Ground Barn

The distinguishing feature of a "ground barn" is that it is not banked; in other words, there is only access at ground level. Ground barns are built of fieldstone or timber frame. The term is a general one. The early ground barn in southeastern Pennsylvania is often called a grundscheier; it has a tripartite plan with the interior organized crosswise to the roof ridge. A very slight ramp leads to a large central door in the eaves side. The "ground barn" operated on the same principle as the English barn and served a small-scale diversified grain and livestock economy. Within Gettysburg National Park many have been preserved, suggesting that ground barns were once much more common than they are today.

Casper Maul Barn, Berks County
Casper Maul Ground Barn, Berks County, 1796

Frame Ground Barn, Adams County, 19th Century
Frame Ground Barn, Adams County, 19th century