To book The Bishop’s Barn for an event please visit http://www.mendip.gov.uk/barnhire which has full details on terms and availability and a booking form. Or contact Ideverde on 01749 341664 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to check availability and hire fee.
The Bishop’s Barn is a Grade I listed building and scheduled as an ancient monument. It is a beautiful example of local craftsmanship: built of local stone roughly squared, with Doulting ashlar dressings and a Westmorland slate roof, the barn has 12 bays with a cruck roof with double collar beams and arched wind braces.
The history of The Bishop’s Barn is intrinsically entwined with that of The Bishop’s Palace (forming part of the original estate and the Tithe Barn store for grain). As well as being a site of architectural interest – The Bishop’s Barn is one of only 200 remaining Tithe Barns in the UK – the Barn and its restoration offer a significant opportunity to uncover and preserve the history of everyday working people in Medieval Wells (which very much complements the ecclesiastical history which is well documented throughout the city).
The site is part of the Wells Conservation Area which was created in 1970 and focuses on the medieval core of the city; its key components are Wells Cathedral, The Bishop’s Palace, Vicars’ Close and the Bishop’s Barn.
As well as operating as a Tithe barn, The Bishop’s Barn was utilised during the Bloody Assizes when Royalist troops were quartered here. In the 1970s, it was used as a music venue, and hosted bands such as Supertramp, Status Quo and Slade, with audiences of up to 1,500. Over the years it has also been used as a wedding venue site and hosted many community events.
Despite its significant social and community value sadly the barn is now in urgent needs of repairs and conservation to restore it back to being at the heart of community in Wells. Wells Recreation Ground Trustees have appointed Louise Lappin-Cook as Project Development Manager for Phase 1 of this programme to raise funds to develop the barn.
We are currently talking to Somerset Buildings Preservation Trust, English Heritage and Heritage Lottery Fund about ways to develop the Barn and conserve this vital community resource for generations to come