This beautiful barn in Valldal, Norway is an incredible feat of amateur engineering featuring a stone ramp spiraling out from the hay loft. With the barn completed in 1885, one farmer spent the next seven years constructing the grassy ramp, which gained greater attention when the work was published in a 2014 book about Norway’s historic barns.
Lars Petter Olsen Valldal was both a farmer and lover of design who went to great lengths to customize his barn. He used rocks from a nearby hill, which he either transported by hand, by sliding the rocks on cowhide, or by using a custom built sled for larger pieces. The archway visible close to the barn was necessary, as an access road to other farms cut through the property.
If that weren’t enough, Olsen Valldal even designed and constructed a crane device to lift the heavy pieces into place. It’s said that he enjoyed tinkering with his inventions more than farming, leaving the agricultural work to his wife while he toyed with his designs. Of course, most of what he created went back into increasing the farm’s productivity. Aside from the ramp, which would have allowed quick storage access, he also created a machine to help spread manure and designed a system of ditches around his fields to optimize irrigation.
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