Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The building of Corn Ricks

Staddle Stones and
Corn Ricks.
Since my last posting, you will have had quite a good chance to look over the map White Place Farm. It is my intention to go into the various buildings and items so marked by numbers in a logical sequence.

I suppose I grew up during the time when the stable stones were used as a foundation for corn ricks for the last time. They had been used by the farming community for the past few centuries as a preventative measure to stop rats and other vermin from eating a grain of four was trashed. and then stored in a granary. Of course, there are wooden granaries that can still be found today in various parts of the country, mounted on staddle stones. You of course can find these stones used for decorative purposes lining driveways, and as ornaments in the gardens today.
The following diagrams are to demonstrate the way these stones were used in supporting and the building of a corn rick.

The first diagram indicates the way the 12 staddle stones would have been laid out by the rick builder. The experience in this skill alone was enough for him to be hired by any farmer, of course, he would bring with him many other skills as well.

The red square denotes the use of an old half stable door or some other similar object that can be found lying around the farm.

The joining lines , seen in the diagram above are made up of a series of poles that have been used for that particular purpose over quite a number of years and were well seasoned for the job.

In this the last diagram above, you will see that it is all filled in. The material would have been made up from shorter planks and other suitable material stretched across the wooden beams. On top of which would be a lay of straw from the previous. To make a bed for the new sheaves of wheat. The builder would start his rick from the centre, and gradually work to the outside. He would keep repeating the process, thereby making sure that the straw in the sheaves was always sloping to the outside of the rick and to drain away any moisture at penetrated the rick itself.
I will go into topping out and thatching at a later point in this blog, again skill that the rick builder would have gained through experience in his working life on various farms. Atesting to this would be the many certificates and trophies that he held from competition and various Agricultural Shows.

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