One of the country’s few surviving medieval barns with a history preceding the great plagues is a step closer to becoming a hub for the local community nearly 700 years after it was originally built.
The Grade II* listed Medieval Barn in Winterbourne, South Gloucestershire, is a building of national importance. It is an outstanding example of a raised cruck construction and its magnificent roof structure has remained largely intact since it was built in 1342.
Local people have been working for 20 years to save the barn, which was on the verge of dereliction. In 2002 major work funded by English Heritage and the Landfill Tax scheme stabilised the barn structure, and since then volunteers have worked tirelessly, through Winterbourne Medieval Barn Trust (WMBT), to conserve and repair the barn and its surrounding site. They are delighted to announce that they have been offered funding of up to £19,900 from the Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF). The funding will go towards professional fees in support of the Barn's second round application to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). This is the first offer WMBT has received towards their target of £400,000 needed as part of the HLF project.
The Barn, also known as Court Farm Barn, was commissioned by Sir Thomas de Bradeston, then Lord of the Manor of Winterbourne, who had played a part in all of Edward lll's military campaigns and served in Parliament.
WMBT has exciting plans to conserve the Medieval Barn and refurbish it along with its associated outbuildings to provide a flexible space for a variety of community, educational and commercial uses based around heritage and rural skills, to ensure the Barn's long-term sustainability in the local community.
In May 2016, Development Funding of £165,000 was awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to help Winterbourne Medieval Barn Trust and South Gloucestershire Council progress proposals to apply for further HLF funding in 2017. HLF grant applications are assessed in two rounds. Success in the first round demonstrated the HLF's endorsement of the outline proposals for the Barn, and is now enabling WMBT and SGC to draw up detailed proposals for the final (second round) bid.
Total funding of £1.645m is required for the project, and if the final bid is successful the HLF will provide £1.045m of this (including the initial development funding).
WMBT has to raise £400,000 by December 2017 to ensure that the plans can go ahead, and the grant from the Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF) is the first step towards this goal.
The funding will contribute towards professional fees required for the architect, structural engineer, ecologist, etc.
Sue Parsons, Chairman of the WMBT said, ‘The Trust is very grateful to the AHF and is excited to know that they are now a step closer to ensuring that the Barn will survive to be enjoyed by the current community and future generations.”
Ian Morrison, Chief Executive of Architectural Heritage Fund said, ‘Thanks to support from Historic England and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and through a team of regional support officers we are able to help groups like the Winterbourne Medieval Barn Trust who feel passionately about rescuing historic buildings at risk. This is a great example of how AHF grants and loans can enable groups to take important steps in their journeys to restore and regenerate properties which have both heritage and community value.’