The Tithe Barn in Landbeach is one of the oldest structures of its type in Cambridgeshire, dating back to the mid 1400’s. The building is full of history and this is evidenced by the array of building methods and salvaged/natural materials used throughout its life cycle. Prior to commencement on site a survey determined that the building had approximately five years of life left, due to the main structural components of the barn weakening, so it was in an urgent need of a new lease of life.
In order for the barn to regain its structural integrity, extensive yet sympathetic carpentry repairs and brickwork repairs were undertaken. At the initial stage of the project, once access was in place the roof structure was closely inspected and the extent of timber repairs were determined with the project engineer.
All rafter repairs were carefully carried out by highly skilled traditional carpenters. Existing rafters with rot were spliced (preserving the old and attaching new sections of timber to match). Sections of structural purlins, ridge supports and large sections of wall plates were replaced to recreate the structural bearing to support the building. The facade of the building was repaired by replacing localised sections of weatherboarding and general easing/repairs of the doors and window, including repairs to be corroded ironmongery.
Due to subsidence and natural movement of the building the lower level brickwork was affected and the external elevations subsequently buckled, so to improve the support he North and East elevation brickwork has been re built to recreate more suitable foundations to support the imposed loads.
Finally, the existing long straw thatch was removed, areas of the fleaking layer has been preserved and is visible inside the barn, thus meaning that the heritage can be observed by future generations. On top, the barn has been completely re-thatched in a reed material, which will provide the roof with a longer life expectancy.