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A barn is an agricultural building usually on
farm A farm (also called an agricultural holding) is an area of land that is devoted primarily to agricultural processes with the primary objective of producing food and other crops; it is the basic facility in food production. The name is used ...
s and used for various purposes. In
North America North America is a continent in the Northern Hemisphere and almost entirely within the Western Hemisphere. It is bordered to the north by the Arctic Ocean, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, to the southeast by South America and the Car ...
, a barn refers to structures that house
livestock Livestock are the domesticated animals raised in an agricultural setting to provide labor and produce diversified products for consumption such as meat, eggs, milk, fur, leather, and wool. The term is sometimes used to refer solely to animals w ...
, including
cattle Cattle (''Bos taurus'') are large, domesticated, cloven-hooved, herbivores. They are a prominent modern member of the subfamily Bovinae and the most widespread species of the genus ''Bos''. Adult females are referred to as cows and adult mal ...
and
horse The horse (''Equus ferus caballus'') is a domesticated, one-toed, hoofed mammal. It belongs to the taxonomic family Equidae and is one of two extant subspecies of ''Equus ferus''. The horse has evolved over the past 45 to 55 millio ...
s, as well as equipment and
fodder Fodder (), also called provender (), is any agricultural foodstuff used specifically to feed domesticated livestock, such as cattle, rabbits, sheep, horses, chickens and pigs. "Fodder" refers particularly to food given to the animals (includin ...
, and often grain.Allen G. Noble, ''Traditional Buildings: A Global Survey of Structural Forms and Cultural Functions'' (New York: Tauris, 2007), 30. As a result, the term barn is often qualified e.g. tobacco barn, dairy barn, cow house, sheep barn, potato barn. In the
British Isles The British Isles are a group of islands in the North Atlantic Ocean off the north-western coast of continental Europe, consisting of the islands of Great Britain, Ireland, the Isle of Man, the Inner and Outer Hebrides, the Northern Isles, ...
, the term barn is restricted mainly to storage structures for unthreshed cereals and
fodder Fodder (), also called provender (), is any agricultural foodstuff used specifically to feed domesticated livestock, such as cattle, rabbits, sheep, horses, chickens and pigs. "Fodder" refers particularly to food given to the animals (includin ...
, the terms byre or shippon being applied to
cow Cattle (''Bos taurus'') are large, domesticated, cloven-hooved, herbivores. They are a prominent modern member of the subfamily Bovinae and the most widespread species of the genus ''Bos''. Adult females are referred to as cows and adult mal ...
shelters, whereas horses are kept in buildings known as
stables A stable is a building in which livestock, especially horses, are kept. It most commonly means a building that is divided into separate stalls for individual animals and livestock. There are many different types of stables in use today; the ...
. In mainland Europe, however, barns were often part of integrated structures known as
byre-dwelling A byre-dwelling (" byre"+ "dwelling") is a farmhouse in which the living quarters are combined with the livestock and/or grain barn under the same roof. In the latter case, the building is mostly called an housebarn. This kind of construction is ...
s (or
housebarn A housebarn (also house-barn or house barn) is a building that is a combination of a house and a barn under the same roof. Most types of housebarn also have room for livestock quarters. If the living quarters are only combined whith a byre, where ...
s in US literature). In addition, barns may be used for equipment storage, as a covered workplace, and for activities such as
threshing Threshing, or thrashing, is the process of loosening the edible part of grain (or other crop) from the straw to which it is attached. It is the step in grain preparation after reaping. Threshing does not remove the bran from the grain. Histor ...
.


Etymology

The word ''barn'' comes from the Old English , for barley (or grain in general), and , for a storage place—thus, a storehouse for barley. The word , also spelled ''bern'' and ''bearn'', is attested to at least sixty times in
homilies A homily (from Greek ὁμιλία, ''homilía'') is a commentary that follows a reading of scripture, giving the "public explanation of a sacred doctrine" or text. The works of Origen and John Chrysostom (known as Paschal Homily) are considered ex ...
and other Old English prose. The related words ''bere-tun'' and ''bere-flor'' both meant
threshing Threshing, or thrashing, is the process of loosening the edible part of grain (or other crop) from the straw to which it is attached. It is the step in grain preparation after reaping. Threshing does not remove the bran from the grain. Histor ...
floor. ''Bere-tun'' also meant
granary A granary is a storehouse or room in a barn for threshed grain or animal feed. Ancient or primitive granaries are most often made of pottery. Granaries are often built above the ground to keep the stored food away from mice and other animals ...
; the literal translation of ''bere-tun'' is "grain enclosure". While the only literary attestation of ''bere-hus'' (also granary) comes from the ''Dialogi'' of
Gregory the Great Pope Gregory I ( la, Gregorius I; – 12 March 604), commonly known as Saint Gregory the Great, was the bishop of Rome from 3 September 590 to his death. He is known for instigating the first recorded large-scale mission from Rome, the Gregori ...
, there are four known mentions of ''bere-tun'' and two of ''bere-flor''. ''A Thesaurus of Old English'' lists and ("meal-store house") as synonyms for barn.


