Great Tythe Barn

Tythe Barn 2020

The Great Tythe Barn is a 13th-century Cotswold Stone barn now owned by the National Trust and freely open to the public. It is situated on the narrow road to the village of Great Coxwell down from the cross roads on Highworth Road near Badbury Hill. King John (1199-1216) endowed the Order of Cistercians with the manor at Great Coxwell and they built this barn towards the end of the 13th Century. In 2014, analysis of the wood used for the roof timbers showed that the barn was most likely under construction in 1292 or shortly thereafter. The barn was used to store the tithes received from peasant tenants who were obliged to render a tenth of their crop to the abbey. The pond, which is fed by a spring on the southern slope of Badbury Hill, was probably stocked with carp to provide protein for the monks and nuns of the order.

William Morris, the famous textile designer, poet and novelist, who lived near by, called the barn “as noble as a cathedral” and brought many of his guests to see it. 

Researched by Ian Lee, June 2020.