7 Sep 2010

Hartpury Bee Shelter

Last week I had to be in Staunton and on route I had time to call into Hartpury - never managed to get to see the bee shelter (pictured) until then. Just wanted to share it here.

The shelter was originally in Nailsworth and quite a number of years ago I supported those who tried to get it returned there - sadly not successful but at least it was saved - it has been wonderfully restored. And is now near the Church outside Hartpury....as long ago as 1260, the tenants of Hartpury Manor, which was owned by Gloucester Abbey, paid their rents in honey so it is an appropriate enough setting!

The 'Bee Shelter' measures about 7m long and contains 28 separate boles and 5 lower shelves. The straw skeps would have been housed in the boles which would have afforded the bees shelter. This shelter was built around the mid 1800's by a local stone mason and quarry master called Paul Tuffley. Indeed it was in his garden in Nailsworth which then became part of the local police station - apparently in 1968 volunteers from the Gloucestershire Beekeeping Society resc
ued the structure. The shelter was dismantled and moved to Hartpury Agricultural College where it was re-erected wrongly - and over the years was badly damaged by the weather.

English Heritage stepped in and put the schedule of 'Listed Buildings at Risk' on it. It was then that the Hartpury Historic Land and Buildings Trust acquired the shelter along with funds from various charities and lottery funding which allowed them to restore and re-erect it the churchyard in 2002 as it would originally have looked.

See more about the bee shelter here and more about bee boles here.

1 comment:

Garrat Elector said...

That's wonderful!

Best thing I've seen on the interweb all month. Good to know that it's safe.