about us

The Great Barn is part of Place Barton, our family home. We moved from London to Devon with our two children in 1997 having both previously worked in television and advertising, John directing many comedy commercials and programmes including Mr Bean, The Fast Show, French and Saunders, and Emma producing live television events such as The Big Breakfast and Comic Relief.

When we bought Place Barton, we had no intention of restoring the Barn. At that time it was derelict in parts and cowered under a rusting corrugated iron roof. After much encouragement from architects, archaeologists, and DEFRA´s historic buildings department, we took the plunge and began the restoration in 2003. Finished in September 2004, the building still never ceases to take our breath away.

Now permanently based at Place Barton, we are totally on hand to help our clients organise their events and discreetly manage their day. One of the things we take enormous pride in is the huge amount of support we give our clients both in the run up to and during their event. We really want the preparation to be fun and the day itself relaxed and stress free.

Emma is very happy to share her ideas and extensive list of great contacts including her hand picked suppliers in the form of her Bride’s Bible which she emails to all our brides who book with us. She is also on the end of the phone or an email to answer any queries or worries.

She recently launched The Great Event, an event company hiring fabulous furniture, linen and beautiful bits for weddings and events.  Great Barn clients are always most welcome to pop into the showroom and will, of course, get preferential rates!

John too is available to meet clients, advising on table layouts, music, schedules, in fact any aspect of your event.  During the great day itself, he will manage your day, making sure all you have planned is put into place, letting you really relax, happy in the knowledge everything is in very experienced hands.

Whatever event you are planning particularly if it is a wedding, we genuinely believe is should be your day. We will do everything possible to fit in with your ideas, your plans, your timetable. You design the day. We will make it happen.

We very much look forward to welcoming you to our home.

Emma and John Birkin

Great Barn Devon, Wedding Venue Devon

“Thank you very much to Emma for being so welcoming, friendly and helpful. We are forever grateful to John for his immaculate organization skills and calm approach to making our day perfect.“

Drs Rebecca and Simon Robinson

“Where to start? Quite simply you and your team at The Great Barn gave us the wedding of our dreams. From the stunning venue to your attention to detail and constant professionalism, we knew every part of our day was in safe hands! Thank you so much for everything you did.”

Tom and Rachel