Saturday 2 April 2011

B is for Barn – that’s what B is for ...

15thC The Bishop’s Barn, Wells, Somerset

Barn – the old traditional grain store ... from the Old English word ‘bern’, which meant ‘barley house’; barley being the main crop of the Anglo-Saxon farmers.

Barn - the first outhouse ... once the early peoples started to live in dwelling houses, the fodder stores were moved into barns.

A wagon loaded with corn would be brought through the double doors, unloaded on each side, then leave through the opposite opening.

The middle section of the barn had a strong wooden floor for threshing the corn; at the back threshed straw, hay, root crops and sacks of grain would be stored.

Beautiful Post and Beam Horse Barn
 – Vermont Timber Works
(A rough-sawn hemlock timber frame horse barn
located in Weston, MA)
Later on lean-to sheds would be built to house the farm machinery, leading to the variety of farm buildings we have today.

Tithe barns in the Middle Ages were used to store tithes – one-tenth of the parishes’ farm produce was paid over to support the church and clergy.

The ‘British’ would have been influenced by the Romans’ way of life as they settled Limes Britannicus taking note that the army was self-sufficient and self-contained ... should you be interested to read more .. see this post: Friends Romans Countrymen –send me your socks!

That is Barn – B for a grain store

Part of the ABC - April 2011 - A - Z Challenge - Aspects of the British Countryside

Dear Mr Postman .. during April I will just update you weekly as to my Mama .. life is much the same as I spend time with her .. she’s smiling and peaceful.

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories


Paula Martin said...

Interesting post, Hilary. I especially love the old crook barns.


A smashing post Hilary about the old barn, there is always something mysterious about the very old ones,

Have a lovely week-end.

The Words Crafter said...

Oh, I love the pictures! I search for barn wallpapers to have during autumn on the 'puter. My grandparent's had a barn for hay and cows....then they also had a 'grainery' for storing potatoes, apples, corn, sweet potatoes and more. Neat post!!!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Paula .. thanks - they are so much part of the landscape & it's wonderful that here in the UK the very old ones are being done up and look beautiful as dwellings.

@ Yvonne .. our lanes wouldn't be the same without them would they? This barn is where the Royalists Troops were quartered during the Bloody Assizes! Some mysteries lost here ...

@ The Words Crafter .. coincidences! Interesting computer wall paper .. did you find some? Then the separation of animals from fodder occurred - hence the granary for various food stores. Temperature controlled and all mod cons now-a-days ...

Thanks everyone - cheers Hilary

Hold my hand: a social worker's blog said...

Barns are intriguing. I am thinking of so many movies and novels where barns are scenarios for murders, or for love affairs, or secret conversations, etc.

Great **B** post, Hilary.


Unknown said...

Hmmm.. someone else interesting in this period of history!

KM Nalle said...

Always a city girl, I look upon barns with longing. Often attracted to their occupants as well as their structure.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Doris .. they are intriguing & quite honestly when I see the old ones I wonder what used to be stored there. Then again as you say ..what else went on? .... the mind 'B' for boggles - Lee's word today ..

@ Carole Anne .. loved your pitpony descriptions of working life in the 18th C .. yes - I'm really enjoying the learning as I explore things via my posts.

@ Kari Marie .. they now-a-days can have wonderful occupants, let alone architecturally what can be done with them .. at least as a City Girl .. you'll probably be asked in?!

Many thanks Doris, Carole Anne and Kari Marie - good to see you - Hilary

Joanne said...

"B"rilliant B Post ;)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Better is Possible .. many thanks and good to be across at your blog too .. just love barns!

@ Joanne .. thank you once again .. for B A* this time!!

Cheers to you both .. enjoy the weekend .. Hilary

baygirl32 said...

thanks for the lesson on barns. I especially like the picture of the 15th C bishop's barn

stopping by from the a to z

... Paige said...

As always, the trivia you look up and share is intresting.

and I know I can Bank on that (b is for bank)


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Bay Girl .. good to meet you & loved your Newfoundland words .. love language - so that was great for me to read .. Bishop's Barn does look interesting doesn't it .. thanks - a Wikipedia one.

@ Paige - great .. good to see you and glad you enjoyed the B and yes B for bank .. I could have done .. many thanks!

Cheers to you both .. Hilary

Sylvia Ney said...