History

The modern barn largely developed from the three
aisle An aisle is, in general, a space for walking with rows of non-walking spaces on both sides. Aisles with seating on both sides can be seen in airplanes, certain types of buildings, such as churches, cathedrals, synagogues, meeting halls, pa ...
d medieval barn, commonly known as
tithe barn A tithe barn was a type of barn used in much of northern Europe in the Middle Ages for storing rents and tithes. Farmers were required to give one-tenth of their produce to the established church. Tithe barns were usually associated with th ...
or monastic barn. This, in turn, originated in a 12th-century building tradition, also applied in
hall In architecture, a hall is a relatively large space enclosed by a roof and walls. In the Iron Age and early Middle Ages in northern Europe, a mead hall was where a lord and his retainers ate and also slept. Later in the Middle Ages, the ...
s and ecclesiastical buildings. In the 15th century several thousands of these huge barns were to be found in Western Europe. In the course of time, its construction method was adopted by normal farms and it gradually spread to simpler buildings and other rural areas. As a rule, the aisled barn had large entrance doors and a passage corridor for loaded wagons. The storage floors between the central posts or in the aisles were known as
bays A bay is a recessed, coastal body of water that directly connects to a larger main body of water, such as an ocean, a lake, or another bay. A large bay is usually called a gulf, sea, sound, or bight. A cove is a small, circular bay with a na ...
or mows (from Middle French ''moye''). The main types were large barns with sideway passages, compact barns with a central entrance and smaller barns with a transverse passage. The latter also spread to Eastern Europe. Whenever stone walls were applied, the aisled timber frame often gave way to single-naved buildings. A special type were
byre-dwelling A byre-dwelling (" byre"+ "dwelling") is a farmhouse in which the living quarters are combined with the livestock and/or grain barn under the same roof. In the latter case, the building is mostly called an housebarn. This kind of construction is ...
s, which included living quarters, byres and stables, such as the
Frisian farmhouse A "Head-Neck-Body farmhouse" ( nl, kop-hals-rompboerderij) or Head-Neck-Rump farmhouse is a typical Frisian farmhouse.Vollmer, Manfred et al. (2001). ''Landscape and Cultural Heritage in the Wadden Sea Region'', Wadden Sea Ecosystem No. 12 - 200 ...
or
Gulf house A Gulf house (german: Gulfhaus), also called a Gulf farmhouse (''Gulfhof'') or East Frisian house (''Ostfriesenhaus''), is a type of byre-dwelling that emerged in the 16th and 17th centuries in North Germany.Vollmer, Manfred et al., ''Landscape ...
and the Black Forest house. Not all, however, evolved from the medieval barn. Other types descended from the prehistoric
longhouse A longhouse or long house is a type of long, proportionately narrow, single-room building for communal dwelling. It has been built in various parts of the world including Asia, Europe, and North America. Many were built from timber and often rep ...
or other building traditions. One of the latter was the Low German (hall) house, in which the harvest was stored in the attic. In many cases, the New World colonial barn evolved from the Low German house, which was transformed to a real barn by first generation colonists from the Netherlands and Germany.


Construction

In the
Yorkshire Dales The Yorkshire Dales is an upland area of the Pennines in the historic county of Yorkshire, England, most of it in the Yorkshire Dales National Park created in 1954. The Dales comprise river valleys and the hills rising from the Vale of York ...
, England, barns, known locally as cowhouses were built from double stone walls with truffs or throughstones acting as wall ties. In the U.S., older barns were built from timbers hewn from trees on the farm and built as a log crib barn or timber frame, although stone barns were sometimes built in areas where stone was a cheaper building material. In the mid to late 19th century in the U.S. barn framing methods began to shift away from traditional timber framing to "truss framed" or "plank framed" buildings. Truss or plank framed barns reduced the number of timbers instead using dimensional lumber for the rafters, joists, and sometimes the trusses. The joints began to become bolted or nailed instead of being mortised and tenoned. The inventor and patentee of the Jennings Barn claimed his design used less lumber, less work, less time, and less cost to build and were durable and provided more room for hay storage. Mechanization on the farm, better transportation infrastructure, and new technology like a hay fork mounted on a track contributed to a need for larger, more open barns, sawmills using steam power could produce smaller pieces of lumber affordably, and machine cut nails were much less expensive than hand-made (wrought) nails. Concrete block began to be used for barns in the early 20th century in the U.S. Modern barns are more typically steel buildings. From about 1900 to 1940, many large
dairy A dairy is a business enterprise established for the harvesting or processing (or both) of animal milk – mostly from cows or buffaloes, but also from goats, sheep, horses, or camels – for human consumption. A dairy is typically located on ...
barns were built in northern USA. These commonly have
gambrel A gambrel or gambrel roof is a usually symmetrical two-sided roof with two slopes on each side. (The usual architectural term in eighteenth-century England and North America was "Dutch roof".) The upper slope is positioned at a shallow angle, ...
or hip roofs to maximize the size of the hay
loft A loft is a building's upper storey or elevated area in a room directly under the roof (American usage), or just an attic: a storage space under the roof usually accessed by a ladder (primarily British usage). A loft apartment refers to larg ...
above the dairy roof, and have become associated in the popular image of a dairy farm. The barns that were common to the wheatbelt held large numbers of pulling horses such as Clydesdales or
Percheron The Percheron is a breed of draft horse that originated in the Huisne river valley in western France, part of the former Perche province from which the breed takes its name. Usually gray or black in color, Percherons are well muscled, an ...
s. These large wooden barns, especially when filled with
hay Hay is grass, legumes, or other herbaceous plants that have been cut and dried to be stored for use as animal fodder, either for large grazing animals raised as livestock, such as cattle, horses, goats, and sheep, or for smaller domesticated ...
, could make spectacular fires that were usually total losses for the farmers. With the advent of balers it became possible to store hay and
straw Straw is an agricultural byproduct consisting of the dry stalks of cereal plants after the grain and chaff have been removed. It makes up about half of the yield of cereal crops such as barley, oats, rice, rye and wheat. It has a n ...
outdoors in stacks surrounded by a plowed fireguard. Many barns in the northern United States are painted barn red with a white trim. One possible reason for this is that
ferric oxide Iron(III) oxide or ferric oxide is the inorganic compound with the formula Fe2O3. It is one of the three main oxides of iron, the other two being iron(II) oxide (FeO), which is rare; and iron(II,III) oxide (Fe3O4), which also occurs naturally a ...
, which is used to create red paint, was the cheapest and most readily available chemical for farmers in
New England New England is a region comprising six states in the Northeastern United States: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. It is bordered by the state of New York to the west and by the Canadian provinces of ...
and nearby areas. Another possible reason is that ferric oxide acts a preservative and so painting a barn with it would help to protect the structure. The custom of painting barns in red with white trim is widely spread in
Scandinavia Scandinavia; Sámi languages: /. ( ) is a subregion in Northern Europe, with strong historical, cultural, and linguistic ties between its constituent peoples. In English usage, ''Scandinavia'' most commonly refers to Denmark, Norway, and Swe ...
. Especially in Sweden the
Falu red Falu red or falun red ( ; sv, falu rödfärg, ) is a permeable red paint commonly used on wooden cottages and barns in Sweden, Finland, and Norway. History Following hundreds of years of mining in Falun, large piles of residual product were ...
with white trims is the traditional colouring of most wooden buildings. With the popularity of tractors following World War II many barns were taken down or replaced with modern
Quonset hut A Quonset hut is a lightweight prefabricated structure of corrugated galvanized steel having a semi cylindrical cross-section. The design was developed in the United States, based on the Nissen hut introduced by the British during World War ...
s made of plywood or
galvanized Galvanization or galvanizing ( also spelled galvanisation or galvanising) is the process of applying a protective zinc coating to steel or iron, to prevent rusting. The most common method is hot-dip galvanizing, in which the parts are submerge ...
steel. Beef ranches and dairies began building smaller loftless barns often of Quonset huts or of steel walls on a treated wood frame (old telephone or power poles). By the 1960s it was found that cattle receive sufficient shelter from trees or wind fences (usually wooden slabs 20% open).


