Barn at Great Trerhew Farm....
Please note that the barn is on private land on a working farm and is not available for public viewing except at designated times.
The barn at Great Tre-Rhew Farm, Llantilio Crossenny is listed Grade 2* and is possibly the last barn of this quality remaining in agricultural use in the county, if not in south Wales. The barn dates from the late 16th century and was probably originally wholly timber framed. It seems to have been extended in the late 17th century and now has eight bays with two kingpost trusses, gabled additions with cider mill and press, cattle stalls, stable and haylofts with stone chaff bin. The barn is constructed of rubble stone walling with a slate roof. It has a stone-flagged threshing floor and a lofted cowhouse. The entrance to the cider house is built into the step wall on the ground floor. It has a four-light diamond mullion window and still contains the large mill stone with wooden drive shaft and its cider press. Adjoining to the north is a yard enclosed by cattle pens with pent roofs supported by rounded stone pillars and a couple of smaller barns (also listed). The farm buildings are sited alongside a house with medieval foundations.
This badly eroded date stone - now sadly completely worn away - shows the date 1696 and probably commemorates the building of the gables and perhaps other extensions.
The initials J M P are those of John Price and his wife Mary, who owned the farm from about 1675, when John acquired the estate from his mother-in-law (also a member of the Price family), to John's death in 1707.
As the pictures below show, although it was still in use, by 2005 the barn had fallen into a dilapidated state, with many missing or loose tiles and serious structural problems with the gable ends. Unless repairs could be undertaken urgently it was quite likely that the barn could soon begin to fall into ruin.
Great Tre-Rhew Barn Preservation
A contract was awarded to Thorteck Ltd to undertake, as a first phase, emergency repairs to three of the gables. Work started on 12 February 2007 and finished on 31 March.
The on-site pre-contract group meeting:
Anne and Trevor Beavan (owners)
Patti Griffiths (Village Alive)
Stefan Horowskyj (architect)
Steve Burchell (Thorteck)
Demolition of two of the gables was soon well under way . . .
. . quickly followed by their rebuilding . . .
. . . and completion.
Following the emergency repairs to rebuild gable ends and support part of the roof, the Trust negotiated a 25-year lease and a licence to use for agricultural purposes to safeguard the structure and community access to the barn. The Architectural Heritage Fund supported an Options Appraisal which formed the basis of bids for further funding.
The project received funding through the Rural Development Plan for Wales 2007-2013, funded by the Welsh Assembly Government and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, grants from Cadw, Monmouthshire County Council and private donations. This funding enabled complete conservation of the barn and re-instatement of the threshing doors and gable-end doors together with conservation of the integral Cider House creating a room from the tollet floor above for use by visiting groups.
The conserved barn was 'opened' in September 2009 with events featuring maypole dancing by local children (part of a three-year programme by the Trust to re-introduce maypole dancing into the primary school) and a Harvest Home, featured in the Abergavenny Food Festival Fringe programme, to showcase local food and Perry.
The Trust commissioned a DVD about the conservation project and will show this in part of the barn, with interpretation, as part of its educational programme for visiting groups. The barn was the setting for the first and second Monmouthshire Pear and Perry Festival, sponsored by the Welsh Assembly Government, held in 2010 and 2011, in partnership with the Welsh Perry and Cider Society and adventa Monmouthshire's Leader Plus programme.
A ‘Land and Legends Trail’ sponsored by Monmouthshire Leader Plus programme gives visitors the choice of two circular walks taking in the farm, mill site and nearby White Castle (in the care of Cadw).
This project has received funding through the Rural Development Plan for Wales 2007-2013 which is funded by the Welsh Government and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.
Cyllidwyd y prosiect hwn drwy Gynllun Datblygu Gwledig Cymru 2007-2013 a ariennir gan Lywodraeth Cymru a’r Gronfa Amaethyddol Ewrop ar gyfer Datblygu Gwledig.