The Tithe Barn is a late 16th or early 17th century Grade II Listed Building. All the main posts, tie beams, collars and principal rafters are original; the rest of the studwork has been replaced with reclaimed timbers, some being remnants of the original studs.
Mike McConnell, a Historic Buildings Consultant, said in a report dated November 2004:
"The barn itself is exceptional. It has eight bays with two threshing bays, which is not unique, but neither is it common. The survival of the thatched roof, and the excellent state of repair, are in stark contrast with most other barns in Suffolk. It is very unusual to find a barn with all these qualities .... Very few Suffolk barns in regular use survive with the historic character and appearance as unchanged as the Tithe Barn; it is a credit to its present custodians".
Our Tithe Barn was given to the Parish Council in 1978. It was judged to be in need of extensive repair. For example, daylight streamed in from all the walls onto the dirt floor. Over the years the Parish Council, with the help of various grants and the hard work of the community, has put in a floor, renewed all the cladding, renewed the thatch, concreted the yard, converted a store into a block of toilets and added some background heating.
In 2005 the Parish Council was awarded £50,000 of Big Lottery money and a Suffolk Environmental Trust (SET) grant of £20,000. These funds were used to convert the east store into a kitchen and small meeting room (called the Barley Room). These new facilities, opened in September 2006, have enabled the Parish Council to implement new community services such as Senior Citizens' Lunches and Computer Courses, and to attract more income from lettings. Between 2007 & 2009 the Parish Council obtained grants of over £120,000 to insulate the Tithe Barn.
The Tithe Barn is currently used for village indoor sports activities, concerts, art shows, public meetings and community events such as Barn Dances and Christmas carol singing, and for private functions such as wedding receptions. The Barn has a Public Entertainments licence which authorises 300 seated, or 300 dancing, or 150 mixed seating and dancing, or 120 seated at tables. The Barley Room is available for smaller gatherings. For hiring arrangements, refer to the Parish Clerk (Kirsty Webber) at SproughtonPC@gmail.com
The Tithe Barn Warden's primary task is to assist hirers of the barn. The current Tithe Barn warden is David Barnes.
Grants were obtained to convert the Tithe Barn's former tractor store into the Sproughton Community Shop. The work was completed and the shop opened for business on 25th March 2010. Money was also obtained for the re-surfacing of the barn's courtyard with tegulas (paving bricks). The work commenced on 2nd November 2010 and is now complete and open for business. The shop is normally open from 09:00-16:00 each weekday, from 09:30-12:00 on Saturdays and from 10:00-13:00 on Sundays. On Bank Holidays the shop is normally open from 10:00-13:00, but is closed on Christmas Day and Easter Day.
Hire of the Tithe Barn
To hire the Tithe Barn &/or the smaller Barley Room and to find out availability please contact Kirsty Webber the Parish Clerk via email SproughtonPC@gmail.com (NB Those living within the Parish of Sproughton may receive a discount on normal hire prices)