The Barn Celebrates 25 Years

The Barn at Woodend Banchory

Woodend was a small farm on the edge of Banchory with a traditional farmhouse and steading. The transformation of the farm buildings at Woodend into an arts centre was prompted by a community play which was performed in the grounds of Crathes Castle in July 1992. The play celebrated the history of both the Burnett family and the local community as part of celebrations to mark the 400th anniversary of Crathes Castle. Woodend Steading was the venue for rehearsals for the play and, at the request of the community, the Leys Estate offered it for conversion to a Community Arts Centre. Woodend Arts Association was formed as a registered Scottish charity in 1994 and has flourished and grown ever since, assisted by financial support from the Estate.

Now known as the Barn, it has become one of the most successful community art centres in Scotland. It is a focus for a large number of local community and volunteer groups with a diverse and accessible programme which requires funding from many different sources. In addition to funding from Creative Scotland, the Barn raises income via other events such as private functions, weddings, comedians, music nights and seminars all of which are important to the local economy.

During this time the Barn has continually improved and expanded the reach of its creative programme, and thanks to the efforts of many, is proud to have grown to become the largest arts venue in Aberdeenshire and part of Creative Scotland’s national portfolio of supported arts organisations.

In this special year the Barn will be shining a spotlight on their creative origins – in particular the links to Crathes Castle where original community play, Tensions & Trust was performed.

To celebrate the Barn’s anniversary, they are hosting Lightscape at Crathes Castle this September.  Lightscape is an immersive event which invites us to look at our place and be part of an ambient installation.

On the Crathes lawn; the visually and sonically captivating Light Field, an off-grid participatory installation made of light, people and the sound of light. Crathes’s lawn by dusk will become a field of glowing beacons and sound-emitting lanterns that await activation.

Inside the castle immerse yourselves in scent and sound tours that evoke the history of the Crathes estate and explore our relationship to the places we inhabit.

This special collaboration between the Barn and The National Trust for Scotland is an eclectic combination of installation art, sensory experiences and more.

Don’t miss your chance to be part of this unique celebratory experience by visiting