The Round Stone Barn is the centerpiece of Hancock Shaker Village in Hancock, MA
The Round Stone Barn, is an architecturally and historically significant, exceedingly efficient, and the only Shaker barn of its kind. It is the iconic symbol of the preserved Hancock Shaker Village.
The Round Stone Barn was built in 1826 by this Shaker community in western Massachusetts. The barn has three levels and is 95' in diameter. The barn was rapidly rebuilt after a fire in 1864. Its distinct circular design was born of labor saving necessity. Shakers were famous for there work saving innovations.
The barn has a lower level where the Shakers fed and milked their cows. They also boarded cows from neighboring farms. Fifty-two cows were led into stalls and their heads were secured in place. Hay wagons were driven up a ramp to the second floor and unloaded. Workers dropped hay down into a wooden central storage area and transferred it to the fed bins. A central ventilation shaft removed potentially inflammable gas from the barn. Cows in the bottom level were positioned for the easy removal of their manure. At the bottom level lay the manure pit, accessible by wagon. Eight to 10 wagon teams can drive around inside the barn at the same time. The interior support system is built with chestnut posts.R