Barn Record Suffield

Building Name (Common)
Building Name (Historic)
1373 Sheldon Street, Suffield



Historic Significance

Architectural description:

This is a 2 1/2 story gable-entry bank barn with a shed-roofed addition. The main facade faces west and the ridge-line of the barn is parallel to this portion of Sheldon Street, which runs approximately east-west. The main entry is a pair of hinged doors in the north half of the west gable-facade in the main level. The foundation beneath is brick, then un-mortared field-stone, leaving the access to the entry hard to get to. The rest of the facade is blank. The grade at the northwest corner rises, covering the field-stone. The north eave-side of the barn has a series of basement widows in the brick foundation. The main level and second level each have a series of round-arched nine-pane windows with trim; five in each level. The rest of the eave-side is blank. The shed-roofed addition encompasses the entire width of the east gable-side and the sides of the addition are flush with the eave-sides of the barn. The east facade of the addition has an open bay towards the north side of the barn and two round-arched windows with trim towards the middle and south side of the barn. In the gable attic of the main barn is a round-arched window. The south eave-side of the barn has a series of windows in the basement level. The rest of the eave-side is blank except for a single window with trim in the south side of the addition.  The grade rises slightly at the southwest corner. The barn has vertical flush-board painted red with white trim. The roof has asphalt shingles. The foundation is un-mortared field-stone and brick.

Historical significance:

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.

The 19th century also 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 on 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.

Field Notes


Use & Accessibility

Use (Historic)

Use (Present)

Exterior Visible from Public Road?




Location Integrity



Related features

Environment features

Relationship to surroundings

The barn is to the west of the house it is associated with. The ridge-line of the house is perpendicular to the ridge-line of the barn. Between the house and barn, slightly to the south, is a complex of of outbuildings that nearly enclose a courtyard. A small shed-roofed shed is adjacent to the barn towards the southwest. To the south of the barn is a five bent tobacco shed. To the south is a huge expanse of open space, which extends across to Taintor Street, 139 acres total. The area surrounding the site is residential, active agriculture, open space and woodland.

BRN3 Barn 1 St w/Loft 3152 S.F. 
BRN3 Barn 1 St w/Loft 1056 S.F.
BRN1 Barn 1 Story 1144 S.F.
BRN3 Barn 1 St w/Loft 2541 S.F.
SHD1 Shed 196 S.F.
SHD1 Shed 252 S.F.

Typology & Materials

Building Typology


Structural System


Roof materials

Roof type

Approximate Dimensions

Barn 1 St w/Loft 2541 S.F.


Date Compiled


Compiled By

Todd Levine, reviewed by the Connecticut Trust


Photographs by Mike Bruns.

Sexton, James, PhD; Survey Narrative of the Connecticut Barn, Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation, Hamden, CT, 2005,

Visser, Thomas D.,Field Guide to New England Barns and Farm Buildings, University Press of New England, 1997.

Vision Appraisal Online Database.

Map of Suffield, CT, retrieved on Aug 22, 2009 from website

The Capitol Region Council of Governments website.

PhotosClick on image to view full file