Landbeach Society calls on general public to help save historic barn

9th Jan 2014Historic buildingsPlanning

Open day to highlight plight of early Tudor building 

A Grade II Listed Building in Landbeach could be lost to the local community and sold as a dwelling or similar development unless the local Village Society can raise enough money to cover annual overheads and other costs associated with maintaining the property.

The Tithe Barn – which is owned by South Cambridgeshire District Council (SCDC) – dates back to the early 16th century and is a fine example of an early Tudor building. However, as part of cost cutting measures, SCDC is contracting its responsibilities for the building and plans to sell the site for development – unless The Landbeach Society, to which it is leased, can raise enough funds to maintain the structure.

The District Council has given The Landbeach Society until March to try to find a sustainable way forward.

To raise awareness of the plight of the Tithe Barn, The Landbeach Society – supported by local charity Cambridge Past, Present & Future (CambridgePPF) – is opening the Barn this Saturday, 11 January. Members of the public are invited to stop by from 10am to 12pm to find out more about the building’s origins, share stories from its past, and contribute ideas about how to maximize the use of the building in the future by the local community. A short questionnaire for visitors has been devised and is available online: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/KZDYHKX

By staging an open morning, the hope is that people will come forward with offers of either funding or practical assistance to safeguard the future of this special place, which has been used in the past for local community gatherings such as summer musical evenings and picnics.

Robert Stripe, Chairman of the Landbeach Society, said: “Landbeach is a wonderful place to live but we have very few amenities and it would be a travesty if we lost this historic building, which has been part of our culture for hundreds of years. The Tithe Barn forms an important part of our village heritage and we’ve been told it’s rare to find a Tithe Barn of this type in the East of England which retains so many of its original features, including its two types of floor. A substantial donation has already been offered but much more money, support and expertise is needed to safeguard its future. If anyone has any thoughts or ideas, or is able to pledge some money to help save this building we’d be really keen to hear from them. We don’t have much time. The clock is ticking…”

Carolin Göhler, CEO of CambridgePPF, said: “When we heard about the plight of the Tithe Barn we offered the Village Society and Parish Council our support and advice in trying to help save it. This early Tudor barn is obviously a very special place, which, with the correct investment and an increased pool of volunteers, could be enjoyed by the local community for many years to come.”

The Tithe Barn is timber framed and weather boarded with a thatched roof. It contains many original features including its historic flooring and large oak doors. In former times it was linked with the nearby Old Rectory and Parish Church. Today the barn is situated in a fantastic location that overlooks the edge of old common land in the village, which is still grazed by cattle, and near the end of an ancient waterway.

The Tithe Barn is located down a grass path that begins at the kissing gate opposite No. 2 Waterbeach Road, Landbeach, just to the right of the electricity sub-station. From there it is just a short (200 yard) walk to the Barn. Visitors are advised to wear sturdy shoes.

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