Monday, September 2, 2013

Because I wondered

After showing you the picture of the red barn I replied to several comments about how many barns around here are built on a hill but I didn't know why. Now I do.

According to Nostalgiaville this is referred to as a bank barn.
The following is taken from the Nostalgiaville website
The bank barn gets its name from a simple but clever construction technique: the barn is built into the side of a hill, thus permitting two levels to be entered from the ground. The lower level housed animals, the upper levels served as threshing floor and storage. The hillside entrance gave easy access to wagons bearing wheat or hay. (Fodder could also be dropped through openings in the floor to the stabling floor below.) The general form of the bank barn remained the same whether it was built into a hillside or not. Where a hill was lacking, a "bank" was often created by building up an earthen ramp to the second level.Bank barns were ordinarily constructed with their long side, or axis, parallel to the hill, and on the south side of it. This placement gave animals a sunny spot in which to gather during the winter. To take further advantage of the protection its location afforded, the second floor was extended, or cantilevered, over the first. The overhang sheltered animals from inclement weather. The extended fore bay thus created is one of the most characteristic features of these barns. In some bank barns, the projecting beams were not large enough to bear the entire weight of the barn above. In these cases, columns or posts were added beneath the overhang for structural support.
In the earliest examples of bank barns narrow-end side walls are frequently stone or brick, with openings for ventilation. (Since "curing" green hay can generate enough heat to start a fire through spontaneous combustion, adequate ventilation in barns is vital.)

Comments are off today. Happy Labor Day
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