Old Barns of Nova Scotia

27 03 2010

My last post was about the architecture of Brian Mackay-Lyons and how many of his designs are made to imitate the old barns of this region.  So, I thought  I’d put some photos of the old barns I have visited here around Lunenburg.

This first is my favourite, with the shingles beautifully weathered.

The half doors are nice.

I don’t think this tower at the back is a windmill – maybe a grain silo?

Many of the barns are painted red.

I think this one has just lost its red colour

and is back to the bare wooden shingles.

These shingles have buckled and bent over the years.

This barn has a gambrel roof, which is a bit like a mansard roof, but with tall gables.

The foundations of this barn have gone.

This little red barn is used for basketball practice.

Another faded red barn.

The smaller barn here has totally collapsed. Again these two barns had gambrel roofs.




6 responses

1 04 2010


Again very interesting post. From the top fourth (red) is just like that we have here. Nowadays barns are disappearing here.

The tower I also think to be a silo. What was very interesting, were shingles which were very traditional on old houses also. When I lived on countryside as young boy, in my neighbor there was a machine with which shingles were made.

I like this kind of “reports” as You made here now.

1 04 2010

Thanks, Mattie. The Europeans who arrived in Canada would build the red barns like those they had in their homelands. What sort of machine was made from shingles? I really like the shingles as a covering for buildings.

1 04 2010

I have to think this, what short of machine, because it is not easy to explain. I’ll return. Here it is early evening and me and my wife (she came from her job) started to spend evening just before the Easter.

17 08 2011

In preparation for an article on vanishing barns in Nova Scotia I came across your blog and great photos. Do you happen to know if there are any records or organizations focused on the preservation of these barns? I’m also looking for information on the various styles of barns. Thanks so much.

17 08 2011

Sorry, don’t know of any organisations. I did see a hexagonal barn for sale which had conditions for its renovation. Probably there is no emphasis on preservation until such a barn is for sale or is in an area of historic interest, such as the Old Town of Lunenburg. I will look around and see what I can find.

29 03 2015

I have seen 3 barns, built in the same style, along the South Shore, but no one can tell me its original use. It is a 2 storey rectangle building, covered in shingles. It has small windows on both floors, but no large barn door, just a ‘man’ door. Any idea?

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