Dunster Tithe Barn


December 2005

The contractor will be starting work in January 2006 and the Somerset Building Preservation Trust will carry out the task of Project Management. The architect, Chris Mitchell is local and has developed the drawings right from the initial concept. The First Dunster School is already involved having visited the Barn with Hilary Binding, a local historian. The children will make regular visits throughout the building period so that they will appreciate the historic value of the Barn and the work required to restore  it. We also hope to arrange regular "Open" days for local residents so that they can follow the progress of the work.

Click here to find out more about the condition of the buildings at the start.

January 2006

At last Graham Lamacraft and Jonathan Sweetland sign the contract with the chairman of the Somerset Preservation Trust, Mike Foden,  the quantity surveyor, John Hannon and  the architect, Chris Mitchell

The initial contract being signed

Tithe Barn Steering Group at the signing

The Tithe Barn steering group looking pleased after the signing ceremony.

March 2006

Since the contract was signed, work has begun. The back yard has been cleared of scrub and weeds, the roof and floor have been removed. The outbuildings have been overhauled, and some rebuilding has begun.

We have also had a first visit from the children of Dunster Primary School who are following the development of the project.

Barn - March 2006
Photos here of the project in March 2006.  

May 2006

Site Display Board

We are delighted to be able to advise that work is now well under way with the Restoration and Adaptation of the Tithe Barn.

The site has been cleared, mainly by voluntary labour, of all hazardous material and the yard/future parking area cleared of all unwanted vegetation and debris.

The roof has been stripped of all the old slates and the work of repairing and making good the roof timbers is almost complete. Weather permitting the process of starting to re-cover the roof, initially with the insulating material will commence shortly.

The contractors have also made good progress with the repair and rebuilding where necessary of the single storey building which will house the Exhibition Room and the Club Room.

We hold monthly meetings both with the contractors on-site and the Somerset Building Preservation Trust, our project partners, and at our last meeting all were very pleased with the progress to date.

June 2006 - Open Day

On 10th June 2006 the Barn was open to the public to see progress for themselves. On had were the builder and the architect to give specialist answers to questions. The weather was lovely, and many visitors were greatly impressed by the work.

Photos here of the project in June 2006.

Open Day June 2006

September 2006

The fine weather has allowed fine progress during the summer months.

Photos here of the project in September 2006.

December 2006

The barn ready for use

As we reach Christmas, the good news is that the building contractors are finishing, and handing the keys over to the Committee. Photos of the interiors show the remarkable work that has been done.

Photos here of the project in December 2006.

Find out how the Project was fianced up to Dec. 2006 - here

February 2007

Barn interior

Keys were handed over at the end of December, and apart from some inevitable 'snagging', the barn is open and ready for use! As well as the main interior space of the barn itself, there is a separate meeting room, display area with foyer, and a kitchen and toilets.

The barn can now be booked for functions.

Photos here of the project in February 2007.

May 2007

Cutting the ribbon

The Official opening on 10th May. Short speeches were made by the Chairman, representatives of the Somerset Building Preservation Trust and the Heritage Lottery Fund, as well as Lady Gass, Lord Lieutenant of Somerset.

Photos here of the project Opening in May 2007.

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