Gallery of barns with different wall building materials

File:Scheune Langes Mühle.jpg, Half-timbered barn with brick infill.
Uetersen Uetersen (, formerly known as ''Ütersen (Holstein)'') is a town in the district of Pinneberg, in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. It is situated approximately south of Elmshorn, and northwest of Hamburg at the small Pinnau River, close to the E ...
, Germany. This barn's proportions resemble a
Low German house The Low German house or ''Fachhallenhaus'' is a type of timber-framed farmhouse found in northern Germany and the easternmost Netherlands, which combines living quarters, byre and barn under one roof. It is built as a large hall with bays on th ...
. File:Ysgubor Stryd Lydan, Sain Ffagan.jpg, Half-timbered with wattle-work walls for ventilation. Stryd Lydan Barn, originally at Llannerch Banna, Flintshire, North Wales. Re-erected at the St Fagans National History Museum,
Cardiff Cardiff (; cy, Caerdydd ) is the capital and largest city of Wales. It forms a principal area, officially known as the City and County of Cardiff ( cy, Dinas a Sir Caerdydd, links=no), and the city is the eleventh-largest in the United King ...
, Wales in 1951. File:Exterieur OVERZICHT - Ruurlo - 20264854 - RCE.jpg, Wattle work walls in a sheep barn in
Ruurlo Ruurlo is a village and former municipality in the province of Gelderland in the eastern part of the Netherlands. The town has a station on the Zutphen to Winterswijk railway line, and is served by trains every half-hour in both directions. In t ...
, Netherlands. File:2011-10-27 Baudenkmal Rödinghausen 98.jpg, Half-timbered barn walls with stone infill.
Rödinghausen Rödinghausen is a municipality in the district of Herford, in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Geography Rödinghausen is situated on the southern slope of the Wiehengebirge, approx. 20 km north-west of Herford and 25 km north of Bie ...
, Germany. File:Orajärvi in summer.jpg, A barn in
Orajärvi Orajärvi is medium-sized lake in the Kemijoki main catchment area in Finland. It is located in Sodankylä municipality, in the eastern Lapland region.Sodankylä Sodankylä (; sme, Soađegilli ; smn, Suáđigil; sms, Suäʹđjel) is a municipality of Finland. It is located in the region of Lapland, and lies at the northern end of Highway 5 ( E63) and along Highway 4 ( E75). The Kitinen River flows n ...
, Lapland, Finland. File:Matsalu metsas.jpg, Old hay barn at the end of Suitsu hiking trail at the Matsalu National Park in
Pärnu County Pärnu County ( et, Pärnu maakond or ''Pärnumaa''; german: Kreis Pernau) is one of 15 counties of Estonia. It is situated in the south-western part of the country, on the coast of Gulf of Riga, and borders Lääne and Rapla counties to the n ...
, Estonia. File:Surikow;s barn.JPG, A barn (ovin) in the museum-estate of Surikov.
Krasnoyarsk Krasnoyarsk ( ; rus, Красноя́рск, a=Ru-Красноярск2.ogg, p=krəsnɐˈjarsk) (in semantic translation - Red Ravine City) is the largest city and administrative center of Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia. It is situated along the Yen ...
, Russia. File:Овин в Витославлицах.jpg, A barn (ovin) from Vakhonkino village, Kaduysky raion,
Vologda oblast Vologda Oblast ( rus, Вологодская область, p=vəlɐˈɡotskəjə ˈobləsʲtʲ, r=Vologodskaya oblast, ) is a federal subject of Russia (an oblast). Its administrative center is Vologda. The Oblast has a population of 1,202,4 ...
, Russia. Vitoslavlitsy museum,
Veliky Novgorod Veliky Novgorod ( rus, links=no, Великий Новгород, t=Great Newtown, p=vʲɪˈlʲikʲɪj ˈnovɡərət), also known as just Novgorod (), is the largest city and administrative centre of Novgorod Oblast, Russia. It is one of the ...
. File:2011-10-27 Rödinghausen. Baudenkmal. Hansastraße (4).jpg, Half-timbered wall with
wattle and daub Wattle and daub is a composite building method used for making walls and buildings, in which a woven lattice of wooden strips called wattle is daubed with a sticky material usually made of some combination of wet soil, clay, sand, animal dung ...
infill. Some of the plaster coating survives.
Rödinghausen Rödinghausen is a municipality in the district of Herford, in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Geography Rödinghausen is situated on the southern slope of the Wiehengebirge, approx. 20 km north-west of Herford and 25 km north of Bie ...
, Germany. File:25104100067 Syke Fuldenriede 4 Scheune.jpg, A rare half-timbered barn with board infill in Syke,
Lower Saxony Lower Saxony (german: Niedersachsen ; nds, Neddersassen; stq, Läichsaksen) is a German state (') in northwestern Germany. It is the second-largest state by land area, with , and fourth-largest in population (8 million in 2021) among the 16 ...
, Germany. File:GrangeBarn.jpg, Grange barn,
Coggeshall Coggeshall ( or ) is a small town in Essex, England, between Colchester and Braintree on the Roman road Stane Street and the River Blackwater. It has almost 300 listed buildings and a market whose charter was granted in 1256 by Henry III. ...
, England. This is a ''studded barn'' so the wall sheathing must be applied horizontally and covered with a siding material in this case clapboards (weatherboards). File:Metylovice, Na kopci, stodola 01.jpg, A type of barn in Metylovice, Czech Republic with stone piers and an infill of horizontal timbers. File:MBL Olsztynek - 15b. Budynek gospodarczy z Kwietniewa.jpg, Board-on-board siding and half timber-framed barn in
Olsztynek Olsztynek (german: Hohenstein in Ostpreußen) is a town in northern Poland, in Olsztyn County, in the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship. It is the administrative seat of Gmina Olsztynek. It is part of the historic region of Masuria. Geography Olszt ...
, north Poland File:HennikerNH BennettFarmBarn.jpg, Timber framed with the sheathing covered in clapboards.
New Hampshire New Hampshire is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It is bordered by Massachusetts to the south, Vermont to the west, Maine and the Gulf of Maine to the east, and the Canadian province of Quebec to the ...
, U.S.A. File:Zicht op doorgang van de schuur - Schoonebeek - 20411613 - RCE.jpg, Rare walls of boards and thatch.
Drenthe Drenthe () is a province of the Netherlands located in the northeastern part of the country. It is bordered by Overijssel to the south, Friesland to the west, Groningen to the north, and the German state of Lower Saxony to the east. As of Nove ...
, Netherlands File:Barn end - geograph.org.uk - 1628962.jpg, Gable end of a brick barn with ventilation holes built into the brickwork. File:19th_Century_Fieldstone_Barn_in_Southern_Ontario,_Canada.jpg, 19th-century fieldstone barn near Rockwood, Ontario, Canada. File:Oak Hall Historic District - Irvin Barn.JPG, Limestone walls in the Oak Hall Historic District, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. File:Gable end - geograph.org.uk - 202611.jpg, Stone barns are common in parts of the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, France, and some Mediterranean countries. The projecting stones (which are a type of wall tie) are a style in the Yorkshire Dales, England. File:Abiah Taylor Barn ChesCo PA.jpg, Abidiah Taylor Barn Chester County, Pennsylvania. Part of the Taylor-Cope Historic District. Built in either 1724 (date stone) or 1744 (wooden beam investigation), it is one of the oldest extant barns in the United States. Field stone walls. File:Farm buildings, Ewelme Park - geograph.org.uk - 677140.jpg, The combination of brick quoins with flint walls is common in (mostly older) buildings in this area of the Chilterns, Oxfordshire, England. File:Rudge Farm 3 - geograph.org.uk - 1303923.jpg, A rare wall material is Cob which is similar to adobe.
Devon Devon ( , historically known as Devonshire , ) is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in South West England. The most populous settlement in Devon is the city of Plymouth, followed by Devon's county town, the city of Exeter. Devon is a ...
, England. File:SMBL stodola Jaszczew 1870 p.jpg, Round log barn in the skansen (open-air museum) in
Sanok Sanok (in full the Royal Free City of Sanok — pl, Królewskie Wolne Miasto Sanok, rue, Санок, ''Sanok'', ua, Cянік, ''Sianik'', la, Sanocum, yi, סאניק, ''Sonik'') is a town in the Subcarpathian Voivodeship of south-eastern ...
, Poland File:Hda gammelgård 20101010 (15).jpg, Hewn log barn painted red in
Hedemora Hedemora is a town in Dalarna County and the seat of Hedemora Municipality, Sweden, with 7,273 inhabitants in 2010. Despite its small population, Hedemora is for historical reasons normally still referred to as a ''city'', and as such the oldest ...
, Sweden. File:Dutch barn - geograph.org.uk - 458981.jpg, No walls are a characteristic of what in the United Kingdom is called a Dutch barn. File:Barn opposite Sampson's Hall - geograph.org.uk - 1474507.jpg, Corrugated metal siding


