The Barns

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The Barns around the Attimore Hall are Grade II listed buildings and are currently used for many activities:

Digswell Art Trust. Restored in 1975 by the New Towns Commission for local artist.

Scouts Hall    A meeting place for the 11th Welwyn Garden City Scouts.

Scouts Shop  The barn next to the road, Ridgeway, sells scouting paraphernalia.


Digswell Art Trust.

Report by Bruce Piggott: The Administrator, George Woodcraft, gave me a fascinating tour of this converted barn. The original roof beams are still preserved and give this venue great character. The old cow pens are gone and replaced with individual sections for each artist. Wall dividers of modern plywood contrast with rustic patterns of ancient beams. Each partition reaching upwards 35 feet to the roof which although giving a feeling of space makes winter heating almost impossible. All kinds of creations are on view in various stages of completion.

There is an old style printing press at the north end of the barn. Still active and producing good copy.

The structure of the original roof dominates and gives great presence to this view. A perfect setting for this old press.


This is a view of a raised area set close to the roof reached by a flight of wooden stairs. The roof construction can be clearly seen.

George Woodcraft is seen here holding some pictures of the Barn before it was converted to a studio. Below is a one of these pictures showing the original staircase. Notice the pens for the cows which were held here in pairs.

The largest of the barns on the farmyard and in the surrounding area.

Built to house 60 cows in two rows of 30 penned in 15 pairs.

This view shows the original layout of the Cow Barn as it was being restored  by the New Towns Commission 1975. Notice the two gullies running the full length of the barn. This is where what cows do when they are being milked is flushed away to the far end and disposed of! Eric Sherriff, the last farmer at the Atti', explained that the a barn of this size was very unusual and the height was very important for hygiene. You can just see steel rods running from left to right that held the walls together.

For hundreds of years before the building of the new town of Welwyn Garden City, this was one of the largest buildings around and was probably the famous 'Grubs Barn' which gave its name to local cottages.

The Old Dairy: This room, which was the old dairy jutting out from the north end of the large cow barn, had a curious beam straddling its width. Each end of the beam was supported by re-enforced brick work and a further beam supported at its centre went back to the far wall. Why such a strong support in such a small room? A phone call to Eric Sherriff, the last farmer solved the mystery. It supported a 1000 gallon water tank that feed the milk coolers, itself fed from water pumped from the 100 foot well at the back of the Attimore Hall farm house by a donkey engine. The tank, made from galvanised steel, was so large that the dairy was built around it. It corroded so badly during Eric Sherriff's time that is was removed piece by piece.

The room is now used by a potter.


This is an old map modified to show the location of the various farm buildings including the above barn.

For further information about the work going on at this converted barn, contact the Digswell Arts Trust: