"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

From "Auguries of Innocence"

by William Blake

Friday, 27 May 2022

Herefordshire - Part 5: Leigh Court Barn


We came home on the Saturday but to prolong the trip I suggested we stop off at Leigh Court Barn on the way home.  It meant a bit of a detour off the A44 through prettyWorcestershire villages. B was getting a bit irate as I thought we had missed the barn but we eventually arrived. Phew!

We parked by the church of St Edburga's and what a lovely church it was.  There are records of a church on the site since Anglo Saxon times but the present church dates from 1100 and was built on the site of a former monastery.  The oldest part of the church is the Norman nave and the rest of the building dates from the 13th and 14th centuries.

I would have loved to have gone inside and looked round the churchyard but I didn't dare push my luck. Now, of course, I regret it!

Rather gorgeous hop kilns converted to become part of a house. Imagine living there!!!

The 14th century Leigh Court Barn  is the largest cruck framed building in Britain.  It is a superb example of English Medieval carpentry.  Crucks are curved timbers that support the structure.  Radio carbon dating has revealed that the timber used to construct the barn was felled in the Spring of 1344.

The barn was built for Pershore Abbey in 1345 and is the only surviving building from the manor of Leigh Court which in the Middle Ages belonged to the monks of the Abbey.

The barn is 42 metres long with 18 cruck blades each of which was made from a single tree.  The trusses are nearly 10 metres high and span 10.4 metres.

Tithe barns had doors on opposite sides with the area between them used for threshing.  If the doors were opened during threshing the wind would blow through the building to winnow the grain and all the dust and chaff  would blow away.

On the exterior the barn is weather boarded and the steep angle of the tiled roof suggests it may once have been thatched.

Just look at the roof. I was completely overawed! 

Farm cider making equipment

There was an interesting sign by this wheel explaining it was repaired and donated to the village of Leigh by John and Brian Roberts, village wheelwrights and carpenters.  The wheel  would originally have been used on a portable steam engine used to drive farm machinery.  

Side, view over fields and rear of the tithe barn.

Entrance to Leigh Court

Least said about the journey home the better.  The Worcester by pass where the road works are was closed and the diversion took you through Worcester City Centre. It took about an hour!!!!  

I hope everyone is staying safe and well.

All photos taken by me with the Panasonic Lumix FZ330 bridge camera.


Leigh Court Barn Info on English Heritage Website


Bovey Belle said...

What a fabulous barn. Reminds me of the huge Tithe Barn in Laycock. I just love anything like that - SUCH history. What a shame you didn't go to the church too - I might have have pointed out how that would save fuel as you wouldn't need to visit it again (for a while!)

Sorry you got snarled up in all the Worcester traffic. We had to go there on Wednesday and the road signage was DIRE. All we could find was the M5 sign (and we were looking for the A38), off that road.

Billy Blue Eyes said...

Looks like you have an excuse to revisit now you missed the church. I think the tithe barn on our village was the longest in Great Britten at one time time it was pulled down, what is there now gives a little idea ast how bit it was.

Ragged Robin said...

Bovey Belle - Thanks so much. I do have a bit of a thing about barns atm especially Tithe Barns. I didn't dare go in the church - B not keen on diversion to be honest so didn't push my luck. Son really wanted to see it as he loves old barns and the history.
The Worcester by pass will be great when finished but chaos round there atm as for the closure :( How stupid to divert all through Worcester city centre!!! Next time if go home weekend will have to be Tennbury Wells and Droitwich way.

Billy Blue Eyes. Thanks so much. I found a local tithe barn to us at home but sadly that too has long gone. Houses now on the site :( The one at Leigh Court was very impressive though.

Rustic Pumpkin said...

Sorry you missed going inside the church. Hopefully you can get back there. Like you, I am in awe of the fabulous roof interior structure. They sure knew how to build back then. I love the brickwork and the slate roof. What a sight that would be if the roof was thatched.

Ragged Robin said...

Rustic Pumpkin - Thanks so much. Medieval carpentry is all just so amazing. Glad I discovered that the barn was visitable due to a slight detour! David wanted to see it too - he appreciates architecture and carpentry etc a lot more these days. yes thatched would have been an even more wonderful sight :) Right pain about church tbh :( Honestly if I was on my own I would never reach destination as would be stopping at every church I saw! So many good churches in that area too.

CherryPie said...

The barn looks fabulous as do the other buildings you have shown us.

Ragged Robin said...

CherryPie - Thank you.