Local History

Ziefen; Flur «Bloond». Photo/Bild: Verein Baselbieter Feldscheunen

The Field Barns of Baselbiet

Field barns are witnesses of the ancient agricultural culture in the rural area of Baselbiet (Canton of Basel-Landschaft). Because of their location in the open landscape, they are a striking appearance, especially in the northern part of the canton. However, they also stand for an old form of agriculture that was carried out with locally available means and without motorisation. Most of the field barns are now in decline because they have lost their usefulness and are being neglected.

Until the 18th century, the land was exclusively cultivated by inhabitants of the villages. There were hardly any individual farms outside the communities. With the beginning of modern times, the population started to grow, and more and more inhabitants had to be fed. More and more remote areas were used for agriculture. Hay sheds and small barns for cattle were built in large numbers in the 18th century to provide shelter for hay, cattle and people.

Since the 1950s, motorisation and rationalisation have made these buildings redundant. In the Baselbiet area, about 280 field barns and hay sheds from the period between the 17th and 19th century still exist. In 2010 the association Baselbieter Feldscheunen (Baselbieter Field barns) was founded. The aim is to draw attention to the field barns as part of the traditional landscape and the local building culture. (Source and further information: www.feldscheunen.ch).