A traditional barn with plenty of character
The Barn has a spectacular exposed timber frame structure made elm wood, covered by a vast thatched roof. There are three large double opening doors and one main sliding door that leads out onto the surrounding fields and a farm courtyard. Three wrought iron chandeliers, hand crafted by our resident blacksmith hang along the centre of the barn with ten mounted candle holders each.
Ideally located between Wiltshire & Dorset
Bowerchalke Barn is part of a larger farm, set in the stunning countryside near Cranborne Chase, awarded the title of ‘area of outstanding natural beauty’. With rolling chalke down banks, a natural amphitheatre, far reaching views, woodlands and a hidden lake, you can escape from the busy bustle of the city and enjoy a peaceful escape to the country. The farm has been host to a huge array of events over the years, with good access and transport links and relatively close to London, it provides a unique setting.
Equipped with facilities to make your event perfect
The barn is surrounded by fields that can be used as camping and glamping space for your guests if you so choose. We also have our very own on-site ‘shepherd hut’ toilets as a much nicer alternative to ‘port-a-loos’. Inside the barn, you will find a barrel bar set up and we can also provide an array of lights and fairy lights as part of your chosen decorations. Our resident Michelin level chefs can also cook up a feast for your event, providing 5 star high quality food, no matter what your budget is.
A History of Bowerchalke Barn
The Barn was once part of the larger Cranbourne Chase estate in the 1600 AD and at one time the barn and the nearby pub The Bell Inn were the only significant structures for miles around. The Barn is now part of Knowle Farm, owned by the Mann family, which was bought by Capt Douglas Mann in 1970’s. It’s a working farm with around 600 sheep, 50 Dexter cows, 700 acres of arable land as well as woodland and chalke down banks to look after.
The barn was constructed in 1690, built from locally sourced Elm. It has eight bays with two threshing floors and is one of the largest of its kind in the county. Carts would access the floors via large double opening doors, two to the north and two to the south of the building. Farmers would thresh the grain harvest over winter, winnow it, then sacked it up to be stored in the adjacent thatch barn. Animal and steam powered threshing machines from the nineteenth century onward made threshing floors obsolete. Since then the barn has been used for housing livestock, storing hay and more recently machinery.
In 2008 major restoration work were done on the barn. Nearly all the thatch came off and many of the beams and purlins had to be replaced or repaired due to extensive water damage. Thankfully original thatch was found in the far west bay which helped secure a grant for the repair work. Now with a change of use and new purpose, the barn can be enjoyed by many and in isn’t original form for years to come.