Knapp Farm Barn

The second half of the 1950s was a time when wartime austerity was ending, we’d ‘never had it so good’ and it was time to get rid of old fashioned things and replace them with new. And that is precisely what happened to this barn.

Knapp Farm barn in 1957

Knapp Farm barn in 1957

This is a 1957 photo and work is in progress to remove the thatch from the barn roof.

Work is in progress to remove the thatch from the roof

Work is in progress to remove the thatch from the roof

There we see (just) a couple of men working on the barn roof with a tractor and trailer down below for collecting the discarded old thatching straw. The farmhouse can be seen beyond the barn and the photo must have been taken from somewhere near Broadwell.

This was very much an era for the removal of thatch. On dwelling houses it was replaced by tiles but a former thatched roof can often be picked out because they are much more steeply pitched than a standard tiled roof.

On a barn, it was deemed OK to replace the tiles with asbestos sheeting! Like Jesus on the cross, we must forgive the people who did this for at the time it was true to say, ‘they know not what they do’.

Some of this barn area has now been converted into desirable dwellings – ‘White Horse Barns’. That means these buildings look smart and tidy – far removed, of course, from their original purpose.

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