Building record 0052209000 - TITHE BARN, LAKE END ROAD


Fifteenth to sixteenth century timber-framed tithe barn originally attached to Burnham Abbey, but converted to a house in 1922

Protected Status/Designation

  • Conservation Area
  • Listed Building (II) 1124474: THE TITHE BARN


Type and Period (1)

  • TITHE BARN (15th Century to 16th Century - 1400 AD to 1599 AD)


1649 Parliament Survey mentions 3 large barns. 1 survives, converted into a house, called 'The Tithe Barn' (B10).
Grade II. House, formerly barn thought to have been the great barn attached to Burnham Abbey. Probably early C16 and therefore possibly predating the Dissolution of Burnham Abbey in 1536. Some components may be earlier but appears to be one build, converted into a house in 1922. Five bay aisled barn with central waggon entrance aligned N-S.. Timber-framed; colourwashed cement infilling; old tile roof gabled but originally half-hipped. Approximately 30 ft x 80 ft. One storey and attic. Gable ends. West elevation with 3 modern dormers in roof. Ground floor with central gabled entrance altered to form a porch. Three 3-light casements on left hand side, 2 one-light and two 2-light casements on right hand side. All windows modern casements with diamond-shaped leaded lights. The cross frames employ normal assembly (a method of construction in which the plate is trapped between tiebeam and post) at the eaves of the aisles and at the level of the arcade plates. The gable cross frames include a mid-rail between the arcade posts and tie beams, in addition to the passing braces between the aisle wall posts and tie beams which pass across the face of the arcade posts. The arcade plates have side-halved scarf joints with four face pegs. The joint includes a bridle tenon with two side pegs to the upper halving only; the lower halving simply has a vertical butt joint. The barn is now gabled but originally had a half-hipped roof (an intermediate roof truss at each end of the roof supported the ends of the hip rafters and carried a small gablet). The roof is of clasped purlin type with diminished principal rafters and raking queen strut trusses. There are curved windbraces between the roof trusses and the purlins. The common rafters are pegged through to the purlins and halved together at the apex. The principal rafters are numbered from north to south according to the pattern of scribed carpenter's marks found on their inner faces. The purlins have bridle-tenon scarf joints with two side pegs. One aspect of the building which is of particular interest is the mixed use of oak and elm in the construction of the barn. Its use is clearly deliberate with elm having been used for all the heavier members of the timber frame- the arcade posts, plates and braces, tiebeams and principal rafters- with the oak reserved for the lighter members including the common rafters, passing braces and wall framing members. There is little evidence of the general use of elm in structural carpentry in England before the end of the C16 and the structural techniques suggest that this barn was built around the beginning of the C16. A Tree-ring analysis was carried out by English Heritage Ancient Monuments Laboratory in 1997 but only a few oak samples could be obtained with short ring sequences and at present it is not possible to cross match with the chronologies for this part of England.
[VCH Bucks. Vol III 1925 pp168-170. RCHME Bucks. Vol I 1912.pp72-75. Pevsner Bucks. 1994 p206. English Heritage Ancient Monuments Laboratory Report 76/97.] (B23).
In 1997, tree ring samples were taken by the Ancient Monuments Laboratory from ten oak timbers in the roof. The samples revealed three short chronologies which did not match any of the relevant reference chronologies and are therefore undated (B37).
A watching brief carried out by ArcServ between March and June 2014 during groundworks for a new garage and access drive recorded frequent fragments of peg-hole roof tile and brick in the subsoil, probably from earlier rebuilding and alterations to the barn (B38).

Sources (4)

  • <10>SBC14573 Bibliographic reference: Sister Jane Mary. 1975. THE SITE OF BURNHAM ABBEY.
  • <37>SBC20133 Bibliographic reference: R Howard, R Laxton and C Litton. 1997. Tree-ring analysis of timbers from the Tithe Barn, Lake End Road, Taplow.
  • <38>SBC24591 Unpublished document: ArcServ. 2014. Tithe Barn, Lake End Road, Burnham: Report of a Watching Brief.


Grid reference SU 92960 80250 (point)
Civil Parish BURNHAM, South Bucks, Buckinghamshire

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (1)

  • Event - Intervention: Watching brief (Ref: 962) (EBC17714)

Record last edited

Oct 17 2023 3:10PM

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