Winnowing barn Liermolen

New building for education

During our second Half-timbering class in 2019, we built a half-timbered winnowing barn, which is used for educational activities such as the Workshop Bread making. During that workshop, schoolchildren get to work with grain themselves: they sow, winnow and thresh. The winnowing machine is housed in the winnowing barn and the children can shelter in case of rain. The building is designed in such a way that dust and chaff can escape through the openings in the walls. Flails, winnows, seed cloths and other pedagogical material are given a place in the attic.

Made to measure

Built with natural materials and using historical building techniques, this building fits wonderfully into our broader half-timbering project. The winnowing barn was custom designed and built for this specific place and function, just think of the removable wall panels. Winnowing used to be done in the barn, with the gate open. For the foot wall we were able to reuse the walls of the dung heap from the 1980s. The winnowing barn is, except for the vertical stakes in pine and the woven lattices in willow, built entirely of chestnut wood.

What's winnowing?

Winnowing - separating the wheat from the chaff - used to be an important task on the farm, usually reserved for the winter months. Before the advent of machines, it took a lot of muscle power, skill and time. Working with the winnowing fan, a large flat basket, was physically demanding and tiring work. The winnowing machine was a great progress, by turning a crank you could simultaneously make wind and set grain sieves in motion. During the bread making workshop it is quite an experience for the school children to operate the winnowing machine, therefore it deserves such a beautiful home.


the MOT, Section Liermolen - Vorststraat 8, 1850 Grimbergen
02 270 81 11 or