Draft Animal Power – Draft animals and sustainable land stewardship › Forums › Sustainable Living and Land use › Sustainable Farming › Bank Barn Orientation
- February 18, 2017 at 3:33 pm #90058Fips FarmParticipant
I’m planning to build a bank style barn this summer and I’m fortunate enough to have many options on where to put it. Most bank barns I have seen are oriented with the long axis parallel to the ridge line of the adjacent hill. In other words, you drive into the second story hay mow at the middle of the barn.
Why does this appear to be so much more common than accessing the mow at the end? A barn oriented perpendicular to the ridge line of the hill would allow for a lot more natural light and ventilation in the first floor stalls.
What did the early builders know that I’m missing?
KevinFebruary 18, 2017 at 5:22 pm #90063Donn HewesKeymaster
I think the main reason was to be perpendicular to the hay trolley. You can look at the David Fishers barn at Natural Roots Farm. He did not build a berm up to the second level, but unloads from outside at the end. They certainly go to great lengths to build them on the long side, even today. What type of hay and how you want to unload it might be the only issue.February 21, 2017 at 3:17 pm #90083Crabapple FarmParticipant
You need to leave the floor open in the driveway where the wagon goes; if your width is less than your length, then you lose less floor space to this driveway if it runs crosswise, while maintaining full access.
That said, our neighbor’s barn has the entrance on the gable end facing the road. There is an older attached barn perpendicular to it, so possibly they built it this way to tie into the haytrack in that mow.
-TevisFebruary 25, 2017 at 10:52 am #90110wild millersParticipant
Here are the scans of two facing pages in Eric Sloan’s book “An age of Barns” As he suggests in the text, the long sides were built into the hill to afford the most protection for root cellars and livestock from the winter winds and frosts. -Joel
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