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West Pennard Barn

Report and proposals, 2002

The 1936 repairs

The barn was first inspected in 1932 by A.R. McGregor, when the roof was found to have racked due to the wind causing the east gable to move.The barn roof collapsed in 1935.

An appeal fund was organised by SPAB Secretary AR Powys, to which Roger Clarke, director of Clarke's shoes of Street, contributed £100 and guaranteed the total estimated repair costs of £300.

Barn before repairs

The works themselves were organised and carried out in the summer of 1936 under the direction of the architect Ernest Bowden, whose men had recently completed repairs to East Pennard church.

The repairs carried principally involved straightening the roof structure, and "twinning" existing roof trusses with new trusses, leaving all surviving parts of the medieval trusses in place.

 Barn during repairs

The barn was reroofed in clay tiles. Masonry repairs and repointing were also carried out. In 2002, the barn was still in a generally good condition and much as Bowden and his men had left it in 1936.

Barn after repairs in November 1936
Above: West Pennard barn after repairs in November 1936

 

 
West Pennard barn in 2002

West Pennard barn is a medieval tithe barn related to Glastonbury Abbey. The barn fell into a disuse in the nineteenth century and was in a dilapidated state by the early twentieth century.

The barn was repaired in 1936 , following a campaign by the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, with financial support from Roger Clarke. The repairs were carried out under the direction of the architect Ernest Bowden.

After the repairs were completed, the barn passed into the ownership of the National Trust.

In 2002, I carried out a quinquennial survey of the barn for the Wessex Region of the National Trust, Repairs required were of a relatively minor nature such as repairs to the doors and localised repairs to the wall plate.

Slipped tiles to barn roof Missing and broken tiles to dovecote roof    
Slipped and missing tiles to barn and dovecote roofs  

However more extensive works such as reroofing could be foreseen in the longer term.

Whilst writing up the survey, I researched the repair history of the barn, in particular the archive on the 1936 repairs held by the SPAB. See summary, right.

 

e-mail: keithwgarner@btinternet.com

 

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