The snow has been falling and the hills around Chalk are brushed with white. So we thought it would be a good time to look back at the history of our home and reflect on how far we have come to the incredible events venue that we have today….

 The barn as it stands rose from the shell of an old steel-frame and concrete shed that was built in 1962, on the site of an old thatched barn that dated back to the time of Rachel and Joe’s great-grandfather. Built at a cost of 2,137 pounds, 13 shillings and ten pence (as well as a £712 grant from the ministry of agriculture) the shed and yard wall were known as Sergeant’s Barn, and generally housed cattle and other livestock. Homemade timber troughs were added in 1966 and a concrete roadway was built in 1967.

Sergeant’s barn was an important asset for the farm during its conversion to an organic farm (one of the first in the UK to do so), which began in 1970. Later, the barn was used mostly for storing farm machinery, and occasionally the odd Wookey child caught riding horses in the heavy rain!

These days the barn is a far more comfortable place, though no less inviting to the wet and weary and so we have been busy warming that welcome this week. We have advanced several local business partnerships that we’ll use for our retreat packages, and we’ve been working feverishly on the new seasonal menus for our private dining guests. We’ve also installed a new handmade wooden dining table for up to 18 people in the mezzanine room. With its rich carpets, soft lights and cosy fireplace, there are few better places to spend a winter evening. Let it snow!

Woodburner at Casterley Barn

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