Posted: 13.06.21 at 07:00 by Lottie Welch
Dorset’s famous tithe barns at Symondsbury, Abbotsbury and Cerne Abbas feature in a new book
Tithe Barns, due out this month, is by Joseph Rogers and highlights the three barns in a chapter dedicated to South West England.
Tithe barns were built during the medieval period to store tithes, a tax paid to the church in the form of one tenth of a farmer’s produce, and were still in use well into the 18th century.
Joe, a former student of Woodroffe School in Lyme Regis, found that many barns called tithe barns were actually abbey barns and were never proven to have stored tithes at all.
He put his knowledge of Dorset to good use and went as far as Tarrant Crawford, Hinton St Mary and Corscombe to find out more about these buildings. In particular he noted the 16th century manor barn at Winterborne Clenston, which is on the cusp of collapse following neglect. The barn has a rare tiled roof, which is in danger of being lost in the future.
Many barns like the one at Symondsbury have since been saved and converted to wedding venues as well as village halls and private homes. Symondsbury's tithe barn was previously connected to storing hemp for the Bridport rope industry and became a makeshift rifle range in the Second World War.
Tithe Barns, by Amberley Books, will be released on June 15 and will be available from high street and independent retailers.
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