Tyne and Wear HER(15905): Houghton-le-Spring, Rectory Park, tithe barn - Details
Houghton-le-Spring, Rectory Park, tithe barn
Agriculture and Subsistence
Once part the original Glebe Farm, shown on Bell's map of c.1820 and listed in Thurlow's Survey of 1792. A linear range in sandstone rubble. Lots of blocked openings of various sizes, some just below the eaves. A round-headed arched gateway with modern metal gates passes through the building. Known locally as the Tithe Barn. As yet no documentary records or plans have been found to prove that this particular building was a tithe barn (used to store the tithe, a tenth part of the annual produce of agriculture which was paid by the tenants of ecclesiastical lands). In 1948 the building immediately to the rear (north) of Clergy House (HER 7018) was occupied by the painter Newton Jealous. The building in question was then known as the stables. In the 1960s local historian Cyril Arthur Smith claimed that the tithe barn was on Dairy Lane. Local residents claim that the building in question contains ancient roof timbers which are covered over by cladding. The building was re-roofed in 2011. The building was recorded in 2014. Its dimensions were noted as 17m x 9.6m aligned north-south. Date uncertain but could be medieval in origin. There is some evidence to suggest it was constructed as a threshing barn and was for grain storage - supporting the idea that it is a tithe barn. Converted in the late 18th century for use as a stable. One of the earliest surviving structures on the Rectory site. The barn is entirely surrounded by tarmac parths with a stone wall dividing the park from the yard space to the rear of Clergy House.The interior of the building has been substantially altered with concrete floors, a modern breezeblock office and a modern mezzaine floor. The exterior elevations contain 20th century rolle doors and windows in the east and west facing elevations.the north gable has largely been rebuilt.
Paul Lanagan, Houghton-le-Spring Heritage Society, 2013, Houghton-le-Spring Rectory - A Walk Around the Grounds (www.houghtonlespring.org.uk); Northern Archaeological Associates Ltd. 2014, Rectory Park, Houghton-le-Spring, Archaeological Assessment and Building Recording; Thomas Bell, c.1820, Plan of Houghton, (DRO D/BO/G21/X)