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HALESOWEN ABBEY CHURCH

ALTERNATIVE NAME:  MANOR ABBEY FARM BARN
DESCRIPTION + /

The remains of the abbey church and cloister of Halesowen Abbey surviving as the principal barn associated with Manor Abbey Farm. The substantial barn defines the north side of the farmyard on an east/west axis, and has a roof of 17th century date. The barn walls are multi-phase, and incorporate the 13th century remains of the abbey church and cloister, as well as numerous phases of alteration and repair, principally dating from the mid-to-late 19th century. This complexity is visible in the different materials ranging from sandstone ashlar and exposed rubble core masonry of the abbey church, reused sandstone blocks, and a timber post and truss construction. There are also red brick walls dating to the 19th century. Internally the barn is partly floored to provide two storeys, principally at the eastern and western ends; centrally positioned are opposed cart doors. The barn has a long roof of gabled form covered in plain tiles, although the western end of the roof has collapsed.

Associated with the main barn are a pair of 19th century, brick-built, single-storey farm buildings abutting the main barn's south wall. The eastern range lies perpendicular to the main barn and lies approximately in the position of the east range of the medieval cloister, incorporating part of the in situ medieval wall of the south transept which survives to nearly full height. The east wall of the east range probably stands on the foundations of the other conventual buildings, including the west end of the chapter house. The western range does not appear to use any medieval fabric.

Tree-ring analysis undertaken on the main barn identified at least two separate felling dates for the timbers used in the roof construction. The earliest timbers are thought to have been felled in AD 1507, and several of these showed clear signs of reuse, indicating they may have been salvaged from an abbey building. Other timbers identified as primary to the barn were felled in AD 1672.

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