Lains Barn is a beautifully restored, listed barn set near the charming market town of Wantage, Oxfordshire. The timber-framed space, which dates back to 1750, features a stunning main barn, festoon light-lined gallery, custom-built bar, beautiful tiled floor and large, wooden doors which open onto a lawned courtyard – ideal for outdoor celebrations and ceremonies.
The main barn and gallery can hold up to 180 people. The space comes complete with a glazed and heated byre, kitchen, toilets, lighting, heating, bar and plentiful electric sockets. Wheelchair access and disabled parking are available and specially designed disabled toilets, with baby changing facilities too. There is plenty of car parking and nearby accommodation.
Weddings & Events
As versatile as it is magical, the barn has been used for a wide range of events – from the simple to the opulent – including wedding ceremonies and receptions, May balls, family parties, barbecues and banquets, dinner dances, company dinners, opera performances, barn dances, ceilidhs, and more. In 1997, Lains Barn became an approved venue for civil marriage ceremonies in Wantage, Oxfordshire. When you hire Lains Barn, you will have exclusive use of the whole barn, gallery and large lawned courtyard.
Food & Drink
The food at Lains Barn is provided by Barton House Events’ team of talented chefs. Choose from our customisable menus, featuring modern and traditional dishes from around the globe, either served on sharing boards or plated in a fine dining manner. We work with Arkell’s Brewery and the Oxford Wine Company to provide a superb range of drinks, and our sweeping, handcrafted, solid oak bar is fully equipped and staffed by our friendly and professional team. Find out more about our food and drink here.
History & Restoration
Lains Barn was originally used for corn. During the harvest, wagons would enter through the large doors, and the sheaves were unloaded and stored at either end of the barn. Later, during the winter, these were threshed with flails between the two open doors, using the draught of air to separate the grain from the straw. In Victorian times, corn was threshed by machine, so the barn was extended with the addition of an L-shaped cow byre enclosing a fold yard. In 1970 the barn was no longer useful for modern farming methods – planning permission for residential use had been refused – and its future was threatened by demolition. In 1977 the Vale and Downland Museum Trust in Wantage acquired the property to restore it for the community. The restoration of the barn was initiated by Dr Dick Squires. Conversion plans for the barn were basic but flexible, leaving the majestic spaces intact. As a pioneer project it created great interest in architectural circles. The Montague Report “A Policy for the re-use of Britain’s Historic Buildings” states: ‘Lains Barn, a classic timber framed barn dating in part from 1750 is now used for community and educational functions. The low-key conversion scheme using mainly voluntary labour and old materials is recognised as one of the most successful barn conversions in the country.’