This is a multi-unit barn complex comprising of three connected barns: Barn-I towards the east, Barn-II in the middle and Barn-III towards the west. The ridge line of Barn-I runs north-south perpendicular to Reservoir Road towards the south while those of Barn-II and Barn-III run east-west parallel to the road.
Barn-I is 1 ½- story three-bay eave-entry bank barn towards the east with a shed-roof addition encompassing the entire length of its west eave-side. The 1 ½ -story gable-entry barn, Barn-II is attached to west eave-side of the shed-roof addition on the west eave-side of Barn-I towards the north. Barn-II also has a shed-roof addition encompassing the entire length of its south eave-side. The west gable-end of Barn-II and its shed-roof addition are attached to a 1 ½ - story eave-entry barn, Barn-III completing the three-barn complex.
The three-bay east eave-side of Barn-I has a main entrance centered in the middle bay through a pair of double-height hinged wagon doors with blacksmith hardware. The grade level along the east eave-side of Barn-I drops towards the south to form the bank level along the south gable-end of the barn with the loose earth retained by un-coursed un-mortared fieldstone masonry wall. The lower grade level continues towards the west along the south eave-side of the shed-roof addition on the south eave-side of Barn-II and the south gable-end of Barn-I. The south gable-end of Barn-I has an entrance towards the west at the bank level through a pair of eight-pane exterior-hung sliding wagon doors. The gable attic is separated by a distinct dropped girt siding divide line and is lined by fascia board. The south side-wall of the shed-roof addition is flush with the south gable-end of Barn-I and has an entrance towards the west through a hinged pass-through door with blacksmith hardware. The hinged pass-through door is separated from the main wagon door entrance by a six-pane towards the west and a vertical strip of exposed brick masonry towards the east. The south end-wall of the shed-roof addition has a margin of exposed field-stone masonry foundation towards the west. The wooden frame of the barn and the shed roof addition is supported on un-coursed un-mortared fieldstone masonry foundation. The barn has asphalt shingle roofing and vertical siding on walls.
The south eave-side of the shed-roof addition on the south eave-side of Barn-II has an entrance at the center through a hinged pass-through door with blacksmith hardware. Three six-pane hopper windows can be see towards the west of the pass-through door while four similar six-pane hopper windows can be seen towards the east. The wooden frame of the barn and the shed-roof addition has vertical siding walls and metal roofing.
The south eave-side of Barn-III is blank apart from an entrance towards the extreme east through a hinged pass-through door. A margin of exposed un-coursed un-mortared field-stone masonry foundation can be seen along the grade level that wraps the barn along its west gable-end. The west gable-end of Barn-III appears to be blank with a distinct dropped girt siding divide line separating the gable-attic. The wooden frame of the barn is supported on un-coursed un-mortared field-stone masonry foundation. The barn has asphalt shingle roofing and vertical siding walls.
The oldest barns still found in the state are called the “English Barn,” “side-entry barn,” “eave entry,” or a 30 x 40. They are simple buildings with rectangular plan, pitched gable roof, and a door or doors located on one or both of the eave sides of the building based on the grain warehouses of the English colonists’ homeland. The name “30 by 40” originates from its size (in feet), which was large enough for 1 family and could service about 100 acres. The multi-purpose use of the English barn is reflected by the building’s construction in three distinct bays - one for each use. The middle bay was used for threshing, which is separating the seed from the stalk in wheat and oat by beating the stalks with a flail. The flanking bays would be for animals and hay storage.
The 19th century saw the introduction of a basement under the barn to allow for the easy collection and storage of a winter’s worth of manure from the animals sheltered within the building. The bank barn is characterized by the location of its main floor above grade, either through building into a hillside or by raising the building on a foundation.
This innovation, aided by the introduction of windows for light and ventilation, would eventually be joined by the introduction of space to shelter more animals under the main floor of the barn.
The New England barn or gable front barn was the successor to the English barn and relies on a gable entry rather than an entry under the eaves. The gable front offers many practical advantages. Roofs drain off the side, rather than flooding the dooryard. With the main drive floor running parallel to the ridge, the size of the barn could be increased to accommodate larger herds by adding additional bays to the rear gable end. Although it was seen by many as an improvement over the earlier side-entry English Barn, the New England barn did not replace its predecessor but rather coexisted with it, as both types continued to be built.
Corner of Saybrook Road and Reservoir Road, current use appears to be a horse farm. House, 2 small red barns near the house, and a connected complex of large unpainted barns to the southeast along Reservoir Road.
The 3.22 acres property, Account number – R01855 and Map lot number- 42-0090, is a corner plot located east of Saybrook Road and the north of Reservoir Road. The property has a relatively narrow frontage to Saybrook Road and speards east-west along Reservoir Road. It is situated in a pre-dominantly residential area with its edges demarcated by wooden fence. Residential plots flank the property towards the north, east and the south, across Reservoir Road while institutions like hospitals, community services and some commercial units can be seen towards the west, along Saybrook Road.
The multi-unit barn complex is located along the southern edge of the property with the main residence towards its northwest, nearer to Saybrook Road. A 1 ½ - story gable-roof red barn can be seen immediately towards the east of the main residence. Another small gable-roof shed is located towards the south of the red barn surrounded by woodland in the southwest corner of the property. The barn complex has a yard towards its west with its edges defined by field-stone boundary wall while an oval-shaped fenced paddock is located towards the north. The property has parcels of open land towards the north and the east.
3 connected barns, 2 small barn/shed structures; Barn: 42 X 31 Sqft; Barn: 35 X 37 Sqft; Barn: 30 X 40 Sqft; Shed: 13 X 17Sqft; Shed: 15 X 17 Sqft; Shed: 13X 15 Sqft; Shed: 10 X 40 Sqft.
T. Levine and M. Patnaik, reviewed by CT Trust
Field notes and photographs provided by: Gloria Earls, 03/11/2009.
Additional information provided by Charlotte R. Hitchcock.
Assessors’ records retrieved on March 22nd, 2011 from website http://middletown.univers-clt.com/index.php.
GIS information retrieved on March 22nd, 2011 from website http://host.appgeo.com/MiddletownCT/Map.aspx.
Photograph/Information retrieved on March 22nd, 2011 from website http://www.google.com
Photograph/Information retrieved on March 22nd, 2011 from website http://www.bing.com.
Photograph/Information retrieved on March 22nd, 2011 from website http://www.zillow.com.
Sexton, James, PhD; Survey Narrative of the Connecticut Barn, Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation, Hamden, CT, 2005, http://www.connecticutbarns.org/history
Visser, Thomas D.,Field Guide to New England Barns and Farm Buildings, University Press of New England, 1997.