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Latitude: 51.9117 / 51°54'42"N
Longitude: -0.2076 / 0°12'27"W
OS Eastings: 523382
OS Northings: 225208
OS Grid: TL233252
Mapcode National: GBR J7W.2BG
Mapcode Global: VHGP0.C62S
Entry Name: Triggs Barn
Listing Date: 17 April 2003
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1096090
English Heritage Legacy ID: 490055
Location: Stevenage, Hertfordshire, SG1
Electoral Ward/Division: Old Town
Built-Up Area: Stevenage
Traditional County: Hertfordshire
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Hertfordshire
Church of England Parish: Stevenage Holy Trinity
Church of England Diocese: St.Albans
733/0/10016 HIGH STREET
17-APR-03 TRIGG'S BARN
Barn/cartshed, also serving as resting place. C17 outbuilding with early-C18 coffin placed on the collars; minor later repairs to both. Building owned by local grocer Henry Trigg in the C18, whose coffin was placed there in 1724. Timber framed with weatherboards on brick plinth with pitched tile roof. Coffin in several layers of oak, pine and lead.
BARN/CARTSHED: 2-bays open to yard to north with single post. Other 3 walls of wood studs to low brick plinth with slightly curved braces to the wall plate. Queen post truss with raking struts to principal collars notched into single purlins; similar arrangement to gable ends. Additional collars at west end where the coffin rests. Pegged rafters, and some curved wind braces.
COFFIN: Placed approx. 10' above ground on collars supported by purlins. Made up of an inner box of oak encased in heavy lead and then in pine, held together with metal bands, and covered again with a thin sheet of metal.
HISTORY: The wealthy C18 Hertfordshire grocer Henry Trigg specified in his 1724 Will that 'as to my body I commit it to the West end of my Hovel, to be decently laid there upon a floor erected by my Executor, upon the purlin, for the same purpose.' It was placed on collars at the west end of the building. Trigg's niece specified in her 1769 Will that Trigg be removed from the coffin to Stevenage Churchyard, but he was not as several accounts of the presence of Trigg's bones were made through the mid-C20. However, none were in situ in 1999 when the coffin was temporarily removed during repairs to the cartshed.
A very unusual and possibly unique example of a coffin being placed above ground in the roof of a building. Also of interest for its cultural significance: Trigg was challenging priestly authority with this untraditional burial; it is a very early instance of a fear of grave robbing, which was a late-C18/C19 anxiety; and Trigg's eccentricity became the focus of a small cult of tourism. And lastly, the storage barn or cartshed has considerable interest for its C17 frame and its survival as an outbuilding in the centre of the old town of Stevenage.
Group value with No.37 High Street, formerly Trigg's house and shop, then the Old Castle Inn, and now the National Westminster Bank.
Other nearby listed buildings