Cool post. I like the pictures. Thank you for sharing!

jkraus8464 said...

Nice. I really enjoyed reading today's and yesterday's posts.Love the information the the pictures, unlike any I would find here in S. Fla. TOtally charming.

Paul C said...

Congratulations on participating in the A-Z challenge. I enjoy old well constructed barns. They are pretty rare in my parts anymore.

Tony Payne said...

The biggest problems with barns in my experience is that too many people don't understand the importance of keeping the doors shut.

A common phrase heard in the UK especially "up north" is "Shut 'ut barn door" or "put wood in't 'ole".

Love the pictures on the post.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Sylvia .. thanks so much - glad you enjoyed the photos.

@ Jeanne .. so pleased you liked both posts - thank you .. I think I agree you'd have difficulty searching for English barns in Florida! You're right they are totally charming.

@ Paul - how lovely to find you here .. the hammer beam rooves, and this one the post and beam construction - just look so wonderful in their skeleton state .. you've got the most wonderful stone structures though from the Scottish masons ...

@ Tony .. you're right aren't you .. 'close the door' .. "you're not born in a barn" .. is the expression I'm used to .. love your two though .. 'put wood in't 'ole' .. great one!!

Thanks re the pix

Cheers to you four .. Sylvia, Jeanne, Paul and Tony ..enjoy tomorrow .. Hilary

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

We had a big red barn when I was a kid. We spent so many hours playing on the hay, hiding, tending to baby calves, pigs, chickens, horses. I have a pic of it as a screensaver, and when it pops up, I'm instantly full of nostalgia. Thanks for sharing this information, Hilary. You brought back many wonderful memories.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Who knew barns could be so interesting. I do love old barns in the countryside though. They are fun to look at.

Unknown said...

Hilary, I love a good educational read almost as much as I like Guinness. Thanks for following me. I returned the favor.

N. R. Williams said...

That's very interesting. I am writing a new series which will all be novellas. Right now I'm in with the Druids, but this series will go through history, so this cool barn you have showed may just show up. You never know.
N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Joylene .. big red barn, and big red tractor .. sound good names for a story .. and your barn must have been magic ... as you remember those days .. it's good to bring the pictures up .. and so glad you enjoyed the post.

@ Stephen .. thank you .. lots of them over here when you get to visit .. so many stories with them too.

@ Kelly - both would be quite good .. the Guinness with a good book. Delighted you're here .. and will then see you around ..

@ Nancy .. interesting .. The Bishop's Barn .. in a starring role?! Your novella idea sounds great .. really interesting series ..

Thanks Joylene, Stephen, Kelly and Nancy .. delighted to see you here .. cheers Hilary

Linda said...

Love the history lesson barns. In the northern part of the U.S. barns were often attached to the main house so people could tend their animals without going outside in the winter.

Arlee Bird said...

Never had much direct barn experience, but I love seeing them out in the countryside.

Contrary to my usual practice of subscribing to comments, to save time during challenge I will not be doing so during April. If you want to respond to my comment , please email me directly from your email notification for the comment.

Tossing It Out
Twitter hashtag: #atozchallenge

Chuck said...

I love pictures of barns...the older the better. Your historical info is great too!

Leovi said...

Interesting information on barns, my father had one, but was not as beautiful as the one pictured with this beautiful wooden structure. Greetings.

Linda Bob Grifins Korbetis Hall said...

love the barn structure image, solid barn shot on right top...

Glad to see you in A-Z challenge.
have fun.
Bless you.

Al said...

What gorgeous barns!

TALON said...

I love barns. They hold amazing history and stories and the old ones are the most intriguing of all.

Hope you're having a lovely weekend, Hilary!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Linda .. that would make sense .. the weather can be pretty terrible up in the North USA .. especially when the farm was small.

@ Arlee - good to see you .. they make a landmark don't they.

@ Chuck .. thanks and great seeing you here .. I too love the historical learning aspect!!

@ Leovi - welcome from Spain .. the new barn in its skeleton state does look beautiful .. to the artist in you .. you'll look at it completely differently to us!

@ Jingle .. thanks for the thumbs up

@ Al .. the pictures resonate don't they ...

@ Talon .. ah a writer with history always on tap ..and stories ... thanks Talon - busy slightly and it's Mother's Day here in the UK ..

Thanks for the visits and comments - enjoy Sunday .. Hilary

Trisha said...

