The best kept secret
We think the West Barn is one of the best kept secrets of the Long Barn.
We are convinced that this grade 2 listed barn was one of the main reasons that Town End Farm was on the market for such a long time. As you can see from the photos, it was pretty much derelict full of rubbish with buddleia bushes growing out of the walls. The roof was partly off and it was full of roosting feral pigeons. In fact, it was one of the few parts of the site we didn’t fully explore as it wasn’t safe to walk into past the threshold.
After we’d moved in, and were waiting for planning permissions to be agreed, we’d look out over the farmyard towards the West Barn and wonder what we’d done. The hole in the roof got progressively larger; every time a pigeon took off, another roof tile would spiral down into the barn!
When the time came to begin the renovations, it was a really big day! Before the renovations could begin the floor had to be dug out; Ian and Mike filled 5 big skips with soil and rubble in just one day. Then once the new sub floor was poured which helped to support the walls the whole building was scaffolded, inside and out. The tiles were then taken off, the roof beams repaired or replaced, then the weight of the roof was supported by 4 huge beams. The front wall was dismantled and rebuilt, the tiles then went back on and then the new doors and windows fitted, finally the underfloor heating was put in and the oak floor was laid. Simple!
An epic job, but the finished barn is gorgeous. And unrecognisable from the derelict space we first looked round. It’s full of character from the original stone walls to the restored oak beams to the wicker chicken sculptures made by a local artist Angela.
The West Barn is designed so that it can be used for all sorts of activities. Most of the time, it’s set up for guests to use as their exclusive social space. With table tennis, table football, giant bean bags and a projector for a Sony PS4, it’s the perfect space to spread out in. There is a cosy hideaway on the mezzanine floor with comfy John Lewis sofas and throws to snuggle down with a good book. We’ve also set it up for guests with tables for a family birthday buffet so that they could use every inch of space. Some extra family members stayed in the Moors Inn and were able to hide upstairs on the mezzanine to surprise the birthday girl!
The entire space is toasty and warm; the wooden floor has underfloor heating, powered by our biomass. So it’s perfect for yoga classes; we’ve arranged sessions just for guests with a local teacher, And we’ve even had a yoga retreat here, run by the wonderful Wellness Space. Fingers crossed we will see them back here later this year for another retreat.
We’ve also hosted a number of corporate away days in the barn; we built in storage space so that the games can be cleared away and the whole space set up as a meeting room. With natural light flooding in, and the beautiful North York Moors outside, it’s a great space to getaway to for some strategic thinking!
For the future, we are also looking into what else could be hosted in the space; we have a number of artists locally who would be happy to come and run an exclusive course for guests from art classes to a chocolate making course.
We think the West Barn really is so much more than a games room!