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THE GREAT BARN

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The animal shelter, identifed as The Great Barn, is built on the Scarisbrick Hall estate and visible from one of the drives leading to the Hall, probably dates from the third quarter of the 19th century. It is an octagonal building with a cast-iron frame and a stone slate roof. The roof is in two slopes surmounted by a canopy, and the ironwork was cast by the Liverpool ironfounders, W H Peake. The building was originally open-sided, but three tiers of sockets in the opposing faces of the octagonal central column and the eight outer posts could each have supported the timber rails of radiating, subdividing fences at least two metres high. The column and posts also supported a loft (now removed) which could have extended over all or part of the interior. The shelter originally stood at the junction of four fields, and the radiating internal fences would have enabled livestock, probably horses, to feed and shelter at a central point with the four fields either kept separate or run together in differing combinations according to which fences were in place. No internal fence has survived (the present outer timber wall panels and doors are secondary), but the original stone sett floor survives. In addition to functioning as a farm building, the shelter was also an eyecatcher for visitors to Scarisbrick Hall, its decorative canopy, pierced bargeboards and unusual shape all unnecessary on a purely functional building but a complement to parkland. It is a Grade II listed building.

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Further information about monuments may be obtained by contacting Archive Services, through the Historic England website.