On Monday, 27 August our latest exhibit, the barn and stable building from May Day Farm in Kent, was formally opened to the public.
Originally built in the late 18th to early 19th centuries, this is a three bay threshing barn with rear lean-tos and its accompanying stable. These buildings now form part of a 19th century farmstead exhibit at the Museum.
The buildings formed part of a tenanted farm on the Summerhill Estate, south of Tonbridge. The buildings came to the Museum as the were in the path of a road widening scheme, on the Tonbridge-Pembury section of the A21 in Kent.
In January 2015, the Museum embarked on the dismantling of the barn and stable. The dismantling and re-erection project was funded by Highways England, and overseen by Balfour Beatty.
After careful dismantling, the timbers were conserved and stored at the Museum, before re-erection in early 2018. Visitors in 2018 will have seen the frame raised early in the year, then cladding of the building with weatherboarding and tiling of the buildings, with a Museum blacksmith making latches missing for the stable doors.
The images below chart the progress of the project.