The Old Barn
Not many barns can claim to be major community buildings but the old barn on Parsonage Lane certainly has been.
The barn was in Manorial ownership at one time, being in the grounds of The Old House. It is now a part of Barn Hill House.
Amongst things known about the barn and its uses we have that during renovations to the church in 1862, it was used for church services. Eleven years later, in 1873, the barn was fitted out as a smallpox hospital but was never used because the epidemic abated. The bodies of victims were not taken into the church, but the Vicar who visited the sick was amongst the victims.
It is sometimes known as ‘The Drill barn’ because the Home Guard met in the barn, which was also used for concerts and dances.
Our curator recalls a delightful guitar recital held in the barn – possibly about ten years ago.
We have just been given a copy of a photo of the barn taken in 1965.
The barn is still much the same today.
The speed derestriction sign is of interest for it is almost in the heart of the village. Nowadays, drivers passing that sign would have the turning to Bouverie Drive on the right and then the mini roundabout at the junction with both Grove Road and Canada Rise. It’s no place to go fast and, indeed, speed restrictions exist much further out now.
Also of note is the clear resurfaced trench along the road on the right. This would have been from the sewerage scheme in the late 1950s.