the tea cottage, bolton abbey
this curious building was formerly part of the tithe barn, three of which are reputed to have stood on ‘the terrace’, bolton abbey. there is now only one tithe barn still standing in the village of bolton abbey, which construction is similar to that of this small building.
the original date of its construction is not known, but it would definitely not have been here during the monastic days (1154-1539). a plan of bolton abbey village, thought to date around 1780, shows this building used as a barn, but it was then converted into two small cottages around 1880. the dividing wall was built immediately beneath the large oak tie beam, thus conveniently dividing the building in two. the addition of dormer windows in the roof space to allow further light in for the bedrooms could only be done above the main purlin, which unfortunately meant that the occupants were unable to see out! one of these has later been enlarged and lowered so that you can enjoy the view from the upstairs room, but the purlin remains as the main constructional component of the building.
these small cottages, with two rooms upstairs and two rooms downstairs were occupied by estate workers until 1977. when they became empty it was obvious that it was not possible to modernise them without destroying the unique character of the property so it was decided to convert the building to a tea room.
the tea cottage opened in april 1979.