Uses

In older style North American barns, the upper area was used to store
hay Hay is grass, legumes, or other herbaceous plants that have been cut and dried to be stored for use as animal fodder, either for large grazing animals raised as livestock, such as cattle, horses, goats, and sheep, or for smaller domesticated ...
and sometimes grain. This is called the mow (rhymes with cow) or the
hayloft A hayloft is a space above a barn, stable or cow-shed, traditionally used for storage of hay or other fodder for the animals below. Haylofts were used mainly before the widespread use of very large hay bales, which allow simpler handling of bulk ...
. A large door at the top of the ends of the barn could be opened up so that hay could be put in the loft. The hay was hoisted into the barn by a system containing
pulley A pulley is a wheel on an axle or shaft that is designed to support movement and change of direction of a taut cable or belt, or transfer of power between the shaft and cable or belt. In the case of a pulley supported by a frame or shell that ...
s and a trolley that ran along a track attached to the top ridge of the barn. Trap doors in the floor allowed animal feed to be dropped into the mangers for the animals. In
New England New England is a region comprising six states in the Northeastern United States: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. It is bordered by the state of New York to the west and by the Canadian provinces of ...
it is common to find barns attached to the main farmhouse ( connected farm architecture), allowing for chores to be done while sheltering the worker from the weather. In the middle of the twentieth century the large broad roof of barns were sometimes painted with slogans in the United States. Most common of these were the 900 barns painted with ads for Rock City. In the past barns were often used for communal gatherings, such as
barn dance A barn dance is any kind of dance involving traditional or folk music with traditional dancing, occasionally held in a barn, but, these days, much more likely to be in any suitable building. The term “barn dance” is usually associated w ...
s.


