This is a 1 ½ story, three-bay, side- or eave-entry bank barn with a shed and gable-roofed addition. The main facade faces north. In the center bay of the north eave-facade are a pair of exterior sliding doors. The east gable-facade has a pass-through door and a pair of fixed twelve-pane windows on the southern half of the basement level. On the northern half of the east gable-facade is a shed-roofed addition with a pass-through door on the south eave-facade. Centered in the attic gable of the east gable-facade is a fixed three-pane window.
The south eave-facade has a pass-through door in the center bay of the basement level. Above the pass-through door on the main level is a projecting hood, indicating that there may have been a sliding door at that location in the past. Above the hood is a fixed six-pane window. Just below the siding divide in the west bay of the south eave-facade in the basement level are three evenly spaced windows. Two are eight-pane awning windows that open inwards and the one closest to the pass-through door is a four-pane casement window. The east bay of the south eave-facade has a gable-roofed addition with a window opening on the east and west facades. The south facade of the gable-roofed addition has a door opening with a fixed six-pane window centered above.
The west gable-facade has a series of boarded up windows on the basement level. There also appears to be evidence of a gable-roofed addition, now gone. The barn has vertical siding with weathered red paint, a mortared fieldstone foundation and an asphalt shingled roof. The barn is built up on a fieldstone foundation from the grade to the first floor where the barn is sheathed with vertical siding. The fieldstone foundation in both the additions encompass much of their 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.
English bank barn, vertical siding, asphalt roofing, stone foundation, viewable from the road in pasture. Currently used for horses. Vin Scamporino notes
The barn is located east of the associated house and related barn on an open land lot with stone walls and active agriculture in the area. The barn faces north and its ridge line runs parallel to Sand Hill Road.
S. Lessard and T. Levine, reviewed by CT Trust
Photographs by Dominic J. DelVecchio – 11/14/2009
Field notes by Vin Scamporino
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.