"Old barns are big, good-looking, places that were built from local materials and so look as if they have emerged naturally from the landscape. Modern agribusiness meant that thousands of them became surplus to requirements from the 1960s onwards.
...As English Heritage, the government's conservation agency, has pointed out, too many people do them badly, destroying the character of the buildings. "Horror conversions", as Simon Thurley, EH's chief executive, calls them, are arguably worse than leaving these honestly functional structures to decay with dignity. But the best kind of conversion reveals the nobility of their character without resorting to witless historical pastiche."