Features

A farm may have buildings of varying shapes and sizes used to shelter large and small animals and other uses. The enclosed pens used to shelter large animals are called stalls and may be located in the cellar or on the main level depending in the type of barn. Other common areas, or features, of an American barn include: *a tack room (where
bridle A bridle is a piece of equipment used to direct a horse. As defined in the ''Oxford English Dictionary'', the "bridle" includes both the that holds a bit that goes in the mouth of a horse, and the reins that are attached to the bit. Headgea ...
s,
saddle The saddle is a supportive structure for a rider of an animal, fastened to an animal's back by a girth. The most common type is equestrian. However, specialized saddles have been created for oxen, camels and other animals. It is not k ...
s, etc. are kept), often set up as a breakroom *a feed room, where
animal feed Animal feed is food given to domestic animals, especially livestock, in the course of animal husbandry. There are two basic types: fodder and forage. Used alone, the word ''feed'' more often refers to fodder. Animal feed is an important in ...
is stored – not typically part of a modern barn where feed bales are piled in a stackyard *a drive bay, a wide corridor for animals or machinery *a
silo A silo (from the Greek σιρός – ''siros'', "pit for holding grain") is a structure for storing bulk materials. Silos are used in agriculture to store fermented feed known as silage, not to be confused with a grain bin, which is use ...
where fermented grain or hay (called ensilage or
haylage Silage () is a type of fodder made from green foliage crops which have been preserved by fermentation to the point of acidification. It can be fed to cattle, sheep and other such ruminants ( cud-chewing animals). The fermentation and storage p ...
) is stored. *a milkhouse for dairy barns; an attached structure where the milk is collected and stored prior to shipment *a grain (soy, corn, etc.) bin for dairy barns, found in the mow and usually made of wood with a chute to the ground floor providing access to the grain, making it easier to feed the cows. *modern barns often contain an indoor corral with a squeeze chute for providing
veterinary Veterinary medicine is the branch of medicine that deals with the prevention, management, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, disorder, and injury in animals. Along with this, it deals with animal rearing, husbandry, breeding, research on nutri ...
treatment to sick animals. *In North Yorkshire cowhouses would have a muck hole (muck’ole in the local dialect) to allow manure to be deposited outside the barn without the cowhand leaving the building. *In North Yorkshire a cowhouse would have a small door or forking hole (forking’ole in the local dialect) high up on the wall to enable fodder to be 'forked' into the baux or baulks (hayloft). *Some English barns would have a gin gang, a semi-circular extension added to house a horse engine.


Derivatives

The physics term "
barn A barn is an agricultural building usually on farms and used for various purposes. In North America, a barn refers to structures that house livestock, including cattle and horses, as well as equipment and fodder, and often grain.Allen G. ...
", which is a subatomic unit of area, 10−28 m2, came from experiments with uranium nuclei during World War II, wherein they were described colloquially as "big as a barn", with the measurement officially adopted to maintain security around nuclear weapons research.


Barn idioms

*"He couldn't hit the broad side of a barn" is a popular expression for a person having poor aim when throwing an object or when shooting at something. *To "lock the barn door after the horse has bolted" implies that one has solved a problem too late to prevent it. * "Were you born/raised in a barn?" is an accusation used differently in various parts of the English-speaking world, but most commonly as a reprimand when someone exhibits poor manners by either using ill-mannered language (particularly if related to
manure Manure is organic matter that is used as organic fertilizer in agriculture. Most manure consists of animal feces; other sources include compost and green manure. Manures contribute to the fertility of soil by adding organic matter and nutr ...
), or leaving doors open. *"Your barn door is open" is used as a
euphemism A euphemism () is an innocuous word or expression used in place of one that is deemed offensive or suggests something unpleasant. Some euphemisms are intended to amuse, while others use bland, inoffensive terms for concepts that the user wishes ...
to remind someone to zip the fly of their
trousers Trousers (British English), slacks, or pants are an item of clothing worn from the waist to anywhere between the knees and the ankles, covering both legs separately (rather than with cloth extending across both legs as in robes, skirts, and ...
. *To "barnstorm" is to travel quickly around a large area making frequent public appearances.


