Internal view of roof
looking east from bay 4
14th Century medieval "tithe" barn
Pilton is one of four surviving barns
originally attached to Glastonbury Abbey. The existing structure dates
back to the 14th century although Pilton is mentioned in the Domesday
Book of 1086. After the Reformation it became little more than a working
farm building but remained an important example of a medieval “tithe”
barn. In 1963 it was struck by lightning and the entire roof, then thatched,
was completely destroyed leaving just the four walls standing.
McCurdy & Co were brought in by the Pilton Barn Trust as specialist advisors
and principle contractors. They were responsible for the research, design
and construction of the new roof, which helped to restore the barn to
its original condition 600 years ago.
The reconstruction work was being funded by English Heritage through a
grant from the Lottery Fund. Large curved timber beams, or crucks, and
other structural timbers which make up the complex roof structure were
cut and shaped from green English oak in McCurdy’s Berkshire workshops
for erection on site.
Ken (top dog) and Martyn (under dog) see-saw a principal cruck
Using a combination of traditional carpentry techniques and modern technology
the project used extensive research and analysis into the Barn’s history
to authentically reproduce the original roof structure. Now restored,
this important ancient monument will be preserved for the enjoyment of
the public and for use by the local community.