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What's Happening to the Barn at the Brewers Arms in Neston?

Published: 16th January 2013 14:04

An AboutMyArea reader has written to ask about progress on this landmark in Neston town centre.

The 500 year old barn at The Brewers Arms in NestonLocal historian, Ian Norris, wrote: "Does anyone know what is happening at the old 'barn' alongside the Brewer's Arms in Neston? This is one of the oldest structures in Neston, yet its roof was removed months ago and it now lies open to the elements. Whilst scaffolding and protective sheeting was erected around the building, no work appears to be in progress and the old roof beams are exposed and, no doubt, are deteriorating. So what's going on?"

AboutMyArea Neston has spoken with Paul Smith, landlord of the Brewers Arms, who explains what's happening:

"On Ladies Club Day last year a delivery wagon, finding the roads closed in the town centre, attempted to turn around in our car park.  The vehicle collided with the barn, causing considerable structural damage.

"We are looking to convert the barn, which dates back to the 1500s (the site is mentioned in the Domesday Book), into a stand-alone restaurant.  We think this is something Neston could really benefit from.

"On the advice of one of the local council departments we consulted with, we started work to repair the barn, but there were some subsequent issues raised by another department in the council which forced us to stop.  That's now been sorted out and work will restart as early as next week.

"We will be retaining as many original features as possible, including the beams which came from ships that had broken up at Parkgate. The windows to the side of the barn, facing Raby Road, will be reinstated as well.

"The currently exposed beams have been in place for 500 years, they will survive a few weeks of wet weather, so don't worry!"

Paul has promised to keep AboutMyArea posted as work continues, and we look forward to seeing the fully restored building in the near future.

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Susan C
At 15:15 on 17th January 2013, Susan C commented:
The barn has been reliably dated to 17th century- who on earth suggested it was 500 years old and mentioned in Domesday?!
And i'd love to see evidence for the ships' timbers in the roof story- a real ol chestnut. I think local historians should be consulted on this one.
How did the lorry damage the front of the barn, which appears to be leaning out at the top?
Let's hope that the CWAC Conservation people have now got their act together to supervise work on this important listed building.
At 13:18 on 20th January 2013, collierman commented:
It's good to hear that there are positive plans for this old structure so I look forward to seeing some work on the roof commencing in the very near future. Susan C (comment above) is absolutely correct - the 'site' isn't mentioned in Domesday Book when (in 1086) Great Neston had only 8 households. The barn is, clearly, not 16th century in age and I have never seen any evidence or suggestion that the roof timbers originated from ships. However, if anyone has real evidence to the contrary...... Unfortunately, all local history has a tendency to become diluted and contaminated by misunderstandings and concocted stories of dubious origin - and it's certainly unwise to rely on 'information' posted on many internet sites.

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