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Tithe Barn, east of number 14 (The Old Rectory)

A Grade II Listed Building in Landbeach, Cambridgeshire

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Latitude: 52.2661 / 52°15'57"N

Longitude: 0.1639 / 0°9'49"E

OS Eastings: 547761

OS Northings: 265310

OS Grid: TL477653

Mapcode National: GBR M7X.S9R

Mapcode Global: VHHJX.S9HN

Plus Code: 9F427587+CH

Entry Name: Tithe Barn, east of number 14 (The Old Rectory)

Listing Date: 22 August 1984

Last Amended: 1 April 2020

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1127382

English Heritage Legacy ID: 50643

Location: Landbeach, South Cambridgeshire, Cambridgeshire, CB25

County: Cambridgeshire

District: South Cambridgeshire

Civil Parish: Landbeach

Built-Up Area: Landbeach

Traditional County: Cambridgeshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cambridgeshire

Church of England Parish: Landbeach All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Ely

Tagged with: Tithe barn Thatched barn

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The building is a small thatched timber-framed aisled barn, thought to be of late C15 or early C16 date, which has undergone incremental alteration and adaptation in the C18 and C19, and which is now undergoing roofing repairs.


A small timber-framed aisled barn, believed to date to the late C15 or early C16, with C18 and C19 alterations, standing near to the medieval Church of All Saints, the Old Rectory and the Shrunken Medieval Settlement of Landbeach, with which the barn was historically associated.

MATERIALS: the building is timber-framed, its main structural timbers mostly of Elm, with a feathered and lapped weather-boarded exterior and a recently-renewed (2019) thatch covering. The framing rises from a low brick plinth.

PLAN: the building is a double-aisled barn aligned north-south, with a return aisle at the northern end. The roof structure is hipped at the north end and half-hipped to the south.

EXTERIOR: the building is three bays in length, its roof structure hipped at the north end and half-hipped at the south end. There are full-height midstrey doorways to the central bay to both the east and west elevations, each with a raised head beam for the doorway hood, and vertically boarded double doors. The west side door opening has a C19 plank 'lift' or threshold to retain the threshed grain, and grooves for a similar fitting in the east door frame. There is also an inserted single doorway with a vertically boarded door to the east side of the south bay, possibly linked to its adaptation for use as a granary.

INTERIOR: the interior of the barn is formed of three double-aisled bays, with a return aisle at the north end. The central threshing bay slightly wider than the flanking bays and the aisle arcades are formed of tall jowelled posts, from which extend curved longitudinal and transverse braces to adjacent tie-beams and arcade plates. The aisle-posts stand on short sill-plates extending from the side walls, and support horizontal arcade plates which link the posts so as to provide longitudinal stiffening for the barn frame as well as carrying roof rafters. Short horizontal aisle ties extend from the arcade plates to short posts within the barn side walls, and from these posts long diagonal passing braces rise past the aisle ties to the arcade posts. Three of the four arcade cross frames are free-standing, whilst that to the south end forms part of the present barn end wall. However, repairs carried out in 2019 have shown that the frame has been truncated at this end, and that the building was originally at least one bay longer. The outer walls of the barn are made up of wall posts and widely-spaced studs mortised into wall and sill-plates. The roof structure is much-altered, with short lapped rafters rather than single timbers extending from eaves to ridge, later thin side purlins, collars and queen struts often nail-fixed rather than pegged and numerous areas of visible repair using metal plates and bolts to support decayed timber sections.
The central threshing bay has brick flooring, which is also carried into the north bay. The south bay is thought to have been adapted for use as a granary in the C18 or early C19 and has a boarded floor, boarded wall surfaces and a low boarded cross frame forming a barrier between the grain storage area and the threshing bay.


The Tithe Barn at Landbeach, a timber-framed aisled barn, is thought to date to the late C15 or early C16, with ongoing repairs and alterations in later centuries, culminating in the re-thatching of the barn in 2019. The building stands on a plot of land to the rear of the medieval former Rectory (listed at Grade II*, List entry 1178950), and abutting the Shrunken Medieval Settlement of Landbeach which is a Scheduled Monument (List entry 1006870) in the adjoining former common field to the north. It is known from documentary sources that rectorial tithes in Landbeach were still being collected in kind into the C16, adding weight to both the suggested date for the building and its former function. Recent analysis of the timber frame indicated that it has been reduced in size by at least one structural bay, and that it underwent at least one substantial rebuilding, with numerous timbers evidently re-used. In the late C18 or early C19, it appears that the south bay was adapted for use as a granary, with the insertion of a boarded floor, the cladding of the external walls with timber boarding, and the creation of a low cross frame at the north end of the bay, separating it from the threshing bay. New openings were made in the south gable wall and in the west side wall to provide additional ventilation for the grain storage area, and in the late C18 or early C19, the threshing bay and the north bay were floored in brick.

It is not known when the agricultural use of the barn ceased, but in 1975 the barn was leased to the Landbeach Society and its thatch roof covering was renewed. The building was added to the statutory List in 1984, and was subsequently purchased by the South Cambridgeshire District Council in 1986. In 2015, the Tithe Barn Trust was established to support the repair and ongoing community use of the barn, and further repairs and re-thatching were completed in 2019.

Reasons for Listing

The Tithe Barn at Landbeach, an early timber-framed barn believed to date to the late C15 or early C16, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reason:

Historic interest:

* the barn is believed to date to the late C15 or early C16 with much surviving early fabric.

Architectural interest:

* the timber-framed barn is a well-preserved example of aisled construction, which in this instance includes the unusual feature of an end aisle;

* the barn retains clear evidence of the adaptation of one end of the building to form a granary, indicating the ongoing utility of the building for agricultural purposes and the flexibility afforded by framed construction.

External Links

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