This is a gable-roofed three-bay structure with its ridge line oriented east-west. The south eave facade has a barn door in the center bay, with 18 glazed lights in the upper portion and a projecting hood above the door. The west facade has two wide doors with openings chamfered at the heads. Siding is vertical board-and-batten painted red. Roofing is asphalt shingles. Several courses of un-mortared fieldstone foundation are visible below the siding.
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 property is located in the South Coventry Historic District; the barn is listed as a 19th century structure and as a contributing resource. Martin Lyman operated the house as an inn in the early 19th century and it was the village post office in the 1920s. Its location at the top of the hill overlooking the cemetery (with its Nathan Hale monument) and lake, was a central location in the village.
The location is in the village of South Coventry, on a hilltop directly across the road from the cemetery, noted for the grave of Nathan Hale. Waungumbaug Lake is immediately to the west of the cemetery. The barn is located south of the house.
Charlotte Hitchcock, reviewed by CT Trust
Field notes and photographs by Charlotte Hitchcock and Julie Rosen, 11/09/2009
Town of Coventry Assessor’s Record Map/Lot 00L/ 0063/ 0006A.
Andrews, Gregory, and Lewis, Barbara, Historic and Architectural Resources Survey of Coventry: the Coventry Village Area, 1980.
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.