Orchard Barn News May 2017

Re-instating the Suffolk Long House at Orchard Barn

Exciting news!  Planning permission has been passed for the re-instatement of the timber frame at Orchard Barn. The Long House was first built in the 1580s. Last lived in during the 1930’s, this important heritage building is to be rescued from the brambles and constructed ‘like for like’ using local trees, coppiced hazel and home-dug daub. Wherever possible original timbers will be repaired and re-used.

With over 2,000 students and volunteers involved so far, OBee Community Interest Company is looking forward to welcoming more people from the local and wider community to this unique living history project.

Orchard Barn has a unique link to Sir Thomas Gresham who in 1565 founded the Royal Stock Exchange in London. Sir Gresham owned some fine woodland in Battisford. He brought 200 carpenters to the area to convert his trees into the frame for the Stock Exchange. The remains of the sawpits can still be made out on Battisford Common. Of course he would have taken the best timber for the main project, but there would have been lesser grade timbers left over. We think they may have been used in the Orchard Barn Long House as its timbers are completely oversized!

If you are interested in getting involved as a volunteer or participating in a timber frame/repair course, please email sarah@orchardbarn.org.uk or phone 01473-658193.

The photograph shows the old house in the 1960s before it fell over!

By Ian Clark on April 7th, 2017