Out-barns of Bowland
osborne 1
 7 September – 15 November 2019
Peter Osborne first learnt to paint and draw as a boy with the bird artist Rowland Green.  After two degrees, the second in Art History at the Courtauld Institute, he worked in art schools eventually becoming Head of the Blackburn School of Art and Design.  He is moved by the sad sight of fine old barns sinking into decay; this exhibition of watercolours was a result.
The exhibition documented the state of out-barns in Bowland mainly in the area of Tatham Fells.
These old barns are reaching their end.  Unwanted and abandoned, these lovely remains of an old way of farming life are still an important part of our heritage and of our landscape.  But, Peter asks: “Who will act to save them?”
A few out-barns are well-maintained by careful farmers, as indeed are nearly all barns near road or farmstead.  These latter can be used for storage of vehicles or equipment.  For out-barns things are different; approachable only by path, track or just rough ground, their only use is for sheep to find occasional shelter.  Such minimal use does not justify the cost to struggling farmers of re-roofing and other repair.  Decay in roof timbers quickly leads to the slippage of roofing slabs.  Ingress of water hastens decay and, in turn, seeps into, splits and cracks the walls.
The watercolours are the result of an effort, on long walks over field and fell, to record what is left of our ancient barns.  As well as being essentially accurate depictions of their state, they are also affected by a sadness at seeing them so, particularly in their landscape importance.  Almost every path in the area is enlivened by one of these features, built in the local stone by the superb craftsmen of our villages in the past.


Catalogue of Giclee Prints:                                                             O.S. 1.  Starkers Barn looking towards the Lake District.                            667626

  1. New Close Barn 648629
  2. Small barn under Greenbank 644619
  3. New Close from North West 646636
  4. Middle Barn. Towards Gragareth 652631
  5. Tunstall House Barn from the North 654668
  6. Fall Barn from S.E. 665628
  7. Fall Barn from N.W. ..
  8. Holmes Barn 657620
  9. Middle Barn, from East as 5.
  10. Tunstall House Barn, towards Gragareth as 6.
  11. Barn by Bridleway from Ashleys 626682
  12. Rantree Fold Barn 658648
  13. Demolition of barn under Brackenbottom 657648
  14. Holmes Barn as 9.
  15. Interior, New Close   as 4.
  16. Crow Gill Barn in Snow 642654
  17. Bent Close   650653
  18. Ruined Barn by Footpath from Lowgill Lane 642655
  19. Willy Close Barn towards Bowland Forest 673651
  20. Barn by Clearbeck 624681
  21. Green Hall Barn 667653
  22. Far Holme   647653
  23. Barn Remains near Haw Wood 641660
  24. Barn by Coat Bank Coppice 618693
  25. Mewith Barn …………
  26. Remains of Low House Barn 652635
  27. Higher Craggs 668645
  28. Creams Barn 630663
  29. Barn Remains below Park House 637664

31 Helks Wood Barn                                                                            646654

  1. Small barn at Whiteray 665622
  2. Green Hall Barn as 22
  3. Fall Barn, towards Lythe as 7.
  4. Swans Wood 658632
  5. Starkers from West as 1
  6. Holmes from Dixons as 9
  7. Swans Track 658632
  8. On Ashleys bridleway 626684
  9. Barn at Mewith


i.Stirk Close                                    ii. Falls Barn (Botton)

iii. Fall Barn (Lythe) from Greenbank    

 iv New Barn, Hindburn Headwaters



 Given the slight possibility of damp in the telephone box, most images have been displayed as giclee prints.  These may be purchased.  Please send a letter enclosing the catalogue number(s) of print(s) required and a £10 note per print, I will then post a print to your address.  My address is: Clearbeck House, Tatham, Lancaster, LA2 8PJ.