MDE20312 - 19th Century bank barn with horse engine house at Barton Town Farm (Building)


A large mid 19th Century bank barn with internal shippon and attached horse engine house. The barn has a row of 12 pigeon holes above 6 ground floor doorways.

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Type and Period (1)

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Full Description

Large bank barn and attached horse-engine house. Mid 19th Century. Rubble stone with brick dressings to the openings. Slate roof with gable ends. Rectangular on plan with horse-engine house attached at right angles to rear. 2-storeyed frontage, built into bank with first floor rear access. 2 winnowing doors to each side of square opening with brick lintels. Row of 12 pigeon holes above 6 ground floor doorways, 4 blocked with inserted horizontal pivot casements, 2 with plank stable doors. Polygonal horse-engine house to rear with tapering pillars. External stone steps to loft door to right and cambered brick arch to double plank doors to left with projecting rubble piers. [1] A large bank barn with a shippon on the ground floor is built from stone rubble with a gabled slate roof and segmental brick arches in its openings, and dates from the mid 19th Century. It includes an added horse engine house that was probably built within a short time of the bank barn's construction and which represents the shift from hand processing to mechanisation on the farm. The barn also provided at least three times the capacity of the earlier barn and its shippon represented a massive increase in the provision of shelter for cattle, possibly the result of an increase in the farm's acreage and representing an increased herd size on the farm or reflecting improving ideas about animal husbandry. Its roof has a roof structure that is industrial in character, with higher quality well dressed timber that is indicative of imported materials and methods of construction that are not derived chiefly from local sources. The barn's scale suggest the farm was intended to produce a proportion of cereal crops, including a significant amount of grain produced to supplement livestock feed. The threshing floor demonstrates that the grain was processed by hand originally but shortly afterwards, the horse engine house was added to provide power for threshing and winnowing as well as preparing cattle feed. A machine was noted to be still present in the barn that performed functions such as slicing root crops and crushing oil cake. The barn also housed a dovecote by means of a series of twelve high level nesting holes set beneath the eaves in the east wall. The shippon was altered for use as a milking parlour for thirteen cows in the mid 20th Century. [3]

Sources/Archives (3)

  • <1> Index: Department of the Environment. List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest . HHR: Challacombe (18 March 1986) 46.
  • <2> Report: Lawrence, G.. 2014. Exmoor National Park: Rapid condition survey of listed buildings 2012-13.
  • <3> Report: Jones, B.V.. 2000. Barton Town, Challacombe, Devon. 2-3,4-5, 8-9.



Grid reference Centred SS 679 405 (16m by 20m)
Map sheet SS64SE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (2)

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Other Statuses/References

  • 2012-3 Building At Risk Score (Not visited): 1615/2/72
  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 39983
  • Devon SMR: SS64SE/182/2

Record last edited

Oct 22 2014 3:27PM


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