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Old Park Farm

Many farms in the National Park have old “horse engine houses” or “gin gangs”. These buildings were constructed between the 1790s and the mid-nineteenth century to harness horse-power (literally) to create a horse-driven threshing machine, especially useful where there was no water power for a water wheel.

The threshing machine, located in the adjacent barn, separated the grain from the straw, whilst a winnowing machine, located beneath, removed the chaff. A drive shaft transferred the power of the horse, walking round the central vertical spindle and cogs, to the machine.

The horse engine house at Old Park Farm, with its hipped roof and hexagonal plan, dates from the early nineteenth century and has fallen into dereliction. The farmer received an Historic Buildings Grant to reconstruct, repair and re-roof the engine house, saving an example of a building type that is especially distinctive in the National Park.