The history of Bredon Barn
Many old buildings have stories to tell, and Bredon Barn is no different. Built in around 1350 during the time of the Black Death, it would have seen half the population of Bredon killed by the plague. Initially it was believed to have been commissioned by a local bishop as a tithe barn, but research suggests it was a manorial barn.
A tithe or manorial barn?
A medieval tithe barn would have been used to store one tenth (a tithe) of the annual crops grown by the local farmers and taken as taxes for the church and clergy. The independent farmers of the surrounding area would have to take their tithe to the barn where it would have been stored until needed.
Bredon Barn view
However, some more recent research has indicated that it was a manorial barn as the bishop, and the subsequent bishops of Bredon, were also lords from 900AD to the mid 1500s. It’s believed that the barn would have been used to store crops such as wheat, oats, barley, hay and even wool and dried peas for the estate.
The barn was later leased out to a succession of local farmers who would have continued to store crops inside the building. Made using Cotswold stone and a steep pitched roof covered with Cotswold limestone tiles, it would have kept their stored crops safe and dry.
Bredon barn was donated to the National Trust in 1951 and continued to be used for storing crops until 18 April 1980 when a fire swept through the hay-filled barn.
After the fire
Following a National Trust appeal and with the help of experts, it was restored over the following three years.
Today the barn is no longer used for storing hay or crops and is open to visitors and home to many white doves and various species of bat.