High Street [map]

"The building still retains the upper floor divided into six storage bins, three either side of a central gangway. These bins were used to store the grains and pulses used for cattle feed. An open-tread staircase gave access to the upper floor. The farm workers had to carry the filled sacks on their backs from the threshing floor of the barn opposite to the upper floor, where the contents were tipped into the appropriate bin. This was extremely hard work as a full sack weighed anything between 12 stones (76kg) in the case of oats to 19 stones (120kg) for beans. In the centre of the floor of each bin was a small trapdoor. The underside of each trapdoor in the ceiling of the ground floor, a canvas or sacking chute was attached, the end closed by a string tie. The stockman would untie the end of the chute from a particular bin and allow the desired quantity of the contents to cascade onto the floor.

The process would be repeated for the other bins as required. He would mix the individual heaps together with a shovel, and fill a wooden bushel. This would then be tipped into the wooden hopper situated over the inlet of a Bamford Plate Mill (later replaced by a hammer mill) to grind the ingredients into cattle feed. The mill was driven originally by a stationary engine but by the middle of the 1940s the mill was coupled to the power-takeoff pulley of a Fordson Major tractor. The upper door allowed bales of hay to be pitch-forked from a cart parked below to the upper floor for storage above the bins."

Reproduced, with permission, from Historical Landbeach.