The building is in the oldest part of Nailsea. Alongside Holy Trinity Church, the Barn dates from the 1480s when it was used to collect and store tithes – a 10% tax on produce from the local farmers.
In 1789 the evangelist and social reformer Hannah More persuaded the Church to open a school – which was located in the Barn. For the last 200 years the building has been used as a school – through Victorian times to twentieth century wars and the arrival of evacuees from London.
It fell into disrepair in the 199os and was due to be demolished. A vigorous campaign by local people raised the funding (with massive support from the Heritage Lottery Fund) to save and restore the barn. Nailsea Town Council literally sold the roof over its head to close the funding gap – and has invested significant time and resources to support the Tithe Barn Trustees in the restoration.
The Tithe Barn, home of schooling for over 200 years, is a wonderful resource for learning about the past. Curriculum linked resources and activities are available across all key stages.