Barn Record Redding

Building Name (Common)
John Lee Farmstead
Building Name (Historic)
John Lee Farmstead
271 Redding Road (Rte 107), Redding


Historic Significance

Architectural description:

This building demonstrates the way in which eaves entry barns could be extended.

This extended English bank barn is constructed with a hewn and sawn, sqsuare-rule frame with dropped ties and arcade plates.  Evidence of the added bay can be seen in the sistering of major timbers and the discontinuous plates.

Historical significance:

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.

By the mid-1800s many farmers saw their traditional English barn as being too small, inefficient, and old fashioned. As competition from the American West changed the economics of farming in New England, favoring larger herds and new ventures, some New England farmers ... expanded the older barns by building lean-to additions of the sides or rear of the barn. Some added basements, while others lengthened the barns by adding extra bays at the end. These extended barns often have several front doors, with one opening to the original threshing floor.

Field Notes


Use & Accessibility

Use (Historic)

Use (Present)

Exterior Visible from Public Road?




Location Integrity

Original Site


Related features


Environment features

Relationship to surroundings

This barn sits close to the road at the side of the main house on the property.

Typology & Materials

Building Typology


Structural System

Roof materials

Roof type

Approximate Dimensions

20 x 40


Date Compiled


Compiled By

James Sexton, PhD - KY


Sexton, James, The Town of Redding Historic Outbuildings Survey, April, 2011.

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, 213 pages.

Redding Assessor’s Database: - 4/30/2011.

Aerial Mapping: - 4/30/2011.

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