With our bat license granted we have finally been able to turn our attention to the beautiful red brick barns that will become the indoor ceremony room and comfy “roost” once the build is complete. With exposed trusses and bags of character we fell in love with them the moment we first visited the farm. Like much of the site, the barns have been neglected and stood empty for years but we were pleasantly surprised to learn that although in bad shape the building itself was still structurally sound.
The barns as they looked in October 2017. Years of neglect had taken their toll. You can see the old bull pen to the right of the image as well as two much more modern additions to the left that were removed to bring the barns back to their original state.
The barn had clearly been used as a dumping ground for years.
Despite being exposed to the elements the wood inside had stood up remarkably well. Only one of the trusses needed significant repair.
The scaffolding starts to go up.
First job, the careful removal of the roof tiles. The tiles must be at least 70 years old but have stood the test of time well. At least 80% can be reused on the repaired roof.
The original skylights are saved to be incorporated into other aspects of the construction.
Once the tiles are removed the damaged truss can be safely taken down and assessed.
Sadly, the bottom of the truss is beyond repair, but the rest just needs some TLC.
A new base is cut from fresh timber.
And the repaired truss is back in its home!
Next job is removing one of the internal walls to reveal this hidden truss.
Another wall is carefully removed to preserve as much of the original brick as possible.
A new truss is needed to support the roof where the second wall was removed. It starts to take shape using a combination of recovered and new timber.
The base is lifted into position.
Voila! One new truss!
With the trusses repaired and back in place work starts on the new roof.
A section of the roof is already completed and shows how faithful the craftsmen and women have been in restoring this beautiful building. Their will be a new bat box installed in the roof cavity to give them somewhere to spend the winter.
Still plenty to do though!
Work continues on the wider barns as well with more block work going up for the kitchens and access corridor in the large barn.
And that just about brings us up to date! There are about half a dozen on going projects at the moment so watch this space for another update soon.