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About Us

The Old Barn is a site of historical importance to the world of music, which adds to it's beauty. 

Beatrice Harrison playing the cello

The house became a haven for the Harrison sisters and numerous composers including the likes of Elgar, Delius, Cyril Scott and Gerald Moore to name but a few. 

Beatrice Harrison

‘The Old Barn’ Foyle Riding was formerly the music hall to world famous cellist, Beatrice Harrison (1892 - 1965).

The Harrison family dedicated their lives to music and paved the way for a generation of female musicians. They gained the respect of leading composers and performers of their day and set a precedent in the history of English music. 


The nightingales were the birds in the woods around the home, who were attracted by the sound of her cello. This was the first ever birdsong recording and was received by all with enormous enthusiasm.

BBC crew recording a nightingale and cello
The garden at Foyle Riding was perhaps the most talked about garden in England in the 20’s. On the 19th May 1924 was the first day radio listeners heard a cello playing while nightingales sang, live from The Music Room's garden. 

It was broadcast from what is now the entrance hall to the main house. 


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