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Ely - The Sextry Barn

There used to be two Great Barns in Ely. The Sextry Barn was demolished This is an extract from a contemporary account shortly after its demolition:

“The Tithe-Barn at Ely, which it is my present purpose to describe, occupied the south side of a largo farm-yard, which joins the western side of St Mary's church-yard. This farm-yard is of an irregular figure, and there were other ancient buildings on the east and north sides, especially a gateway next to the road, which still remains.

These buildings had been, however, so changed and mutilated in the course of time, as to leave little worth recording, except the barn itself. This was commonly known by the name of the Sextry Ham (or Sacrist's Barn), because in the old time, the office of collecting the Tithes, for the reception of which this building was erected, belonged to the Sacrist of the monastery.

The structure had, however, from its great age, its originally rude construction, and the patchwork of its repairs, arrived at a state which made it so exceedingly difficult and expensive to keep it together, that the Dean and Chapter were compelled to order its demolition, which took place in October last.

As I happened to be on the spot. I took the opportunity to make the sketches and measurements which form the subject of the following pages. The sketches consist of a plan (fig. 11), a transverse section (fig. 4). a sufficient portion of the longitudinal section (fig. 10), an elevation of the eastern gable (fig. 1).”

Robert Willis (c1843) “On the Sextry Barn at Ely lately demolished"   Cambridge Antiquarian Society papers

Fig. 11 -plan

Fig. 10

Fig. 4