The Main Barn

This attractive building is the location of many of our events and talks.

Approaching the centre down the cobbled track, the main barn is situated on the right, opposite the entrance to the shops, restaurant and museum.  This is where we hold many of our events including our popular talks on a diverse range of subjects.  It is, like the cruck barn, available for hire for private occasions and has a fascinating history.

History

Probably the one referred to in old documents as the New Barn in 1682, its many subsequent alterations have made it one of the mot interesting barn complexes in East Lancashire.

The original barn will have been low and narrow with cow stalls and a pair of large threshing doors.  Phase 2 saw a new outshut being built, considerable rebuilding of the rear wall and the blocking off of the rear threshing door.  This was in line with an 18th century trend away from arable farming in the area.

Some time around 1760 the barn was lengthened, probably to create a cart shed.  The low arched doorway in the rear wall dates from this time.  Of particular interest are the harr hung doors which are built out from a post (the hart tree) and pivoted at each end.

A further extension was added between the cart shed and the outshut, after which the front wall was heightened, a new roof constructed and an arched head added to the cart entrance.  What appear to be windows on the first floor are in fact hay forking holes for taking in fodder for the winter.

In the early 1800’s the exterior of the barn was altered for the last time.  In addition to its walls being heightened once again, a new roof, a second outshut and new doorways, 163 pigeon holes were created containing some 40 nesting boxes, probably for hens.

The end bay of the barn, now the foyer was converted into a smithy in the early 19th century when hearths, boilers and an oven were installed.  The previous roof structure must have been rather weak because in 1907 an iron column was used beneath the centre of each roof truss.

Today it is used in ways which could not even have been guessed at when originally conceived but it’s a fascinating story, we’re sure you’ll agree!