Barn Record Old Lyme

Building Name (Common)
Old Lyme Inn carriage barn
Building Name (Historic)
John Sill House carriage barn
85 Lyme Street, Old Lyme


Historic Significance

Architectural description:

This is a 2 story side or eave-entry carriage house. The main eave-facade faces south and its ridge-line is perpendicular to Lyme Street, which runs approximately north-south. The main entry is a double bay opening spanning the west half of the structure. To the east of the opening is a ten-over-ten pane transom. A pair of swinging hinged doors in the easternmost bay. Just off center to the west, below the eave, is a side hinged hay door. Beneath the eaves at regular intervals are five pairs of brackets. The south facade has an oddity in the west corner; there is a diagonal extension off the west gable-facade, flush with the south eave-facade, that contains a pass-through door. What makes this odd is the fact that the extension is only deep enough to enter the door, then it ends, presumably to an interior entrance to the east.

The west gable-facade has the diagonal oddity in the southern corner and two pairs of six-over-six double hung windows; two on the main level and two on the second level. All four have trim. In the gable attic of the west gable-facade is an arched double hung six-over-six window with trim. Above the window is a shelf with a pair of double brackets. A pair of brackets are located below the eave at the northern corner and a single bracket is located just south of the diagonal oddity in the southern corner.

The north eave-facade has three replacement windows; two adjacent to each other and a third to the east. All three windows are in the western half of the north eave-facade. The eastern half of the facade is blank except for a window dormer with a twenty-pane window. There are three pairs brackets at regular intervals in the western half of the facade and two pairs of brackets east of the dormer.

The east gable-facade has a pass-through door in the center on the main level. In the gable attic is an arched double hung six-over-six window with trim. There are no brackets on this facade.

The structure has board-and-batten siding painted yellow with white trim. The foundation is mortared field-stone and the roof has projecting overhangs with soffits and wood shingles.

Historical significance:

Until the 1830s, the horses used for riding and driving carriages were often kept in the main barn along with the other farm animals. By the 1850s, some New England farmers built separate horse stables and carriage houses. Early carriage houses were built just to shelter a carriage and perhaps a sleigh, but no horses. The pre-cursor to the twentieth-century garage, these outbuildings are distinguished by their large hinged doors, few windows, and proximity to the dooryard. The combined horse stable and carriage house continued to be a common farm building through the second half of the nineteenth century and the first decade of the twentieth century, until automobiles became common. Elaborate carriage houses were also associated with gentlemen farms and country estates of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Another form of carriage barn, the urban livery stable, served the needs of tradespeople.

Field Notes

Located in the Old Lyme National Register and Local Historic Districts.

Use & Accessibility

Use (Historic)

Use (Present)

Exterior Visible from Public Road?




Location Integrity

Original Site


Related features

Environment features

Relationship to surroundings

The carriage barn is set behind and to the west of the Old Lyme Inn and is in the National Register for Historic Places Old Lyme District. To the east of the carriage barn is a large expanse of dense woodland. To the south, bordering the parking lot for the Inn, is Interstate 95. In front of the house to the west is Lyme Street.

Typology & Materials

Building Typology


Structural System

Roof materials

Roof type

Approximate Dimensions

1600 S.F.


Date Compiled


Compiled By

Todd Levine, reviewed by the Connecticut Trust


Photographs by Jane Montanaro.

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.

Brown, Mrs. John Crosby; National Register of Historic Places Nomination #362113, 1971. Item No. 71000916 NRIS (National Register Information System)

Vision Appraisal Online Database.

Local Historic District - Old Lyme Historic District, 1970: - accessed 6/20/2012.


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