Buildings for storing things

Where do you put equipment when you are not using it? How do you keep crops from one year to the next so that you don’t run out of food between harvests? For farmers these have always been important questions.

Do you recognise any of these Quantock barns and storage buildings? Click to see if you were right!

  •  A hay barn made of stone with wooden roof, and a cart shed made of wood and tiles, at Cushuish. These are about 300 years old. The design hasn’t changed since then but the materials have.
  • Typical farm barns at Aley, made from the same red sandstone as the house. The high-up doors open to the loft, a good dry place for storing hay or grain.
  • Barns at Adscombe Farm.  Nowadays sheds are built for tractors, trailers and 4-wheel drives, not horse-drawn carts and wagons. The hay barn hasn’t changed much, except that this one is made from corrugated iron.
  • Barns at Cothelstone. When the barn in front was built, they used stone because it was the cheapest material. Brick was just used for the door surrounds.  By the time they built the second barn, brick was cheap and easily available.  Can you see what material has been used for the roofs? Why do you think the doors are so high up?
  • Court Farm, East Quantoxhead.  Colonel Luttrell talks to local schoolchildren. Behind him is the old medieval tithe barn for storing crop. The other buildings are a cart shed, a round ‘engine house’ and shelter sheds. They were built around 1800, when there were big changes in farming, and many large farms modernized.
  • Plainsfield Court has adapted and modernized over the centuries, but it is still a busy working place. They still make cider here.
  • Cothelstone farm. When this Victorian farmyard was built no expense was spared and they thought of everything they would need!  The buildings are made of red sandstone, like the manor. An arcade of limestone pillars supports the raised barn. There are ventilation slits in the wall of the barn. The space underneath, between the pillars, was used as a cart shed. The building on the right of the barn was a cowshed and on the left is a granary.
  •  Old Coach House and Granary at Kingston St Mary. This building was a coach house with a granary above. In the 20th century it was changed into a house, but the pigeons’ nesting holes were kept.
  • Modern barns at Volis Farm Now farming is done on a much bigger scale, although traditional methods are used as much as possible on the Quantocks.
  • Modern shelters at Fyne Court, Broomfield.
  • This little doorway into the hillside looks like the way in to a hobbit house. In fact it opens into a cool, underground chamber for storing winter ice. All large county houses had ice houses: they used ice for keeping food fresh and for creating fancy puddings like ice-cream! This one is near Crowcombe Court.