20 November 2014

Headstone Tithe Barn

Headstone is a moated manor house, built circa 1310, that was once the home of the Archbishop of Canterbury, surrendered to Henry VIII in 1546. It is the earliest remaining timber-framed building in Middlesex, and surrounded by the only surviving water-filled moat in the county.

Yet it is not the manor that dominates the site. The nearby tithe barn is 140 feet long and 29 feet high, and entirely framed in oak. Grade II* listed, the barn dates back to 1506. Although called a tithe barn, the building was not actually used to store the Church's decimation of farm produce.

Harrow Council restored the barn in the 1970s, but unsympathetic lighting and heating vents, and inappropriate modern materials, rather spoil the grand interior. The exterior, though, is glorious; and it is hoped that a lottery grant will help fund a new restoration that will put right the mistakes of the past.