The Great Barn at East Riddlesden Hall

Inside the Great Barn, with the sunlight streaming through the windows.

The Grade I listed Great Barn at East Riddlesden Hall is a 400 year old testament to the craftsmen who worked incredibly hard to build the magnificent structure.

Sitting close to the duck pond and over-looking the house, the Great Barn would have once drawn the same level the attention as it does today.

Trees were felled and riven split to create the impressive oak beams. The solid stone flooring was used for threshing in the autumn months once the harvest was brought home. 

The cavernous interior of the Great Barn.
The inside of the Great Barn illuminated

Sockets can be seen where planks were inserted across the base and part way up the main doors, these would have helped deter the poultry, ducks and geese from wandering inside. Mixing the dirt with the grain was always a challenge; and inventive ways of keeping the crop clean is evident throughout.

How spectacular does the inside of the roof look?
Rafters in the Great Barn, East Riddlesden Hall

Cast your eyes up at the huge oak beams, looking closely you'll see the matching Roman numerals or sets of chisel marks which would have indicated to the craftsmen how the frame should have been reassembled on site. This is a 400 year old 'flat pack' construction technique.  

Can you see the wooden pegs used to secure the giant beams?
Showin the wooden pegs securing the beams in the Great Barn.

Venturing further into the Great Barn, navigating the uneven floor, you'll see the stalls which held up to 42 animals. Each animal would have been tethered to a vertical post and signs of life from the wear and tear to these posts can be seen today.

Brick flooring within the stalls stands out against the stone and wood. The extra warmth that comes with brick would have offered some comfort to the animals. The grewp, a drainage gully, would have collected the ‘muck’ and this would be used on the fields.    

Over the coming months we’ll be bringing architectural and social history alive and embracing farming traditions. Visit, ignite your imagination and take a step back to this seventeenth century farming hub.