Craftsmanship exemplified

Barrington Court during restoration

The tale of Barrington Court is multi layered and intriguing, the court house has stood for over four hundred years, gradually fading and falling into terrible disrepair and was eventually reduced to being used as a farmhouse.

Gifted to the National Trust in 1907 by Julia Woodward, the house remained in this sad situation as there were no funds to restore it. Then in 1915 Colonel Lyle visited with his wife Ronnie and they fell in love with the romance and ambience of the whole place and the exciting possibility of its restoration and new glory days ahead. They agreed to take on a ninety nine year repairing lease from the National Trust and work began in 1921.


The next five years saw a major restoration project unfold, as Colonel Lyle and his architect James Edwin Forbes made plans to use Colonel Lyle’s incredible collection of historic salvaged woodwork, collected over many years from derelict buildings up and down the country.

A carved example of wonderful craftsmanship
Barrington Court detail of carving

To complete such a major project in five years was an amazing achievement, and harnessed the energy and passion of many different people from all walks of life. As well as the skills of the traditional craftsmen like the stone masons and carpenters, new skills were also needed such as electricians and plumbers, because the house was to be a comfortable home fit for a modern and wealthy 1920’s family.


During this time friendships were formed and a little working community established, Colonel Lyle oversaw much of the work himself, particularly when the time came to install the wooden panelling which was almost like completing a giant complicated jigsaw.


The story of Barrington’s restoration is told through visual, audio and three dimensional images, little scenes gently breathe life in to the unfurnished rooms and hint at how it was during this time and reveal some surprising facts too.