Tithe barn

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Former tithe barn in Jesberg (Germany)
Tithe Barn in Jesteburg (Germany)

A tithe barn was a type of barn used in much of northern Europe in the Middle Ages for storing tithes—one tenth of a farm's produce which was given to the Church. Tithe barns were usually associated with the village church or rectory and independent farmers took their tithes there. The village priests would not have to pay tithes—the purpose of the tithe being their support—and some had their own farms anyway, which are now village greens in some villages.

According to English Heritage, "exactly how barns in general were used in the Middle Ages is less well understood than might be expected, and the subject abounds with myths (for example, not one of England's surviving architecturally impressive barns was a tithe barn, although such barns existed)".[1]

There are nevertheless surviving examples of medieval barns in England, some of them bearing the title "tithe barn" even if the barn may not have really been a tithe barn according to the English Heritage criteria.[2]

One surviving example of a medieval tithe barn in Germany:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Research on Harmondsworth Barn". English Heritage. Retrieved 21 August 2013. 
  2. ^ Thus the Great Coxwell "Tithe Barn" was not really a tithe barn according to English Heritage.
  3. ^ Piper, Marolyn. "The Lost Village of Hillam Burchard". Retrieved 2008-07-21. 
  4. ^ http://www.cleevetithebarn.org.uk
  5. ^ "Dunster Tithe Barn". Retrieved 21 August 2013. 

External links[edit]