Saturday, 19 September 2009
A Kentish Barn
This beautiful hammerbeam roof in a barn in the grounds of Westenhanger Castle, near Hythe in Kent, has recently been restored. The barn was built around 1580, in the time of Elizabeth I, and its noble roof is worthy of a palace. The castle belongs to the Forge family, who acquired the barn in 2003 and have spent two-and-a-half years restoring it, with a grant from English Heritage. Both castle and barn are now open to the public. Such hammerbeam roofs are rare. They are among the glories of England, "utterly functional but of surpassing beauty" - just to stand beneath those ancient beams lifts the spirit and warms the heart.