I wish I had a barn! :D

Katie O'Sullivan said...

Love the pictures and trivia lesson - thanks for sharing! I'll need to stop by for more of your A to Z Aspects of the British Countryside - should be very interesting!

Glynis Peters said...

I love old barns. Another interesting post, thanks, Hilary.

Manzanita said...

How wonderful to read about barns. When I travel alone I take the backroads and take pictures of old barns. Some of the very old are magnificent with their unusual shapes.
Wanna buy a duck

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Trisha .. I think I'd second that .. particularly now that Spring is here!

@ Katie O .. good to meet you and definitely hope to see you again .. I'll catch with you anon!

@ Glynis ... good to see you - thanks and delighted it meets your approval

@ Manzanita .. I do too .. but I don't stop usually to take photos - though now perhaps once I'm free and start travelling again .. I'll take some photos as I go.

There are some quite incredible buildings .. thanks for the visit.

Thank you so much for visiting .. enjoy Sunday .. cheers Hilary

walk2write said...

I wouldn't mind living in that beautiful horse barn. What ornate construction!

Some of the first roadside advertising used to take place on the sides of barns. That was done before there were interstate highways, of course.

Ms. Hilary, your posts always get me thinking about how much the world has changed. Thanks for an inspiring "B" post.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ W2W .. It does look as though it would make a good dwelling - doesn't it!

That's something of course that would be more obvious in the States as you had more land and Barns would be more obvious .. our barns are often tucked away in the family farmhouse area.

Thanks for adding this to the mix - we do forget how much has changed .. cheers Hilary

Ellie Garratt said...

I've always wanted to live in a converted barn! Loved this post.

Ellie Garratt

Talli Roland said...

Interesting, Hilary! As usual, you've made me think about something in a new way. Thanks!

Misha Gerrick said...

Interesting. The barns in the pictures are beautiful.


Rosaria Williams said...

Oh, I'm impressed! I just love to read about historical tidbits, and you are the best at this.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Ellie .. I couldn't agree more - me too .. and thanks for the generous comment.

@ Talli .. many thanks .. barns through the centuries ... they've certainly changed as have our way of living.

@ Misha .. thanks - the barns young and old .. the young skeleton one showing old craft skills (made the modern way I suspect!)

@ Rosaria .. great - thanks so much. You're a star .. so much going on in your life at the moment ..

Thanks everyone - enjoy the C - H week ahead ..?! Hilary

Sarah Allan said...

What an interesting take on the A-Z challenge! I can't wait to see what else you have for us. I've given you a follow back as well. :-)

xoxo Sarah

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sarah .. good to meet you and thanks for coming by .. something we all know about - yet forget how each thing came about .. I enjoyed looking things up and deciding what to write about .. so delighted you're looking forward to reading the posts .. cheers Hilary

SharleneT said...

Beautiful post, Hilary. How very nice to find you, fellow A-Zer. Come by when you can... Love the horse barn skeleton, too.

Len Lambert said...

Love the photos, Hillary! :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Hilary -

Thanks for the interesting post. I did a bit of a double take when I saw you refer to a barn as the first outhouse. Here in the states, an outhouse is the equivalent of today's bathroom. :)


Jeff Beesler said...

Thanks for the background information on barns! I'm learning a lot through the A-Z Challenge and the stop here keeps that trend alive!

Amy @ Soul Dipper said...

A tithe shed? It must have been fun being a clergy wife!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Sharlene .. many thanks for the visit .. and glad you enjoy the horse barn photo .. good to meet you.

@ Len .. thanks so much

@ Susan .. ah! the language barrier .. I hadn't thought of that one!! cheers - fun thought?!

@ Jeffrey .. thanks for making the time to stop by .. lots to do for a leading A - Z supporter

@ Amy - I'm not sure about that .. it seemed to be a tough time for all and the clergy weren't at the top of the pile - though not at the bottom either. Interesting thought.

Thanks everyone - we're now into 'C' .. and I'd better too it! Hilary

Anonymous said...

I love your A-Z themes Great barn information. :O)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Madeleine .. many thanks - they seem to be different and that was my objective!

Cheers and thanks for the visits .. Hilary

Juli Cannon said...

I like the informative approach you've taken with the challenge~ very interesting reading.

I would *totally* live in that Barley House. Beautiful.