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Church Tree Barn – A house with a unique history

Friday, 31 January 2020

A house with a unique history

Kinwalsey Lane, located within the Forest of Arden, North Warwickshire, West Midlands, around 90 miles north west from the centre of London, 6 miles from the centre of Coventry, 12 miles east from the centre of Birmingham and 24 miles south west from the centre of Leicester.

Church Tree Barn, Kinwalsey Lane, Meriden, is an impressive period barn conversion set within a rural location and occupying a generous size plot, enjoying far reaching countryside views.

The property is situated in open countryside approximately two miles north of Meriden off a single-track road known as Kinwalsey Lane. The property is accessed from the Meriden to Fillongley Road.  The village of Meriden has the benefit of public houses, shops, a school and other amenity, with excellent access to the motorway routes of the midlands.

The Naming of Church Tree Barn

The house is named Church Tree Barn and the history behind the name is quite interesting. There is a plaque on one of the trees stating that the tree had been blessed as a Church by John Wesley, Methodist preacher. It is believed that the English cleric, theologian and evangelist during the 1700s was a leader of a revival movement within the Church of England known as Methodism. It follows that the societies he founded became the dominant form of the independent Methodist movement that continues to this day. One such society was based on the land around Meriden. Legend states that when John Wesley visited the village, he called the farm workers off the fields and blessed the tree as a church as they weren’t being given time off to go to Church on a Sunday.

To this day the tree has a church service held at the tree outside on the 2nd Sunday in June every year to celebrate his life and the memory of the workers on the fields.

Methodism in Meriden

“Methodism in Meriden”, a booklet compiled in 1984 by Michael Harris, a local preacher in the Coventry Circuit, and Albert Peck, the Circuit Archivist, at the time of the centenary of Meriden Methodist Church, states that:

‘There is no doubt that among the travellers who passed through this village was the founder of Methodism. John Wesley had visited Coventry on July 21st/22nd 1779, though on that occasion he had arrived in the town from the north, having preached at Hinckley and Foleshill. It is from that date that we may claim the establishment of Wesleyan Methodism in Coventry and its surrounding area. Three years later, however, on July 15th 1782, Wesley travelled from Birmingham to Coventry, stopping on the way to preach in various hamlets. It is not stretching the bounds of historical credulity too far to assume that he may well have preached in the vicinity of Meriden.’

Domesday Book Connections

The land opposite the barn also has the remains of the old foundations of a coaching house called The Squirrels Nest which is mentioned in the Domesday Book. According to local legend, the cattle were walked in droves from London to go to the Bullring in Birmingham. The senior men stayed in the Village of Meriden at the Bulls Head and the herdsmen stayed in The Squirrels Nest with the cattle in the fields outside. They would then carry on to Birmingham to sell the cattle at the market. 

The walks around the barn are also on the Warwickshire Way walking maps and there are some stunning walks around the woods and fields. The meadow to the rear of the barn has beautiful views out across the open countryside and provides a vista for stunning sunsets.

For further information about this property or to arrange a viewing of Church Tree Barn, please contact our Atherstone office on 01827 718021.

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