Our Sunday adventure was the most
satisfying because it was a quest with
no guarantee of success.  We had
found a mark on a 1988 British
government ordnance survey map for
an ancient "Hathaway Barn" near the
Forest of Dean and a nearby
designation of "Rodmore Farm".  
When we mentioned our intention to
hire a taxicab and search for this barn,
so many of our Kinship Collective
wanted to participate that we hired
three taxicabs for the 30 mile trip to
explore this intriguing scrap of
After a brief search, we arrived at the
main residence of what the roadside
sign described as "Rodmore Farm".   
My wife went to the door with
ordinance survey map in hand to ask
about the "Hathaway Barn".  The
proprietor of the farm, who gave his
name as Bernard James, appeared to
no know that his old barn was
designated as historic or as
"Hathaway Barn" by the government,
but he looked at the map and
acknowledged that the barn we were
looking for was on his land and he
gave us permission to drive over and
see it.  Our cab drivers had warmed to
the hunt by this time, and we were
soon positioned in the farm lane near
an impressively ancient stone
structure with arrow-slit windows in its
ends.  In a drizzle, gobs of mud
sticking to our shoes, we made our
awestruck inspection of the oldest
separately standing Hathaway
structure which had ever before been
The "Re-Discovered" Ancient Hathaway Barn on
Rodmore Farm
An obviously enthusiastic Bernard
James came from the direction of his
farmhouse and joined us at the barn
with a hand-inscribed document in
hand.  James explained that his father
had just remembered the name
Hathaway from a paper which had
been presented to him some years
ago by visitors who were searching
for the ancetral home of another early
family at Rodmore Farm.
After a rapid perusal, several
members of our group got permission
to copy down all of the information on
the manuscript.  What the document
said about Hathaways tallies with
research of our family genealogists on
pages seven and eight of the 1980
HFA book.  This is what it said:
"William Hathaway was the son of
Ralph Hathaway.  Ralph died in the
year 1317.  William succeeded to his
estates in Rodmore, Lydney,
Minsterworth and LaHorstone.  In
official documents, he is usually styled
William Hathaway of Rodmore or
Minsterworth in order to distinguish
him from his cousin William Hathaway
of Ruardean".
James commented that the old
residence in which Ralph or William
would have lived 700 years earlier
was the same house in which he now
lived with his family- although many
changes through the centuries had
given it a more contemporary
appearance and probably a larger
Bernard James went on about old
stones..."last year in this field I turned
up a very large stone with my plow.  It
looked unusual so I asked about it.  
People from the British Museum said
it was part of a Roman column.  They
dug around and said the ruins may be
the oldest Roman building found so
far in England.  They covered it up
again, but after my crops are all
harvested this autumn, they are
coming back to dig up this field and
look for more...."               
-Story from John and Mary Hathaway