Types

Barns have been classified by their function, structure, location, or other features. Sometimes the same building falls into multiple categories. * Apple barn or fruit barn – for the storage of fruit crops * Bank barn – A multilevel building built into a banking so the upper floor is accessible to a wagon, sometimes accessed by a bridge or ramp. * Bastle house - a defensive structure to guard against
border reivers Border reivers were raiders along the Anglo-Scottish border from the late 13th century to the beginning of the 17th century. They included both Scottish and English people, and they raided the entire border country without regard to their ...
with accommodation on the lower floor for livestock. * Bridge barn or covered bridge barn – general terms for barns accessed by a bridge rather than a ramp. *
Boô A boô (also spelled boo or boe) is an old Saxon building where a farmer could spend the night with his cattle if he let them graze far outside the village. The buildings, which had separate areas for cattle and farmer to live, were made with chea ...
– A sheep-barn and dwelling in the Netherlands, seasonal or sometimes year round. *
Pennsylvania barn A Pennsylvania barn is a type of banked barn built in the US from about 1790 to 1900. The style's most distinguishing feature is the presence of an overshoot or forebay, an area where one or more walls overshoot its foundation. These barns were ba ...
(U.S.) of which there are sub-categories such as ''standard'' and ''sweitzer'' types. Also known as ''forebay'' or ''porch barns''. *Cantilever barn – a type of log crib barn with cantilevered upper floors which developed in Appalachia (U.S.A.) *Combination barn — found throughout England, especially in areas of
pastoral A pastoral lifestyle is that of shepherds herding livestock around open areas of land according to seasons and the changing availability of water and pasture. It lends its name to a genre of literature, art, and music ( pastorale) that depi ...
farming and the standard barn type in America. This general term means the barns were used for both crop storage and as a byre to house animals. * Crib barn – Horizontal log structures with up to four cribs (assemblies of crossing timbers) found primarily in the southern U.S.A. *Drying barns for drying crops in Finland and Sweden are called ''riihi'' and ''ria'', respectively. * New World Dutch Barn – A barn type in the U.S. Also see ''Dutch barn (U.K.)'' in Other farm buildings section below. * New England barn - a common style of barn found in rural New England and in the U.S. * English barn (U.S.), also called a Yankee or Connecticut barn – A widespread barn type in the U.S. *
Granary A granary is a storehouse or room in a barn for threshed grain or animal feed. Ancient or primitive granaries are most often made of pottery. Granaries are often built above the ground to keep the stored food away from mice and other animals ...
— to store grain after it is threshed, some barns contain a room called a granary, some barns like a
rice barn A rice barn is a type of barn used worldwide for the storage and drying of harvested rice. The barns' designs are usually specialized to their function, and as such may vary between countries or between provinces. Rice barns in Southeast Asia appe ...
blur the line between a barn and granary. * Gothic arch barn, has profile shaped as a Gothic arch, which became feasible to be formed by laminated members * Ground stable barn, a barn with space for livestock at ground level *
Housebarn A housebarn (also house-barn or house barn) is a building that is a combination of a house and a barn under the same roof. Most types of housebarn also have room for livestock quarters. If the living quarters are only combined whith a byre, where ...
, also called a
byre-dwelling A byre-dwelling (" byre"+ "dwelling") is a farmhouse in which the living quarters are combined with the livestock and/or grain barn under the same roof. In the latter case, the building is mostly called an housebarn. This kind of construction is ...
– A combined living space and barn, relatively common in old Europe but rare in North America. Also,
longhouse A longhouse or long house is a type of long, proportionately narrow, single-room building for communal dwelling. It has been built in various parts of the world including Asia, Europe, and North America. Many were built from timber and often rep ...
s were housebarns. * Pole barn — a simple structure that consists of poles embedded in the ground to support a roof, with or without exterior walls. The pole barn lacks a conventional foundation, thus greatly reducing construction costs. Traditionally used to house livestock, hay or equipment. *Potato barn or potato house– A semi-subterranean or two story building for storage of potatoes or sweet potatoes. * Prairie barn – A general term for barns in the Western U.S. *
Rice barn A rice barn is a type of barn used worldwide for the storage and drying of harvested rice. The barns' designs are usually specialized to their function, and as such may vary between countries or between provinces. Rice barns in Southeast Asia appe ...
and the related
winnowing barn Winnowing barns (or winnowing houses) were structures commonly found in South Carolina on antebellum rice plantations. A winnowing barn consists of a large shed on tall posts with a hole in the floor. Raw, husked rice was carried up into the barn ...
* Round barn, built in a round shape the term often is generalized to the include polygonal barn and octagonal barn * Swing beam barn – A rare barn type in part of the U.S. designed for threshing with animals walking around a pole held by a ''swing beam'' inside the barn. * Tobacco barn – for drying of tobacco leaves *
Tithe barn A tithe barn was a type of barn used in much of northern Europe in the Middle Ages for storing rents and tithes. Farmers were required to give one-tenth of their produce to the established church. Tithe barns were usually associated with th ...
— a type of barn used in much of northern Europe in the Middle Ages for storing the tithes — a tenth of the farm's produce which had to be given to the church *
Threshing Threshing, or thrashing, is the process of loosening the edible part of grain (or other crop) from the straw to which it is attached. It is the step in grain preparation after reaping. Threshing does not remove the bran from the grain. Histor ...
barn — built with a
threshing floor Threshing (thrashing) was originally "to tramp or stamp heavily with the feet" and was later applied to the act of separating out grain by the feet of people or oxen and still later with the use of a flail. A threshing floor is of two main ty ...
for the processing and storage of
cereals A cereal is any grass cultivated for the edible components of its grain (botanically, a type of fruit called a caryopsis), composed of the endosperm, germ, and bran. Cereal grain crops are grown in greater quantities and provide more food ...
, to keep them in dry conditions. Characterised by large double
door A door is a hinged or otherwise movable barrier that allows ingress (entry) into and egress (exit) from an enclosure. The created opening in the wall is a ''doorway'' or ''portal''. A door's essential and primary purpose is to provide security b ...
s in the centre of one side, a smaller one on the other, and storage for cereal
harvest Harvesting is the process of gathering a ripe crop from the fields. Reaping is the cutting of grain or pulse for harvest, typically using a scythe, sickle, or reaper. On smaller farms with minimal mechanization, harvesting is the mos ...
or unprocessed on either side. In England the grain was beaten from the crop by flails and then separated from the husks by winnowing between these doors. The design of these typically remained unchanged between the 12th and 19th centuries. The large doors allow for a horse wagon to be driven through; the smaller ones allow for the sorting of sheep and other stock in the spring and summer.


