Reinstating the Blue Plaque on Nailsea Tithe Barn

Nailsea Tithe Barn dates from 1480 and with Holy Trinity Church is part of Nailsea’s historic heart. A school for over 200 years, it is now fully restored to its medieval origins.

The first stage of this bold vision was brought to fruition in June 2011 when the Tithe Barn was officially opened to the delight and pride of the many people who had devoted time, energy and commitment to the project mainly, The Nailsea Tithe Barn Trust. The Nailsea Tithe Barn Trust was formed in 2006 and became a registered charity with the aim to: ‘save, repair, refurbish the Tithe Barn and to make it available for use by groups within the local community who are seeking to provide educational, social, spiritual and recreational services for the benefit of the residents of Nailsea’.

Having achieved the refurbishment in 2011, the Trust reformed to focus on the developing activities to promote the use of the barn, and it has established a partnership agreement and joint management committee with Nailsea Town Council, who legally own the Tithe Barn. The Town Council main offices are at the Tithe barn, and most council meetings are held there.

On June 28th between 5pm -8pm, we celebrated the local history of Nailsea with an event unveiling and reinstating the Blue Heritage Plaque at Nailsea Tithe Barn. This Blue Plaque commemorates Hannah More’s contribution in Nailsea in the eighteenth century.

The event welcomed key groups involved in history and heritage in the town, including Nailsea and District History Society, Nailsea Tithe Barn Trust and the Friends of the Tithe Barn. There was also a talk from a member of the Hannah More Trust, an academic charitable trust which encourages research and awareness of Hannah More as an author and abolitionist, both nationally and internationally.

The evening started with drinks and social time, an unveiling of the plaque at 6pm by Cllr James Tonkin, Vice Chair of Nailsea Town Council, followed by a short talk about Hannah More in the Tithe Hall by Dr Kerri Andrews and Dr Sue Edney. Kerri is an academic and writer and edited the most recent volume of work on Hannah More with Sue. Sue Edney is an academic at Bristol University. Further opportunities for drinks and discussion followed.

The Trustees of Nailsea Tithe Barn provided a bar service as a fundraiser for its social inclusion and heritage work, and David Sowdon (Chairman of the Nailsea and District Local History Society) gave a vote of thanks for the talk.

Dr Jo Edwards, Chair of the Nailsea Tithe Barn Trust said, ‘Nailsea Tithe Barn is a very important building in the medieval and modern history of Nailsea. Hannah More was a significant individual in eighteenth century Britain, and has special interest to those interested in the history of Nailsea and its development in the early industrial revolution. We were delighted to gather to celebrate the plaque being reinstated, and to welcome history and heritage groups as a part of this special event’.