New hope for an old barn?

Langley Farm, situated on the outskirts of Harefield, a village on the extreme north-west rim of Greater London, is for the most part a complex of 19th century buildings, now abandoned to the elements and the brick robbers.

It’s one of a number of farms dotted around the area, mostly livery stables, kennels and scrap yards, with a couple of dairy farms thrown in; this may be Greater London, but the area retains a rural aspect not seen in the rest of Middlesex since the westward march of suburbia in the early 20th century.

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That rural heritage is exemplified by Langley Farm’s oldest building – a 16th century barn in a desperate and dangerous state of dilapidation, earning it a place in the English Heritage ‘Heritage at Risk Register‘.

Here’s the entry:

“The C16 barn is three bay timber-framed and weatherboarded with a tiled roof. It has lost parts of the brick plinth to the north-east elevation. The front area adjacent to the barn appears to have been subject to fly tipping. Applications for redevelopment of adjacent farm buildings refused.”

There’s no mention of the severe fire damage, which was present when I first stumbled upon the barn a couple of years ago, so the entry must predate the terrible fire that almost consumed it. And so as applications to redevelop the barn have been refused, so the beautiful old building has disintegrated.

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But perhaps that’s about to change; the other week the barn was fenced off and someone has attempted to brace the wall with new timbers. How they intend to go about rescuing the barn is unclear – but good luck to them, whatever they do.

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