Isle of Albion
Photographed: Thursday 26th February 2004
Site rating:

I foolishly expected this barn to be within the boundaries of West Pennard village. As a result of this miscalculation, much time was wasted driving around the countryside before finally stumbling across it. Hopefully, the included Google map will enable anyone reading this to avoid making the same mistake.

West Pennard tithe barn was constructed in the 15th century as a tithe barn for Glastonbury abbey. It is one of four surviving examples (the others can be found at Pilton, Glastonbury and Doulting), and is currently in the care of the National Trust. The Trust refer to is as the "court barn", but I've been unable to discover where this name originates.

There's something incongruous about a pristine mediaeval barn standing isolated in the middle of the countryside - especially when surrounded by the flat and featureless terrain of the Somerset levels. This slightly offsets the barn's modest appearance, encouraging the visitor to feel that they've discovered a hidden gem. While this isn't a building that you'd travel a long way to see, it's certainly worth a visit if you're in the area and have an interest in the history of Glastonbury abbey.