Timber framed barns are usually either aisled or non-aisled. Aisled barns consist of a central nave with narrower arcades either side, similar to a church, divided by timber structure that connects to the roof trusses. Non-aisled barns simply have central spaces with the roof trusses beings supported by the external walls.
Aisled barns are prevalent in the southern lowland counties of the country, particularly in East Anglia and Kent. All aisled barns have a porch containing a large doorway, enabling wagons to unload. Usually the timber structure sits on low masonry sleeper walls, to protect it from the moisture through the ground.
Sometimes timber framed barns have had the external walls of the timber structure infilled with brick, replacing earlier panels of either weatherboard or wattle.
Masonry barns have external walls of either brick or stone depending on the prevailing vernacular, topped with timber roof trusses.
The term ‘Dutch’ barn is used to describe the commonly seen steel framed barn structures that have replaced many of the earlier constructions. Barns are hard working structures and tend to be replaced once obsolete. This makes early timber framed barns rare finds.
Next time you spy a rural barn, take a closer look.