High Weald

Barns are the dominant building of Wealden farmsteads. A barn for storing and processing the harvested corn crop over the winter months was the basic requirement of Weald farms, and corn could also be stacked in yards adjacent to the barn. In all cases the grain was beaten (threshed) from the harvested corn crop on an open threshing floor. Grain was stored in the barn or more usually the farmhouse. Barns may contain evidence of originally being multi-functional buildings that were sub-divided with partitions and floors to allow the housing of cattle as well as the corn crop and other produce. Such evidence should be recorded.

The largest building in most farmyards is the barn. Very few farm buildings other than barns survive from the medieval period. One of the reasons for this may be that barns were built by professional builders and carpenters, while many other buildings would have been constructed more cheaply, perhaps by the farmers themselves.

In arable areas, barns were used solely for the storage and threshing of arable crops. Such barns are often very large. However, the High Weald was an area of relatively small-scale, mainly livestock farming, where the farmer often had other part-time employment - and this is reflected in the size and type of barns found here. High Weald barns are generally small and multi-purpose and would have been used for the storage of all kinds of things - as well as for housing some livestock.

Barns that have been used for threshing arable crops often have a large entrance door to accommodate a full cart and a much smaller one opposite for the empty cart to leave.