Tithe Barn

John Dalkin

Solihull, United Kingdom

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Artist's Description

Tithe Barn at Middle Littleton, near Evesham, England.
Camera : Canon Powershot S95

One of the finest tithe barns in the country, Middle Littleton ( near Evesham, England) is a Grade I listed barn dating to the 13th or 14th century (the National Trust dates it to around 1250, but the National Monument Records has it built in 1376 for the monks of Evesham Abbey).

For many years the most likely builder was thought to be John Omberseley, Abbot of Evesham in 1376. However, more recent dendrochronology testing has revealed that the barn was at least a century older than Omberseley’s tenure, and dates to the middle of the 13th century.

The barn is constructed of blue lias stone and Cotswold stone dressing, with a roof of stone tiles. It stands 130 feet long and 42 feet wide, and originally had a pair of gabled porches on each of the long sides. It is truly a magnificent building, an imposing reminder of the power of the medieval abbeys.

There were originally two large porches, but only the south porch survives. The walls are supported by 8 buttresses on the side wall and 3 on the end, marking the location of internal divisions. The barn is built in a ‘raised cruck’ style. That is, the large cruck timbers are not supported directly on the ground but on raised stone walls. The walls are pitted with holes called putlogs, marking the spot where the carpenters and masons inserted scaffolding to build the structure.

Look for decorative finials over the gable ends. These were traditionally used as a good luck charm. The building stretches 42m long and is 10m wide. It is built of blue lias limestone dressed with Cotswold Marlstone, under a roof of stone slates. The slate range from 6 to 18 inches long are were held in place with wooden pegs, though these have been replaced with pegs of aluminium.

Artwork Comments

  • Yampimon
  • Frank Kapusta
  • Frank Kapusta
  • Frank Kapusta
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