Winterbourne Medieval Barn reopens to visitors

October 01 2020
Winterbourne Medieval Barn reopens to visitors

WINTERBOURNE Medieval Barn has now fully re-opened after a long closure for renovation work was added to by the coronavirus lockdown.

The West Barn has been completely renovated to provide warm, dry rooms, toilets, a kitchen and gallery linking it to the Medieval Barn, enabling visitors to pass between the two without getting wet or muddy.

Information boards provide of details about the building of the medieval barn and the kind of rural society it sat in.

The Medieval Barn itself has benefited from whitewashing, better lighting and a level stone floor in the western end, with some underfloor heating to take the chill off in winter.

The main entrance to both barns is now on the south side of the site, via a permanent hard path from the car park off Church Lane but the big barn doors still give access to the north yard.

Across the yard, the cow byres have been completely modernised and let out to four small local businesses - The Pottery Shed, Three Engineers Brewery, Western Building Consultants and Happy Holistics.

The Trust is delighted to welcome these tenants onto the site to share and add to this vibrant rural heritage hub.

The Cartshed was renovated a couple of years ago with an EU grant, and so is little changed. It remained open while the "big build" shut the rest of the site, providing a space for regular talks and craft workshops until the lockdown closed everything. It is now the site's education centre, equipped for school groups to visit the Barn.

The Trust gave the large team of local volunteers first opportunity to look around the restored buildings back in July, and they reported feeling proud and excited at the 'new look' resulting from the large Heritage Lottery Fund grant.

The general public were given their first chance to see inside the barns during four days of guided tours as part of the national Heritage Open Days in September, with more than 100 visitors coming along.

Tours of the Barn are available on the first Thursday of the month at 2pm and 3pm, and bookable online.

With the unpredictable nature of the covid outbreak, there could always be variations to Events at the Barn over the coming months, so visitors are advised to keep an eye on the website and Facebook page for any updates.

A range of autumn events are now on offer but must all be booked in advance, providing contact details, with numbers strictly limited. Visitors will be seated in a socially distanced manner in the Barn, so groups (up to 6) need to book together.

The Trust asks that adult wear a face covering indoors unless eating or drinking. Free on-site car parking and toilet facilities are available for all events.

Events planned for October

October 13, 7pm: Talk - Sabrina, Goddess of the River Severn, with Nicola Haasz. Tickets £5.

October 17: Family activity day - Race for Space. Make space rockets, craft alien creatures, and create Milky Way hanging mobiles.

October 17, 7pm: Wine tasting, Ian Redfearn will guide you through a range of red and white wines from Chile and Argentina.

October 24, 10.30am-3.30pm - Felt Hat Workshop with Fi Harris.  Design and create your own felted wool hat from scratch - serious or frivolous!   Bring a packed lunch.

October 28: Family Halloween Spooktacular, with themed crafty fun and spooky treasure trail.

To book a place or find more details about the barn visit www.winterbournebarn.org.uk.

Louise Harrison