Building of the Month June 2020: Bentley Hall Barn, Suffolk - FOR SALE

Grade II* listed Bentley Hall Barn is a beautiful 16th century structure, thought to date from 1580-82.  It is considered to be among the largest and most impressive timber-framed Elizabethan structures in Britain, extending to over 54 metres in length by 7.5 metres in width (see the entry in the Suffolk Heritage Explorer site here). 

It is for sale for £250,000 through Grier and Partners.  Click here for a link to their site.

The barn is timber-framed with brick-nogged side walls.  The surviving painting of the brick nogging is judged to be "exceptionally rare" and is another reason for it being singled out as a highly significant building. Intriguingly, the southern end of the building contained a first-floor chamber lit by four windows with internally sliding shutters of which two retain original ‘diamond’ mullions.  It is thought that this could have been a location for manorial courts, harvest celebrations and other entertainments.  The barn is a fine example of agricultural construction and usage in the 16th century. 

Standing in a lovely rural location, the barn is in need of extensive and sensitive repairs.  Possible reuses would need to be considered extremely carefully and be what Historic England describe as "low key" in their write up of the building on their Heritage at Risk register.   They also report that the building is in poor condition and that they are in discussion with a building preservation trust, but this has been something talked about for a number of years so it is not clear what level of discussions are taking place.  An Urgent Works Notice has previously been served and repairs implemented.  A detailed and costed schedule of repairs has been prepared in anticipation of the possible service of a Repairs Notice.