Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England

Field Barn


A disused barn, I love the chunky matter of fact stance about this building (I worry that its roof has started to fail though.)

Field Barn 1-2

I’m sure if you could get planning permission to convert  this barn into a dwelling, someone would have done it by now. The views are a bit special and so is the location.

Field Barn-2

I think it should stay just as it is, fair and square.

I can report that Spud is a giddy as ever, despite his operation yesterday; the vets advice to keep him calm has fallen  on spaniel ears that appear to be selectively deaf. Despite having a ‘lampshade’ on his head he has swiped  a 2lb bag of sugar off the worktop and sprinkled it liberally around the kitchen and stolen a tissue out of the back pocket of my jeans, whilst I was stood at the worktop. So much for no jumping up……


Author: uphilldowndale

Watching the rhythm of rural life, from the top of a hill in northern England. Having spent most of my life avoiding writing, I now need to do it! I am no domestic goddess, but if I were expecting visitors to my home, I would whisk round with the duster and plump up the cushions and generally make the place look presentable. I hope that by putting my words where others may see them it will encourage me to ‘tidy up and push the Hoover around’ my writing. On the other hand I may just be adding to the compost heap. Only time will tell! Pull up a chair, sit yourself down, I’ll put the kettle on.

17 thoughts on “Field Barn

  1. Spaniels. It’s easier to manage cats.

    That barn and its views are special indeed. I’m full of questions. The door is so tiny, the barn so tall – how was it used, do you think? And where did the owner live? (I’m used to seeing farmhouses or ranchhouses within sight of the barn.) Fascinating stuff.

  2. I always find decaying buildings rather sad but if they have no further use, then there’s obviously no point in carrying out expensive repairs.

    Even down south, you see many old buildings scattered about in the countryside and falling into ruins, presumably because changes in the economy and farm management techniques have rendered them redundant.

    Maybe this one could be tarted up and rented out as a holiday chalet. Supplying the usual amenities might be difficult, though.

    • It’s a tricky one, the barn is in the middle of a field, it can be seen for miles. Make it into a dwelling of any sort and you start to add all kinds of things to the vista, a driveway or track, couple of cars, maybe more, an oil tank, garden, lawn, bright blue kids slide, a trampoline, garage, shed, greenhouse………
      I don’t think the landscape can be pickled and preserved just as it is in any moment in time but I think we have have a light touch and be very careful, because once a change is made, there is no going back.

  3. You didn’t mention the washing on the line along with all those other eye-sores. No, wait, you like a line full of sparkling white washing blowing in the breeze. You haven’t taken any photos like that for a while.

    Another picture I would have liked to see is Spud with collar and the sugar. I guess there are times when you have to think of the camera second!

  4. What a beautiful part of the country!! Love these scenes and how you’ve framed and captured them.

  5. Loving the views. Wouldn’t fancy living in that barn, though. It must feel the full force of the wind.

    Glad Spud is okay. Maybe he nicked your hanky as a subtle form of revenge …

  6. The real problem here is that the landscape of fields with field barns is not an ancient natural one, but merely what an efficient industrial farming landscape looked like a hundred years or so ago. In summer, you grazed livestock up on the high moors and let the meadows grow until in mid-summer you mowed them, dried the cut grass into hay and stored it in the loft of the nice handy field barns.

    Over the winter, the hay helped feed the livestock brought down off the hills into the lowland meadows, and the nutrients of the hay got recycled into the meadows once more. This is why there are barns dotted about all over these agricultural landscapes; why cart hay back to a farm when you’re only going to have to cart it out to the animals again, when you can build barns where you need them.

    • That is very interesting indeed. Now I understand why everyone is calling it a “field barn.” The barns of my life have been shelter for animals that need tending, like dairy cows, so they’re built close to the house. There’s a big double door or window up in the loft. The cart is trundled up a ramp of earth and bales of hay are offloaded, often with the help of a hook and pulley arrangement.

      So now I understand why there’s no house in sight. But I still wonder about that tiny door and no upper door/window to the loft. How on earth did the hay get into the hayloft?

      OK, for all of you who are wondering why on earth we could possibly care about these matters . . . um, I have no answer for that. Sorry. Please excuse. I’ll just grab my coat.

  7. Yes im sure that barn would have been converted by now.

    The barns were not only used for just storing hay, some barns had more uses. Milking the cows, Clipping sheep. A barn would have had many uses but yes as Dan says storing hay would have been high on the list.

    Imagine the sheer effort to cart back hay to the farm. No tractor then.
    The horse would have eaten as much hay as you would have produced to just cart it back to the farmhouse.

    There was simply no need for a large door or windows.
    enough for a bit of light and just to allow the air to circulate i suppose.

    Im guessing the reason that this barn hasnt been converted is the sheer cost of getting electrictiy to it.
    Gerry here in the UK it would cost something in the region of $25,000 dollars to just get power across a couple of fields to the barn.
    Putting in a mains supply would be very expensive.
    Uphills farmhouse and barn would have had this problem at sometime in its past.

    I cant place were it is
    Uphill has a knack of taking pictures that I should recognise but cant think of there whereabouts.

    The barn should be left as it is

    • Just as I was writing an insightful reply about off-grid living and its potential in isolated areas, I lost my internet connection. The barn should definitely stay as it is. I should go take a nap.

  8. I want to live there, barn and all.

  9. Such a lovely spot, with sheep and a fabulous view. The description of Spud’s recuperation cracked me up – fond memories of puppydom.

  10. I have a habit of personifying inanimate objects, particularly so with old buildings. There are several old homes locally that are now abandoned and in disrepair. Their lonely appearance conjures up thoughts that make my heart ache. Farmergal

  11. I’d assume the barn isn’t converted because it’s in the National Park and given its condition – which is good, from the pics – I’d also assume it’s still in use as a barn.

    Even without being in a National Park it’s not easy to get planning to convert that type of barn. They usually need extending – too small to provide any meaningful accommodation (esp in Scotland where our building regs are tighter) within the existing footprint – and that often isn’t permitted.

    There’s also the duty of the planning authority to “preserve and enhance”. In my opinion allowing picturesque barns to be converted to second homes (it’s very rarely the essential workers who can afford it) does neither.

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