Tag Archives: Tithe Barn Trust

The Scottish Play comes to Landbeach!

Thursday 16th June finished with what can only be described as a quintessentially perfect English summer evening. It was then that the Tithe Barn Trust hosted in their lovely iconic tithe barn a most exciting and great event in the form of a much edited and reduced play by William Shakespeare. It was enacted by three members of the Cambridge School of Visual and Performing Arts in front of a large and eager audience more than 90 strong which encompassed ages from the very young to the not so young.

Shakespeare always wrote to entertain, but the actors this evening took that to yet another level. ‘Macbeth’ is considered one of Shakespeare’s serious plays but Chris McKay (on the staff of The School) and two of his 1st year students had us in fits of laughter for much of the hour-long entertainment. In fact the play was so changed by Chris’ rewriting of it that only parts had a semblance to the original work! The three performers took on at least five roles each and when necessary, calls to the audience came, when some quite young members came up and ably and confidently took on ‘as extras’!

There were two performances; the first at 4 pm for other students from the School to see, and a public one at 6 pm. Some of the audience came early to have a picnic on the Barn’s grass apron whilst others did likewise after the show. It was one of our most well attended events of the year and Chris says he will be more than happy to come again next year… which will be his seventh in bringing students to perform for us.

It was also wonderful to have in attendance our recently stepped down Chair, Gemma O’Shea with her two young girls and so many Friends of The Barn who have over these many years so generously donated to the Barn’s cause.

Outdoor Gym and Furniture repair

Saturday 30th April. 09.00 – 13.00. Free. All welcome

Come and enjoy some fresh air and good company at Landbeach Tithe Barn this Saturday 30th April 2022.

We will be cleaning and restoring our furniture to make it ready for this year’s events. We will be working from 9am – 1pm and everyone is welcome to come at any time and to stay for as long as liked. No experience is necessary as you will be given tuition however experts in furniture restoration are particularly welcome.

Your efforts will make a valued contribution to improving the barn for our visitors. There are further details in the poster below and if you have any other questions or would like to learn more please email tithebarntrust@gmail.com

We look forward to seeing you this Saturday.


Carolin Göhler
Interim Chair – Tithe Barn Trust

The tithe barn’s new gates – built by Westover Woodlands

With the diverse grant funding we received over the recent years we are grateful to the National Lottery Heritage Fund in also supporting the design and installation of new entrance gate sets, making any arrival to the barn a more special experience.

To help us realise this project we are delighted to have found regional specialists Stephen and Becky Westover of Westover Woodlands. This father and daughter operation manage an ancient woodland in Essex and undertake special woodland management from tree thinning to regular coppicing to sourcing the sustainable materials they use to construct fencing and gates.

The gates and fence panels are fully made by hand using tools and techniques that would have been familiar to the barn’s original medieval builders. Using sweet chestnut shaped by hand through the use of diverse tools such as axes, adzes, froes and draw knives Stephen and Beckys’ work has resulted in our having a fully accessible pedestrian gate and field gates leading to the barn and pastures and with their rustic look they are more fitting than our old gates to invite visitors to explore the historic barn’s environment.

Useful contact – www.westoverwoodlands.co.uk

Outdoor Gym and Furniture repair

Saturday 2 April. 09.00 – 13.00. Free. All welcome

Come and enjoy some fresh air and good company at Landbeach Tithe Barn this Saturday 2nd April 2022.

We will be planting shrubs, trees and wildflowers, and restoring our furniture. We will be working from 9am – 1pm and everyone is welcome to come at any time and to stay for as long as liked. No experience is necessary as you will be given tuition however experts in furniture restoration are welcome.

Your efforts will make a valued contribution to improving the barn for our visitors. There are further details in the poster below and if you have any other questions or would like to learn more please email tithebarntrust@gmail.com

We look forward to seeing you this Saturday.


Carolin Göhler
Interim Chair – Tithe Barn Trust

New Chair of Trustees sought

Following a very successful first five years, the Trust is seeking a new Chair of Trustees to take us forward into the next phase of our development. This is an exciting opportunity to work with our established trustees and volunteers and lead the Trust towards the fulfilment of its mission. Below, out-going Chair Gemma O’Shea explains how she has enjoyed the role, highlighting the progress made and the future plans to be taken on by the next Chair of Trustees.

