Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Added value

One of the bonuses of our work with Barn Owls is that we sometimes come across things of historical interest. For example, one of our farmers has a collection of really ancient farm machinery, including, praise be!, tractors. Another is adjacent to a medieval abbey, the ruins of which are still visible, and very romantic they are too.
But for me, the jewels in the crown are the old barns we come across. We visited one, for example, that had housed Italian POWs during WWII, and there were still graffiti on the walls from that time. Another, known locally as the Black Barn, has some fine timberwork. But the barn that took my breath away the other day is an Elizabethan Tithe Barn, huge, majestic, with internal timberwork that is just wonderful. The farmer told us that the barn would originally have been thatched, and also that if it had to be rebuilt (after a fire, say, god forbid), it would cost £4.5. Best of all was the information that the timbers were salvaged from ships taken during the failed Spanish Armada. I don't care if it's true, it's such a delicious notion that it's worth believing anyway.
And for your delight, and with thanks to my barnowling colleague, Peter, here are two more pics of the barn interior - note the partial old scrote on the left of the picture.

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