Dronfield's medieval Hall Barn was Made In Derbyshire and is being Remade In Derbyshire in an exciting restoration project

Hall Barn, Dronfield

It was originally Made in Derbyshire in 1429. Now it is being made again. Dronfield’s medieval Hall Barn will be opening towards the end of the year as the town’s hub for a programme of arts, heritage and natural history activities. It will also become an iconic venue for a wide range of events ranging from weddings to performance.

Builders are currently on the site restoring the original structure and adding a vibrant new extension sympathetic to the original timber fame building. Along with landscaped grounds and medieval garden it will make The Barn a unique venue for Derbyshire, and when the builders move out it will be visible in all its glory.

Food and drink will be served all day in the ground floor heritage suite and courtyards whilst the main medieval gallery room is designed for meetings, dining and special occasion functions. The historic grounds will also be available for larger events and festivals. Bookings are now being taken for events from November 2015 and all 2016. (See the website www.dronfieldhallbarn.org for more information and then call Mike on 07876 158364 to discuss details).

During building and restoration work The Barn’s Activities and Interpretation Manager Maria Smith will be co-ordinating a wide range of activities and events including talks and the development of the digital archiving, quilting and other projects. Dronfield Hall Barn is just one of a treasure trove of historic buildings in the town. Some lay hidden behind later walls and alterations, and some retain the same features that they had when they were built from the medieval period onwards.

But new research, which forms part of the Barn Project, is leading to a greater understanding of how our forbears lived and worked.

When The Barn Heritage Centre opens on High Street, not only will the building become a centre for many arts and crafts activity and events, it will also become the place to visit to get to know more about the heritage of the town. It will have images from an extensive historic and contemporary archive which look at details not normally available, including interiors of historic buildings now in private hands and not open to the public.

Dronfield’s vast history archive of more than 6,000 documents and pictures is being made available online, and the amazing collection, gathered over almost half a century by members of the Old Dronfield Society, contains many historic gems which chart the town’s history over countless generations.

All the work has been made possible by the dedication of volunteers and community groups. A substantial grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund has made it all achievable.

Activities and Interpretation manager Maria says: “There is a tremendous amount of work going on already including the Quilting Project, which is already demonstrating a unique approach to designing a quilt based around the town’s history. It involves adult group and schools and the use of the digital archive for inspiration.

“We are also planning the development of The Barn’s grounds for the benefit of the community at large and visitors to the site. Our programme will include training of local volunteers to develop and maintain the grounds, and working in partnership with local groups and societies.

For more information and volunteering opportunities email dronfieldheritagetrust@outlook.com or visit www.dronfieldhallbarn.org

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