Gemma O’Shea outside Landbeach tithe barn

Nearly lost

Back in the 2010s, Landbeach tithe barn was a beautiful but decaying relic; a testament to Landbeach’s long history but also an asset in real danger of disappearing, lost for forever.

Fortunately, in 2014 a determined group of local residents wanted to avoid such a fate befalling this unique structure. As a result, the Tithe Barn Trust was created as a registered charity in 2016 with the mission:

“Ensuring the long-term survival of the rare and ancient Tithe Barn, by breathing new life into the site, for everyone to enjoy.”

I was honoured to take the helm as the Chair of Trustees and have greatly enjoyed this sometimes demanding role. It has given me so much satisfaction and a real sense of achievement working alongside our dedicated group of fellow trustees, volunteers and supporters. Over this period we have successfully fundraised to undertake the extensive repairs necessary to save the physical structure, taking it from this:

to this:

For me a particular highlight came in Autumn 2019 to early 2020 with the repair of the barn’s timber frame, brick plinth, floor and the re-thatching of the roof. These costly measures have saved the barn from collapse and made it weathertight for the first time in many years.

Re-thatching the barn in early 2020

Through the efforts of the Trust and its volunteers, we offer free entry to Tithe Barn open days, events and diverse educational activities for all ages. Access is open to everyone. I’ve been overwhelmed by the support of others and with their help we’ve trialled and hosted varied community events from theatre, storytelling, to art exhibitions, a country market, preschool visits, heritage days and more. We’ve shown what an intimate and unique space the Tithe Barn is for bringing people together.


‘Oracle’ Art installation by artist Theo Gayer-Anderson at the Barn

Country Market

Our next steps

We are now focused on the second phase of our project, that of fundraising to bring essential services to the site. Great progress has already been made through our successful ‘Spend a Penny’ fundraising campaign. The money raised is enabling the installation of two eco-friendly toilets later this Spring, before we turn our attention to the provision of the water and electricity services. These will really help to secure the barn’s long-term future through its increased use as a community space and venue hire.

We have come a long way since 2014 and none of this would have been possible without the dedication of our trustees, volunteers and supporters. I have genuinely enjoyed my time as Chair and it has been a great privilege to work with a such a committed group. I wish the Trust and all who support it every success for the future and look forward to returning as a visitor with my family to see future progress.

To find out more about this great leadership opportunity, go to https://reachvolunteering.org.uk/opp/chair-trustees-290

Outdoor Gym – 19th February

This Saturday 19th February 9am till 12 noon, you can get active and involved by helping us tidy the hedge and meadow strip to the Tithe Barn.

We’ll be undertaking some vegetation management of hedges and brambles, plus planting wild flowers and native climbers. The session will be led by our very own Landscape Architect and Horticulturalist. Wear sturdy shoes, gloves and warm clothing. Bring your own secateurs and shrub cutters and there will be a few provided. Don’t forget to bring your own drink and snack for break too. No need to pre-book, just come along.

The unique medieval timber frame Tithe Barn will be open for those who would like to take a peek too.

Spend A Penny campaign hits its target

We’ve done it! A year after its launch the ‘Spend a Penny’ campaign has reached its £30,000 target – thanks to the Postcode Places Trust, a major anonymous personal gift and donations of all sizes from many other local supporters.

‘Spend a Penny’ will enable the installation of two eco-friendly ‘Kazubaloos’ for use by all those visiting or using Landbeach tithe barn, greatly enhancing its value as a local community asset. A great fundraising effort has been capped off by a generous £17,819 grant by the Postcode Places Trust that will enable these loos and also cycle racks to be put into place.

Gemma O’Shea, Tithe Barn Trust chair commented: ‘It is thrilling that we have reached our target and our greatest thanks go to all who have contributed. We are especially pleased that the Postcode Places Trust has recognised the added community value that these loos and cycle racks will bring via the tithe barn to Landbeach and our surrounding communities.’

A BIG thank you to the Postcode Places Trust

The rest of the funding came from donations from the general public via our TotalGiving page so we’d also very much like to thank all 66 donors, one of whom donated a massive £10,000. We couldn’t have done it without you all. 

