After 14 years as the local MP, Hilary Benn finally made it to one of the oldest buildings in his constituency on Friday (6 September 2013).
“I’d heard about the barn, but didn’t know exactly where it was until today. It truly is the hidden gem of South Leeds.
“What a wonderful building and what an important part of our city’s heritage. I’ll do what I can to support this campaign to find a sustainable use for this building” he said.
Mr Benn was visiting the Grade II* Listed Stank Hall Barn at the invitation of the recently formed Friends group. Also present were Cllr Kim Groves, staff from Cockburn High School and from English Heritage.
“The barn is an amazing historical building” said Cllr Groves. “It is an important part of South Leeds that we must try and preserve for future generations.”
The Friends are preparing plans to create a communal garden on the site as an interim project. The idea is to show that the barn is “loved” and that there is activity on site. The garden will be created in raised beds in a medieval style in keeping with the age of the site. Meanwhile, they are keen to find a long term use for the site which will involve restoring the buildings and creating an income to preserve it into the future.
The Barn’s roof has been secured by the Council after a spate of thefts of the stone slates. The other building on the site: Stank Hall and New Hall have been fenced off from the public and are said to be in a dangerous structural condition.
You can keep in touch with the work of the Friends group on their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/FriendsOfStankHallBarn