Tithe Barn Street in Horbury was so named after the old tithe barn, which was used to store produce of the tithe. A tithe means a tenth and one tenth of every Horbury parishioner’s income from produce of the land had to be donated to the church & the QR Code plaque is sited on one of the original barn bays.
The Horbury tithe barn was a large four bayed, timber framed structure constructed most probably in the 15th century. The tithe barn remained in church ownership until 1850 when it was purchased by William Stringer of Horbury from Canon Sharp. Stringer had the eastern half of the barn (Bay 1 and 2) converted into two cottages and the other two remaining bays were used for a variety of purposes over the years, including use as a weaving shed, rag warehouse, stable and even at one time, as a greengrocer’s shop.
In 1904, the two western most bays were destroyed by a fire. This was the part still being used as a barn. The two badly damaged bays had to be destroyed. Remnants of the old tithe barn can be seen from the car park on Tithe Barn Street, which at one time used to be a graveyard, the last burial taking place c1862. The remaining two bays of the tithe barn are now numbers 14 and 16 Tithe Barn Street.
If you turn around you will see the Old Town School and the Village Lock-up.
The Old Town School opposite, marked by a stone plaque in the wall dated 1798, was the first school to be founded in Horbury and dates back to 1708 on land acquired by the Horbury Common Lands Trust for £4. A report dated 1827 shows “10 poor children” being taught and that the master’s salary was 15 guineas per year. The school was later used as a Parish Hall.
Next to the Old Town School this small building, which forms part of the premises is Horbury’s old lock-up or “Kidcote” which dates back to 1710. It is a two storey building, the ground floor formerly being used as a prison with only a small stone basin for comfort. The “Kidcote” is marked by a blue plaque.