As you might have guessed from the name, The Tudor Barn, Burnham, is pretty old. Actually, it’s very old. So we thought it would be a good idea to have a short history lesson on this magnificent building. Now pay attention at the back, and no chewing in class or you’ll see me after school.
With timber beams dating back to 1505, the original barn buildings started life as part of a working farm. It was owned by the Bayley family, and was passed from generation to generation. Then, in 1920 it became a convent, known as ‘The House of Prayer’. The number of nuns in the order slowly declined over time and in 1991 the few remaining moved to smaller premises in Edgware. (You can still visit the nun graveyard beyond the wooded area behind the car park.)
The year before, in 1990, bridge enthusiast Laurie Champniss was looking for suitable premises to convert into a full time Bridge Centre. He received details of a property known as “The House of Prayer”. The possibilities became clear as soon as he entered the barn and soon the buildings had been extensively renovated to high modern standards. The Bridge Club is now located in the original barn, and the derelict building adjoining the barn was rebuilt in similar style; it’s now known as the Garden Room and is where we hold our Civil Ceremonies.
Painstaking care and attention was put into the restoration in order to maintain as much of the original character as possible, but with modern standards of comfort, convenience and ease of access. Indeed, it resulted in a conservation award from the Burnham Society.
And that brings us up to today. Isn’t it lovely to think that a venue steeped in so much rich history is also the place where so many futures begin together?
That’s the lesson over. See you in maths…
The Tudor Barn Team