By Sally Coulthard
Published:10 Nov 2022
A revelatory uncovering of a vanished agricultural way of life by bestselling nature writer Sally Coulthard.
'A gem of a book' Country Smallholding
'Engaging and filled with gentle humour and fascinating facts' Get History
'Shows us the beauty and rich history of everyday things' Country Walking Magazine
Across the foldyard from Sally Coulthard's North Yorkshire farmhouse, stands an old stone barn. When she discovered a set of witches' marks on one of its internal walls, she began to wonder about the lives of the people who had once lived and worked there.
Both the intimate story of a building and its hinterland, and a wider social history, The Barn explores a hidden corner of rural Britain that has witnessed remarkable changes. From the eighteenth-century Enclosures to the Second World War, the fortunes of the Barn have been blown, like a leaf in a gale, by the unstoppable forces of new agriculture and industry.
Seismic shifts in almost every area of society were all played out here in miniature - against a backdrop of scattered limestone villages and the softly rolling Howardian Hills.