St Joan of Arc Catholic School pupils help restore 600-year-old Croxley barn

12:40pm Wednesday 9th July 2014

By Kathryn Snowdon

A 600-year-old barn in Croxley Green has been repaired and restored due to the efforts of 40 conservationists and heritage enthusiasts.

The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) Working Party group worked tirelessly last week to repair Croxley Green Barn, in All Saints Road, putting their £4,100 Heritage Lottery Fund grant to good use.

On Thursday, more than 100 pupils from St Joan of Arc Catholic School, in High Street, Rickmansworth, lent a helping hand to the restoration efforts.

The Year 7 and Year 8 students took part in workshops including peg making, brick laying and willow weaving.

Peter Sweeney, headteacher of the secondary school, said: "The day was fantastic. A lot of pupils had the opportunity to go up there and experience the history of the barn.

Watford Observer:

St Joan of Arc Catholic School pupils doing stonework for the barn.

"One of our history teachers organised it and she said the pupils are still talking about it now. The barn is one of those hidden gems that’s in Three Rivers.

"It’s a wonderful piece of architecture and the students were just stunned by its size and significance."

The medieval monastic barn, which was built circa 1374AD, is one of the largest of its type in Hertfordshire, standing at approximately 31 metres in length and 12 metres wide.

Repairs to the structure were initially undertaken in the mid 1970s.

The SPAB Working Party has been integral in restoring the derelict barn, securing the Sharing Heritage grant and coordinating the volunteers.

Jonny Garlick, SPAB technical advisor and leader of the working party, said the group were thrilled to be awarded the grant to restore the barn.

He added: "The grant has given us the opportunity to open the site up to the community and to offer a range of hands-on activities run by some of the best craftspeople in the country.

"We are excited to be sharing our philosophy of conservative repair in such a fun and relaxed way."

Watford Observer:

The inside of the barn before restoration.

Robyn Llewellyn, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund East of England, said: "Sharing Heritage is a wonderful opportunity for communities to delve into their local heritage and we are delighted to be able to offer this grant so that the SPAB Working Party can embark on a real journey of discovery.

"Heritage means such different things to different people, and HLF’s funding offers a wealth of opportunities for groups to explore and celebrate what’s important to them in their area."

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