Townend's historic working bank barn
This section of the page features an image gallery, so if you're using a screen reader you may wish to jump to the main content.
Opposite Townend is the barn used by the Browne family.
It is one of the very few remaining bank barns in the Lake District and is still in use today, much like it was in the 18th-century.
The oldest part of the barn was built by George Browne in 1666, with an extension added in the 18th-century. The barn had many uses: not only did the cattle stay in it, it also housed a place for a small carriage, dog kennels and space to dry wood and peat for the fire. Having such a well equipped barn was yet another sign of the Browne family's wealth.
Townend's barn is one of the earliest bank barns in the UK. The bank barn had made its first appearance in Cumbria by the 1660s on the farms of wealthy farmers. Farmers bought drove cattle from Scotland and fattened them over winter in the barns before selling the cattle on in spring.
The great majority of bank barns were built in Cumbria between 1750 and 1860, with the last constructed just prior to the First World War.
The barn at Townend is still in agricultural use, with the farmer using it for lambing and keeping his sheep. It's not open to the public, but you can see it from our garden, or the approach from the car park.