Also many thanks to our team of fantastic volunteers for all their work and great local publicity by local media outlets, including BBC Radio Cambridgeshire, Cambridge 105 FM, Cambridge News, and Cambridge Independent.

We very much hope that our new loos will be in place by May 2022 so watch this space for news of events next summer that will celebrate this major step forward and capitalise on these enhanced facilities.

Landbeach tithe barn welcomes you to Heritage Open Days 2021

Landbeach Tithe Barn is excited to join in the 2021 Heritage Open Days festival on Saturday 18th September with events and activities on offer throughout the day.

As an agricultural building formerly involved in food production and storage, the tithe barn is the perfect location reflecting this year’s Heritage Open Days theme of ‘Edible England’. The timber granary where food was stored is still visible as is the brick threshing floor where crops including wheat were beaten to extract the grain.

In addition to viewing our wonderful barn, this free event offers events and activites for the family. There will be knowledgeable trust members on-site to answer questions and all activities are free for children and families to enjoy. Doors open at 11.00 a.m. with last entry at 4:30 p.m. There’s no need to book; just turn up and enjoy.

There will be lots to do:

11.00 Doors open

11.30 Story Reading

For children there will be a reading of the delightful tale of ‘The Little Red Hen’ and her determination to bake some bread to be followed by a demonstration of how to produce flour using a ‘quern’ – a traditional gringing stone.

1.30 & 2.30 Medieval dance

Members of the Capriol Society for Early Dance will be on hand in period costume to demonstrate medieval-themed traditional dances – with audience participation encouraged! For more details see their website ( https://capriolsocietyforearlydance.wordpress.com ).

Capriol Dancers at Stourbridge Fair. Used with permission.

Throughout the day

Demonstrations of how grain was ground into flour using a traditional grinding stone – or ‘quern’ with opportunities for children to try their hand.

For smaller children and their parents there will be a ‘small world’ touch tray with a selection of wooden toys to play with.

Grinding wheat.

4.30 Last entry

All events and activities will be Covid-compliant with hand sanitisers available and regular cleaning and clear signage to help ensure both visitors and organisers stay safe and can enjoy a relaxing day out. We request that visitors bring a mask with them.

Make a day of it

Beyond the tithe barn, Landbeach is full of history; why not make a morning or afternoon of your visit and also look at the lovely parish church of All Saints which dates back to the 13th century with much medieval woodwork remaining. Also worth a look is Worts Meadow. Now a local nature reserve the meadow is a former medieval settlement site, with a surviving homestead moat and fish pond, and earthworks showing the location of roads and houses.

Melanie Hale, Chair of Landbeach Parish Council and trustee says:

“The Trust is delighted to be contributing to this year’s Heritage Open Days festival. Landbeach tithe barn was an integral part of local food production for hundreds of years and this makes it a perfect location for this year’s festival theme of ‘Edible England’.

Covid dreams

‘Covid Dreams’ is a fully immersive audio and visual art installation at the Tithe Barn, this June, by artists Pain and Gayer-Anderson.

Two local artists reflect on a year of siege from the intangible, a landscape where you cannot save yourself but you can save others.

Gideon Pain’s work plays on the mundane and every day that we slip through on our way to somewhere else. It is about collective moments, some tragic and some euphoric, when the sharing of an experience gives significance to something unnoticed.

Theo Gayer-Anderson has been exploring dystopia in a series of installations for many years and now finds present day events eclipsing his own visions of the future.

All set within the unique grade II listed, timber-frame Tithe Barn. The temporary installation will be free for the public to view on Saturday 12th, Sunday 13th, Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th June. Pre-booking encouraged.
Book your free timed tickets today at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/tithe-barn-trust-27492103979

Event plans at the barn

We’ve been busy planning our 2021 events at the Tithe Barn this year. Our Tithe Barn events range from Outdoor Gym to Carols, so there really is something for everyone. Come along and see the unique Tithe Barn for yourself. Take a look at https://tithebarntrust.org.uk/learning/2021-events/ and pencil the dates in your diary. We are closely following Government advice and guidance regarding Covid-19, so please do check this page regularly for updates.