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Barns with Chimneys

 

 

A barn with a chimney makes little sense – unless the barn is for sleeping in.

 

 

The example in #1 is “Bob’s Hovel” on the Rothersthorpe to Kislingbury Road outside Northampton, at SP7005851.  #2 shows it underneath the ‘L’ of KISLINGBURY on the 1890 map.  No farm buildings nearby, but there’s a short lane from the bothy passing two long fields.  These were probably used to rest the cattle after their journey to Blisworth Station.  They would be fattened there for 2-3 months before being sold at Northampton Market2, and the drover in charge would live with them till they were ready.

 

 

A barn with a chimney in the grounds of an old inn makes even less sense.  “No room at the inn” comes to mind.  But I’ve found two: #3 is in Swanbourne, opposite what used to be “The Boot Inn”; the chimney is at the back of the picture (and virtually invisible; sorry).  #4 is on Little London Green, Oakley, Bucks, where The White Hart used to be. 

Both of these were for drovers too3, on more of a short-term basis.  Why?

 

 

Because cattlemen were rarely invited to sleep inside an inn: they stank too much. 

 

 

1 Now almost on the bank of the M1.  Bob Franklin was found dead there in 1959.  I must find the newspaper article referring to it.

2 One forgets that people used to like plenty of fat on their meat before the age of large machinery: they needed the calories it provided.

3 Swanbourne and Oakley are both on important drove-routes.

Barns with Chimneys image 1
Bob's Hovel
Barns with Chimneys image 2
Bob's Hovel on 1890 map
Barns with Chimneys image 3
"Games Room" at The Boot
Barns with Chimneys image 4
Old White Hart, Oakley