Barn-Floors. —The best kind are to be found, according to Mr. Marshall, in the district of Cotswold, Gloucestershire: they are from 12 to 14, by 18 to 20feet ; some of ouk, Others of stone; but a species of earthen floor, which is of the calcareous earth of the sub-oil, a kind of ordinary gravel, and the chippings of free--red to be superior to floors of stone, orany other material, except sound oak-plank. The great excelence of is owing partly to the materials of which they are made, and partly to the method of forming them, which is, perhaps, peculiar to that district; it is described as follows ;
"Earthen barn-floors are made, in other places, of wet materials ; a kind of mortar, which, as it dries, is liable to crack, and requires some months after it is made, to dry it hard enough for use: on the contrary, the m rials in the practice under consideration, are worred dry ; they of course do not crack, and are ready for use as soon as finished. The materials, mixed together, are sifted twice over: the first time, through a wide sieve to catch the stones and large gravel, which are thrown to the bottom of the floor; the next, through a finer sieve, to separate the more earthy parts from the finer gravel, which is spread upon the stones, and upon this, the more earthy parts, making the whole about a foot thick, and trimming down the different layers closely and firmly upon each other. The surface being levelled, it is beaten with a flat wooden beetle, made like the gardeners' turf-beater, until the surface become as hard as a stone, and rings at every stroke, like metal. If properly made, they are said to last a great number of years, being equally proof against the flail and the broom.
"These materials, it is true, cannot be had in many districts; but the principle of making bam-floors with dry materials' being known, other substances than these which are here in use, may be found to answer the same pur-pose"
The barn-floors generally used in most parts of the kingdom, consume a quantity of large and valuable oak-timber, often such as might be converted into two and a-half inch ship-timber; they last only from fifteen to twenty years, and require frequent repairs. Hollow beech-floors, which were introduced a few years since, on account of the very high price of oakrtimber, are found not to wear more than seven or eight years. We think it necessary, therefore, to give a description of a moveable barn-floor invented by Mr. John Upton, of Petworth, Sussex, for which he received a reward of thirty guineas, from the Society for the Encouragement of Arts, etc. in the year 1796.
"This floor effectually prevents a waste of corn, in threshing; it gives an addition of at least one foot in height at the doors, by which means a higher load of corn can be admitted; and also, as the horses do not draw the waggon up an ascent, and upon a slippery floor; but upon a hard bottom, and level with the farm-yard, two horses can perform the work, where four are now generally used. It affords a warm and convenient shelter for hogs, when it is down; and, when turned up, it may be used as a stable, ox-stall, hovel, or cart-house; two men can place or displace it in five minutes: and, from its allowing, at all times, an easy access to dogs and cats under it, it affords no harbour for vermin.
"The following are statements of the materials used, and the ex-pence of the barn-floors, respectively.
"Barn-floors now in common use :—The original floor laid on the ground, with three cills, and two-inch oak-plank, which in general lasts from fifteen to twenty years, cost 19I. 10s.—The hollo, v-floors on brick quoins, with two and a half inch bak-plank', cost 311.10s.
"John Uptons Barn-floor :—. The new-constructed hollow-floor is composed of oak-plank, five feet eight inches in length, and one inch and a half thick; whereas three-fourths of the plank used in the original floors, are fourteen feet in length :—the whole expence 231. 10s.
The plank for the last-mentioned floor may consist of deal, beech, or elm; as they will be perfectly free from decay by damps, which will considerably lessen the expence of the new-construcfed floor: these are the estimates when the materials are supplied by a carpenter. When they are furnished from the estate, a very considerable advantage . arises to the landlord, as the new-constructed floor is composed of small scantlings, which may be obtained from short timber, much inferior in value to those used for the other floors.
Where there are more than one barn in a farm-yard, this floor may be farther useful, as it may be removed from one barn to another, and save the expence of at least one out of three.
"It is supposed, that a floor constructed in this manner will last for one hundred years, or indeed as long as the barn ; because it is perfectly free from damps, on account of the distance at which it lies above the ground, with a free current of air passing under it when down; and when it is turned up (which it probably will be at least half the year), it will be at as free from decay as the posts or beam- of the barn."