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Project information

Save Winterbourne Barn for future generations

We must save this Medieval Barn, built in 1342, and create a multi-use attraction where heritage events, rural craft-themed activities, courses, and family-friendly community events occur…something for everyone.

January 2018 - December 2018

Charity information: Winterbourne Medieval Barn Trust

Winterbourne Medieval Barn Trust logo
  • Need


    Winterbourne is the only surviving gentry barn left in England; it is a building of national importance. Yet, the roof on the medieval West Barn leaks; a builder tried to convert the North Lean-To into a house, illegally, ruining the medieval structure; the stonework on the South Lean-To is crumbling; the Barn has no heating making it very cold; and there are few visitor facilities limiting its use by local people. A gem that could soon disappear if we can't save it and bring it back to life.


    Winterbourne Medieval Barn will be a beautiful place to discover medieval history; an inspirational setting for children and adults to learn and be creative through rural craft-themed activities and courses; and an important historic environment showing how its natural habitat has been shaped by the past. Add to this our varied programme of family-friendly community events and guided tours and, in the Barn, local people will have a place they will cherish and want to help grow.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Create a well-used resource for the local community in much-loved heritage building


    » Provide spaces where people can 'make, do and learn' through opportunities such as school visits and heritage focused courses such as willow-weaving
    » Provide spaces where people can come together and enjoy themselves, celebrating all that is good about the countryside

    What success will look like

    Currnently approx. 3,500 visitors attend a programme of events largley offered in the summer. We wish to increase this number and run events throughout the year

    Aim 2

    Help provide employment in this rural location


    » By restoring the Victorian Cow Byres, we will create four work units available for rent enabling people to set up rural craft businesses on the site

    What success will look like

    When all four units are rented out, we will have acheived our aim. Also, we expect that at least two will be new businesses and at least one will employ at least two young people

  • Impact


    Strengthening rural communities:
    - More people who understand how volunteering can help
    - More people who are engaged with making, doing and learning
    - A stronger sense of identity and a recognition of the importance of, and pride in, the local area Improving the sustainability of the rural economy
    - by increasing supply, number and location of rural units for micro businesses
    - more people who understand how to establish and run a small business
    - creating a new tourist attraction


    Inability to secure funding - a funding strategy is being followed; if unsuccessful, action will be taken to investigate extra opportunities;
    Planning permission refused – Working Group includes Council's Conservation Officer;
    Business Plan is over-optimistic - significant work has been done to test this;
    Cost plan increases during build - QS cost review and value engineering by Project Manager would be adopted;
    Tender figures higher than forecast - contingency included in costings


    We report quarterly via Barnforce, the charity's newsletter; via updates on the website; via the annual report; via press and social media updates. We intend to introduce an annual Donors Lunch; and agreed telecon and email updates from the Chair. Project progress reports will also be introduced

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £30,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £11,000 Interactive interpretation Chronological timeline showing importnat events that have happened since the Barn was built
      £6,000 Interactive display 'From Field to Plate' dispalys explaining the role of Winterbourne in food, farming and landscape
      £6,000 Schools game Giant Snakes and Ladders to explore feudal system
      £4,000 Pennants Heraldic symbols explored through hanging display
      £3,000 Visitor interpretation Board to explain what each building was used for

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    HLF £10,000 Conditional
  • Background


    Winterbourne Barn sits as part of a compact group of medieval buildings, situated less than 10 miles from Bristol. Yet rural isolation affects some of the older population; for youngsters, there is little organised youth work, leading to boredom. 7 areas of South Gloucestershire's most deprived communities lie no more than 8 miles away. Here child poverty rates are high, educational attainment levels are low, long-term unemployment is high and few cultural facilites exist.


    We are targeting children and young people; school groups and university students; lifelong learning groups; families wanting things to do; young unemployed through the craft units; isolated adults wanting to develop their confidence and skills through volunteering; rural isolated older adults; those with childcare responsibilities; local community organisations and groups.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Winterbourne Medieval Barn Trust (WMBT) was solely established to restore the Grade II* Winterbourne Barn, a 14th century barn, saving this fascinating building, with two rare architectural features, to create a high quality, mixed use, sustainable attraction. Volunteer-run, the team organise activities focusing on promoting knowledge of its architecture, agricultural landscape and people through a range of activities and public events.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    South Gloucestershire Council

    SGC currently own the building but as a local authority, with demands on their budgets, they are not the right body to create a sustainable future

    Sue Parsons

    The Chair has a background in project management and cost control having worked as an accountnat in the nuclear industry throughout her career

    Stephen Taylor

    Another accountnat, Stephen offers firm financial management skills which help keep the Barn on track with its finances