Other farm buildings often associated with barns

* Carriage house — cart shed * Dutch barn (U.K.) — an open sided structure for hay storage. The type with a movable roof is called a hay barrack in the U.S or a ''hooiberg'' (''kapberg'') in the Netherlands. * A
corn crib A corn crib or corncrib is a type of granary used to dry and store corn. It may also be known as a cornhouse or corn house. Overview After the harvest and while still on the cob, corn is placed in the crib either with or without the husk. T ...
—a well ventilated storage space for dried ears of
maize Maize ( ; ''Zea mays'' subsp. ''mays'', from es, maíz after tnq, mahiz), also known as corn (North American and Australian English), is a cereal grain first domesticated by indigenous peoples in southern Mexico about 10,000 years ago. The ...
(corn). * A
granary A granary is a storehouse or room in a barn for threshed grain or animal feed. Ancient or primitive granaries are most often made of pottery. Granaries are often built above the ground to keep the stored food away from mice and other animals ...
or hórreo — a storage space for threshed grains, sometimes within a barn or as a separate building. *
Linhay A linhay ( ) is a type of farm building found particularly in Devon and Somerset, south-west England. It is characterised as a two-storeyed building with an open front, with ''tallet'' or hay-loft above and livestock housing below. It often has ...
(linny, linney, linnies) — A shed, often with a lean-to roof but may be a
circular linhay A circular linhay is an ancient type of structure found in England, particularly associated with Devon. Linhay A linhay ( ) is a type of farm building found particularly in Devon and Somerset, south-west England. It is characterised as a ...
to store hay on the first floor with either cattle on the ground floor (cattle linhay), or farm machinery (cart linhay). Characterised by an open front with regularly spaced posts or pillars. * Milk room or milk house — to store milk. *
Oast house An oast, oast house or hop kiln is a building designed for kilning (drying) hops as part of the brewing process. They can be found in most hop-growing (and former hop-growing) areas and are often good examples of vernacular architecture. Many re ...
s — an outbuilding used for drying
hops Hops are the flowers (also called seed cones or strobiles) of the hop plant '' Humulus lupulus'', a member of the Cannabaceae family of flowering plants. They are used primarily as a bittering, flavouring, and stability agent in beer, to ...
as part of the brewing process. * Shelter sheds — open-fronted structures for stock * Shippon — a shed which houses
oxen An ox ( : oxen, ), also known as a bullock (in BrE, AusE, and IndE), is a male bovine trained and used as a draft animal. Oxen are commonly castrated adult male cattle; castration inhibits testosterone and aggression, which makes t ...
and
cattle Cattle (''Bos taurus'') are large, domesticated, cloven-hooved, herbivores. They are a prominent modern member of the subfamily Bovinae and the most widespread species of the genus ''Bos''. Adult females are referred to as cows and adult mal ...
. Has
fodder Fodder (), also called provender (), is any agricultural foodstuff used specifically to feed domesticated livestock, such as cattle, rabbits, sheep, horses, chickens and pigs. "Fodder" refers particularly to food given to the animals (includin ...
storage above, regularly spaced doors on the yard side, a pitching door or window on the first floor. *
Stable A stable is a building in which livestock, especially horses, are kept. It most commonly means a building that is divided into separate stalls for individual animals and livestock. There are many different types of stables in use today; the ...
— Usually for housing horses.


Historic farm buildings

Old farm buildings of the countryside contribute to the landscape, and help define the history of the location, i.e. how farming took place in the past, and how the area has been settled throughout the ages. They also can show the agricultural methods, building materials, and skills that were used. Most were built with materials reflecting the local geology of the area. Building methods include earth walling and
thatching Thatching is the craft of building a roof with dry vegetation such as straw, water reed, sedge ('' Cladium mariscus''), rushes, heather, or palm branches, layering the vegetation so as to shed water away from the inner roof. Since the bul ...
. Buildings in stone and brick, roofed with tile or slate, increasingly replaced buildings in clay, timber and thatch from the later 18th century. Metal roofs started to be used from the 1850s. The arrival of canals and railways brought about transportation of building materials over greater distances. Clues determining their age and historical use can be found from old maps, sale documents, estate plans, and from a visual inspection of the building itself, noting (for example) reused timbers, former floors, partitions, doors and windows. The arrangement of the buildings within the farmstead can also yield valuable information on the historical farm usage and landscape value. Linear farmsteads were typical of small farms, where there was an advantage to having cattle and fodder within one building, due to the colder climate. Dispersed clusters of unplanned groups were more widespread. Loose courtyard plans built around a yard were associated with bigger farms, whereas carefully laid out courtyard plans designed to minimize waste and labour were built in the latter part of the 18th century. The barns are typically the oldest and biggest buildings to be found on the farm. Many barns were converted into cow houses and fodder processing and storage buildings after the 1880s. Many barns had owl holes to allow for access by barn owls, encouraged to aid vermin control. The
stable A stable is a building in which livestock, especially horses, are kept. It most commonly means a building that is divided into separate stalls for individual animals and livestock. There are many different types of stables in use today; the ...
is typically the second-oldest building type on the farm. They were well built and placed near the house due to the value that the
horse The horse (''Equus ferus caballus'') is a domesticated, one-toed, hoofed mammal. It belongs to the taxonomic family Equidae and is one of two extant subspecies of ''Equus ferus''. The horse has evolved over the past 45 to 55 millio ...
s had as
draught animal A working animal is an animal, usually domesticated, that is kept by humans and trained to perform tasks instead of being slaughtered to harvest animal products. Some are used for their physical strength (e.g. oxen and draft horses) or for ...
s Modern granaries were built from the 18th century. Complete granary interiors, with plastered walls and wooden partitioning to grain bins, are very rare.
Longhouses A longhouse or long house is a type of long, proportionately narrow, single-room building for communal dwelling. It has been built in various parts of the world including Asia, Europe, and North America. Many were built from timber and often rep ...
are an ancient building where people and animals used the same entrance. These can still be seen, for example, in North Germany, where the Low Saxon house occurs. Few interiors of the 19th century cow houses have survived unaltered due to dairy-hygiene regulations in many countries. Old farm buildings may show the following signs of deterioration: rotting in timber-framed constructions due to damp, cracks in the masonry from movement of the walls, e.g. ground movement, roofing problems (e.g. outward thrust of it, deterioration of
purlin A purlin (or historically purline, purloyne, purling, perling) is a longitudinal, horizontal, structural member in a roof. In traditional timber framing there are three basic types of purlin: purlin plate, principal purlin, and common purlin. Pu ...
s and
gable A gable is the generally triangular portion of a wall between the edges of intersecting roof pitches. The shape of the gable and how it is detailed depends on the structural system used, which reflects climate, material availability, and aest ...
ends),
foundation Foundation may refer to: * Foundation (nonprofit), a type of charitable organization ** Foundation (United States law), a type of charitable organization in the U.S. ** Private foundation, a charitable organization that, while serving a good ca ...
problems, penetration of tree roots;
lime mortar Lime mortar or torching is composed of lime and an aggregate such as sand, mixed with water. The ancient Egyptians were the first to use lime mortars, which they used to plaster their temples. In addition, the Egyptians also incorporated vario ...
being washed away due to inadequate weather-protection. Walls made of cob, earth mortars or walls with rubble cores are all highly vulnerable to water penetration, and replacement or covering of breathable materials with cement or damp-proofing materials may trap moisture within the walls.How to deal with damp produced by the
Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) (also known as Anti-Scrape) is an amenity society founded by William Morris, Philip Webb, and others in 1877 to oppose the destructive 'restoration' of ancient buildings occurring in ...
gives useful guidance
In England and
Wales Wales ( cy, Cymru ) is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It is bordered by England to the east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, the Celtic Sea to the south west and the Bristol Channel to the south. It had a population in 202 ...
some of these historical buildings have been given " listed building" status, which provides them some degree of
archaeological Archaeology or archeology is the scientific study of human activity through the recovery and analysis of material culture. The archaeological record consists of artifacts, architecture, biofacts or ecofacts, sites, and cultural lands ...
protection. Some grant schemes are available to restore Historic Farmland buildings, for example
Natural England Natural England is a non-departmental public body in the United Kingdom sponsored by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. It is responsible for ensuring that England's natural environment, including its land, flora and fauna ...
's Environmental Stewardship, Countryside Stewardship and Environmentally Sensitive Areas Schemes.


