Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Medieval Harmondsworth Barn to be preserved by English Heritage

English Heritage has purchased a medieval barn in west London, once described as the “Cathedral of Middlesex” for £20,000. Harmondsworth Barn is listed as a Grade I building, placing it alongside the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace for its exceptional architectural and historic interest.

Rescued by English Heritage from years of neglect and decay, the oak-framed medieval barn – dubbed by the late poet laureate and heritage campaigner Sir John Betjeman as the “Cathedral of Middlesex” – will be run by and for the local community. It will open to the public in April 2012, joining Stonehenge and parts of Hadrian’s Wall in the National Collection of Historic Sites and Monuments, under the guardianship of English Heritage.

The barn was built in 1426 by Winchester College as part of its manor farm at Harmondsworth and was used to store grain. Inside, both its size and its aisles evoke the space and shape of a cathedral – it is nearly 60 metres long, 12 metres wide and 11 metres tall and 13 massive oak trusses, resting on stone blocks, hold the roof up. The barn is a masterpiece of carpentry, contains one of the best interiors of the medieval age, and for its age is remarkably intact.

Click here to read this article from Medievalists.net