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This is a 1 1/2 story, gable-roofed, three-bay eave-entry bank barn. The main façade faces north and the ridge-line of the barn is perpendicular to Durham Road, which runs north-south. The main entrance is a pair of double-height sliding exterior doors in the center bay, opening to the grade at the uphill side. Attached at the east corner of the barn is a gable-roofed shed addition (Shed I). The north eave-side of Shed I has two small openings near the eave line and symmetrically placed east and west of center. Attached to the west gable-end of the barn is a shed-roofed addition (Shed II). It consists of an enclosed portion at the north side and an open roofed shelter at the south portion. There appears to be a hay door in the gable attic of the barn.
The south eave-side of the barn has a 3-bay open basement with timber posts supporting the upper barn. The main level has a pair of oversized sliding exterior doors in the center bay. To the west is the open west gable-end of Shed II. To the east is the south eave-side of Shed I. It has a pass-through door in the center, and two small windows on either side. The east gable-end of the barn is encompassed at the main level by the gable-end of Shed I. There is a panel of three double-hung windows set into concrete block masonry at the basement ground level and a six-pane window in the gable attic of the shed. It appears there are no openings in the gable-attic of the barn. The siding on the barn and attached sheds is unpainted vertical flush-board with some concrete block masonry walls at Shed I. The roof is metal panels. The foundation is fieldstone. A one-story high retaining wall of unmortared fieldstone supports the upper level entry to the north side of the main barn.
This is a 1 1/2-story gable-roofed barn or workshop with its ridge-line oriented east-west perpendicular to the road. The west gable-end is the main entry facade and has an oversized sliding door. The south side has a row of four nine-pane stable windows. There appear to be stable windows flanking the door. The north side appears to be blank and the east side appears to have a pair of stable windows.
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.
Listed on the State Register of Historic Places 8/07/2013. Environment: active agriculture, open land, residential, rural, woodland Materials: fieldstone, vertical siding, tin roof, English bank barn; used now for storage and horse stall, historically dairy and other agriculture Built 1850 Historic photos show conditions including attached barn at west of main barn, enclosed basement area, and silo. Sources: Louise Chittenden, Town of Guilford Assessment Database
The main barn (Barn I) is located on a 43-acre parcel on the west side of Durham Road. Across the street, on the east side of the road, is Quonipaug Lake. Sharing the property is a house, built in 1878, a small shed, and a 600 S.F. New England barn (Barn II). They are surrounded by open fields and a few trees. The nearby area is rural, with houses, barns and outbuildings, open fields and areas of woodland. It is approximately six miles north of the center of Guilford. A historic photo shows the presence of a silo, now demolished, to the northwest of the barn complex.
C. Wilkinson & T. Levine, reviewed by CT Trust
Field notes and photographs by Penny Colby: 06/29/2010.
Town of Guilford Assessor’s Record:
GIS Viewer: http://www.prophecyone.us
Parcel ID: 114023
http://maps.google.com accessed 3/4/2011
http://www.bing.com/maps accessed 3/4/2011
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.