See also

* Barn Church, Kew * Barn conversion *
Barn dance A barn dance is any kind of dance involving traditional or folk music with traditional dancing, occasionally held in a barn, but, these days, much more likely to be in any suitable building. The term “barn dance” is usually associated w ...
*
National Barn Dance ''National Barn Dance'', broadcast by WLS-AM in Chicago, Illinois starting in 1924, was one of the first American country music radio programs and a direct precursor of the ''Grand Ole Opry''. ''National Barn Dance'' also set the stage for other ...
*
Barn raising A barn raising, also historically called a raising bee or rearing in the U.K., is a collective action of a community, in which a barn for one of the members is built or rebuilt collectively by members of the community. Barn raising was particular ...
*
Barnstar A barnstar (or barn star, primitive star, or Pennsylvania star) is a painted object or image, often in the shape of a five-pointed star but occasionally in a circular "wagon wheel" style, used to decorate a barn in some parts of the United Stat ...
*
Barnyard A barnyard or farmyard is an enclosed or open yard adjoining a barn,Oxford English Dictionary Second Edition on CD-ROM (v. 4.0) © Oxford University Press 2009. Barn. n. and, typically, related farm buildings, including a farmhouse. Enclosed b ...
* Car barn *
Dairy A dairy is a business enterprise established for the harvesting or processing (or both) of animal milk – mostly from cows or buffaloes, but also from goats, sheep, horses, or camels – for human consumption. A dairy is typically located on ...
*
Dovecote A dovecote or dovecot , doocot ( Scots) or columbarium is a structure intended to house pigeons or doves. Dovecotes may be free-standing structures in a variety of shapes, or built into the end of a house or barn. They generally contain pige ...
— built to house pigeons, which provided variety to the diets of high-status households and a rich source of manure. Examples survive from the medieval period. *
Farmhouse FarmHouse (FH) is a social fraternity founded at the University of Missouri on April 15, 1905. It became a national organization in 1921. Today FarmHouse has 33 active chapters and four associate chapters (formerly colonies) in the United Stat ...
* Functionally classified barn * Gambrel roof * Gin gang or round house — an extension to a
threshing Threshing, or thrashing, is the process of loosening the edible part of grain (or other crop) from the straw to which it is attached. It is the step in grain preparation after reaping. Threshing does not remove the bran from the grain. Histor ...
barn. It contained a
horse The horse (''Equus ferus caballus'') is a domesticated, one-toed, hoofed mammal. It belongs to the taxonomic family Equidae and is one of two extant subspecies of ''Equus ferus''. The horse has evolved over the past 45 to 55 millio ...
driven engine, used to power a
threshing machine A threshing machine or a thresher is a piece of farm equipment that threshes grain, that is, it removes the seeds from the stalks and husks. It does so by beating the plant to make the seeds fall out. Before such machines were developed, thre ...
. Sometimes called a wheel house. Water power and wind power were also used to drive the machine, and by the 1850s portable steam engine machines were used. Horse-engines, original threshing or winnowing machines are exceptionally rare. * Goat tower *
Hayrack A hayrack ( sl, kozolec) is a freestanding vertical drying rack found chiefly in Slovenia. Hayracks are permanent structures, primarily made of wood, upon which fodder for animals is dried, although their use is not limited to drying hay. Other f ...
* Historic Barns of Connecticut *
Ovinnik The Ovinnik (russian: Овинник), Joŭnik or Jownik ( be, Ёўнік) is a malevolent spirit of the threshing house in Slavic folklore whose name derived from ''ovin'' 'barn'.Dixon-Kennedy, Mike (1998). ''Encyclopedia of Russian and Slavic ...
*
Scaffold (barn) Scaffold in a barn A barn is an agricultural building usually on farms and used for various purposes. In North America, a barn refers to structures that house livestock, including cattle and horses, as well as equipment and fodder, and ...
*
Shed A shed is typically a simple, single-story roofed structure that is used for hobbies, or as a workshop in a back garden or on an allotment. Sheds vary considerably in their size and complexity of construction, from simple open-sided ones ...
*
Treppenspeicher A ''Treppenspeicher'' (literally "staircase store") is the German term for a granary or secondary farm building used for storage and typical of the Lüneburg Heath area in northern Germany. The upper storey of the store was usually accessed via a fl ...
* The Wonderful Barn


References


External links


Dairy Barn Historywww.thebarnjournal.orgNational Barn AllianceBarn Again! programTimber Framers Guild
* The Spanish borda (borde) is a type of barn or housebarn
Excellent paper on historic barns, focus on Ohio, USABarn types and information from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission
{{Authority control Agricultural buildings Vernacular architecture