn complex. LEADER is a fund jointly provided by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and the Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).
We’ve been reflecting on a busy autumn here at the Barn. The ever popular Orchard Harvest Day saw 1200 visitors, enjoying the ferret racing, morris dancing, shanty singing, and all the other attractions, food, and drink. Thanks to all who worked so hard to make the day a great success once again. The Cartshed has seen a range of activities including a lecture from Jon Cannon on Cathedrals as Time Machines, a felting workshop with Felt by Fi, an evening Owl Prowl from the Hawk and Owl Trust, and local school St Michael’s joined us for two workshops on medieval life.
There’s still time to visit the barn before the end of the year with a host of festive activities seeing us through to December. See the Events page for more information.
We might be hibernating in the main barn but we certainly won’t be taking a holiday. We’ll be making full use of the recently renovated Cartshed to keep a programme of workshops, lectures, and nature walks alive throughout 2019. Keep an eye on the event page or our social media pages for up to date information. We’ll also be using this time to develop our education offer, and expand our volunteer team.
We are still fundraising to support this ambitious project, head over to the Fundraising page to see how you could help.
The Barndoor Bulletin Spring 2018 can be found here with information on our current activities and events