Barns and farm buildings
Although there is evidence of earlier timber structures, few farm buildings survive in Calderdale which were built before 1600, and sometimes early timber work is encased by later stone walls.
The most common type of purpose-built farm building is the barn. Barns were first built as places to thresh and store cereal crops, but in colder upland areas like Calderdale many also included a mistal or cow house to protect cattle from the harsh winter weather. These may be found in all types of barns but their location in the building and the position of their door varies.
In Calderdale, barns are usually closely related to a farmhouse either as part of a farmstead group or actually attached to a farmhouse or cottage. Farmhouses can be of an earlier or later date than the barn and there is a special type of Pennine farm building where the farmhouse and barn were built together under one roof which is called a laithe house.
The barns in Calderdale fall into three main types:
- large barns with aisles or outshuts; the earliest have two aisles (built up to the late 18th century). Most barns of this type will be listed;
- smaller barns with no aisles or outshuts and few or no openings except cart doors (early 17th century to mid 19th century);
- non-aisled barns with symmetrically arranged openings plus windows or ventilator over the cart entry (late 18th century to 20th century).
Buildings such as cart sheds, pigsties, cow sheds and stables can also be found in some farmstead groups.