The Barn and Rickyard at Manor Farm, Wroxall

A Vintage Massey Ferguson Combine Harvester, like that used at Manor Farm, 2017.
Photo © Evelyn Simak. Originally uploaded to

Adjoining the main building at Manor Farm was a large barn with double full height doors on both sides in which hay and later bales of straw were kept. Inside, a flight of stone stairs led to the loft over the grain store.  There was also a  granary which was divided into several large storage bins where the grain was kept – wheat, oats and barley.  One of the bins had a hopper down which the grain was sent to the meal house. It was our delight as children to walk along the narrow dividing walls between the bins without unbalancing and falling, as well as swinging from the iron roof frames to turn head over heels.

The rickyard

A quadrangle housed the Estate wood stores along two of its sides, while the fourth side led into the rickyard. This large fenced-in area was where hay and straw ricks were built to provide fodder and bedding material for the animals during the winter months. In time, my father erected a triple Dutch Barn (a roofed open barn) to protect the hay and straw from the elements. The right hand side of the rickyard held the clamps in which the harvested mangolds and potatoes were stored for winter use and a rather extensive muck heap, which provided fertiliser to be spread on the arable fields. Nearby was a sheep dipping ‘bath’. Every so often the sheep were put in at one end, submerged to kill any nasties and then emerged dripping wet at the other end.

Drying and harvesting the corn

As time went on my father invested in a corn drying machine so that the grain would be already dry enough to be sold directly to the grain merchants. We also had a silo which was filled with wet grass and became rather smelly, but the cows liked it! Of course in the early days we just had a corn harvester/reaper attached to a wagon and pulled by a tractor, but when combine harvesters were invented my father bought a bright red 10 foot monster.

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