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Pilton Barn

Pilton Barn

Structural Award Winner 2005

Location: Pilton, Somerset
Client/Owner: Michael Eavis
Architect: McCurdy
Main Contractor/Builder: McCurdy
Wood Species: Oak

On 9 June 1963 lightning set fire to the thatched roof and it remained a wreck until Michael Eavis, organiser of the Glastonbury Festival, bought it in 1995, and presented the barn to the Pilton Barn Trust.

The project was made possible with a grant of £400,000 from English Heritage. The Glastonbury festival contributed a further £100,000.

A new roof, replicating the original, using a combination of traditional carpentry techniques and modern technology, has been built, by Peter McCurdy using skills used when recreating the Globe theatre in London, from English oak which came from Northumberland. The roof frame consists of cruck construction which sit high in the walls with an arcade plate then carrying the apex of the roof above.

McCurdy was also assisted by a local team run by Jon Maine who designed and erected the complex scaffolding both internally and externally and then using 8000 36″ long oak hand split (riven) battens tiled the roof using over 30,000 hand made plain tiles.

In addition to the new roof a new floor was laid, including a 3 metres (10 ft) wide strip in Blue Lias Stone and 44 cubic meters of lime concrete used to fill the expanses either side. It is said to be the largest expanse of lime concrete flooring anywhere in Europe.

It was officially opened on Friday 1 April 2005 by local historian Sir John Keegan and is now used for public events such as medieval fairs and dances, as well as working as a real farm building for the rest of the time.