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Bishop's tithe barn

List Entry Summary

This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Bishop's tithe barn

List entry Number: 1003247


The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Somerset

District: Mendip

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Wells

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 12-Feb-1925

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System: RSM - OCN

UID: SO 24

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

Tithe barn known as the Bishop’s Barn, 45m north west of Islington Farm, Wells.

Reasons for Designation

The church in medieval Britain was of vital importance in all parts of life, not just deaths, baptisms and marriages. Church services were the framework of everyday existence and the strict calendar of festivals, Saint’s Days and events laid out by church authority were pivotal. Not only were charges levied for all services provided by the church, but peasants and farmers were expected to provide labour for free and one tenth of their yearly produce to the church as a form of tax called a tithe. Failure to pay tithes was likely to result in eternity spent in Hell undergoing torment, a fate regularly re-iterated during services to ensure parishioners fully complied. The tithe normally took the form of a tenth of the harvested grain which had to be stored in specially constructed barns known as tithe barns which could be extremely grand buildings exhibiting the best aspects of local building methods and materials. The tithe barn known as the Bishop’s Barn, 45m north west of Islington Farm, Wells survives well, is roofed and stands to full height retaining many original features.


See Details.


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 16 July 2015. This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

This monument includes a tithe barn situated to the south west of the Cathedral and Bishop’s Palace in Wells. The tithe barn survives as a roofed basically rectangular plan building standing to full height. The single storey structure has thirteen bays with the central threshing bay being wider and having a projecting gabled porch on both long sides. The long sides have numerous buttresses along with central buttresses on each gable end. Each bay has a slit window with similar windows set high up on the gables and a single square window with tracery over the central buttress in the east end. The porches have rounded arched doorways and further vents. The roofing timbers include double collared trusses with tie beams, curved wind braces, tie beams and purlins and are topped by a slated roof. The south end of the building is divided off by a small partition wall.

The tithe barn is Listed Grade I.

Selected Sources

PastScape Monument No:-196974 and 528575

National Grid Reference: ST 55090 45532


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This copy shows the entry on 21-Jan-2018 at 06:31:47.

End of official listing