Beautiful venue in the Garden of England

This stunning project would be Norton Timber's most involved to date, often described as a cathedral of oak

In May of 2010 we were given the opportunity to tender on the build of a brand new tithe barn which was to be built to replace the marquee the client had been using to stage wedding receptions and functions in. The new building was to be nearly forty meters in length and at its widest point twenty meters in width.

Our involvement began very late in the tender stage and as a result we needed to have the full quote in order by the following Friday, a period of only seven and a half days. This Project would be the most involved to date, as Norton Timber was not only quoting to build the Oak frame but also a softwood/steel framed two story section, to house offices W/C and stores, plus all the insulation, cladding, roofing and joinery would come under our remit.


In the week composing the tender Mr Norton working with our engineer had to design a tithe barn frame building in design features the clients had stated they required, namely the removal of the isle divides and timber plates which are traditionally used to hold the barn base together; this was to enable guests to be able to walk around the posts of the main frame thus giving more usable floor space uninterrupted by the walled off bays.

Our tender was finished and delivered with just hours to spare. After we had shown the prospective clients around some of our finished projects we were awarded the contract.

In the following four months after securing the contract, we finalised the frame design, prepared the timbers ready for pre-assembly, designed the unique piled raft foundations and reinforced slab with a special plinth detail on which to securely fix the frame. This will take the place of the timbers removed so as to give access around the main frame posts. We are now underway with the frame fabrication in our workshop.

The overriding objective of this project is the date of completion; we are duty bound to hand this build over to the clients by April 2010, as there are already events booked to take place in what will be their stunning new venue.

It gives the whole team at Norton Timber enormous pride and pleasure to be able to show you our latest and most complex build to date. In total we worked six months on this build, three months in our framing yard assembling the frame and the three months on site. The reaction to the design we came up with to accommodate the original brief and planning drawings that were given to us, has been very well received. Without exception everyone that has been to see the Old Kent Barn’s new venue has been delighted, with descriptions like beautiful, outstanding and stunning being used.