Barn Record Bethany

Building Name (Common)
Hill Top Farm / Russell Homestead
Building Name (Historic)
Russell, Daniel, Farmstead
20 Round Hill Road, Bethany


Historic Significance

Architectural description:

This is a 1 ½-story three-bay eave-entry English barn with several additional bays added to the east end, the easternmost being a school bus garage. The ground level of the western three-bay block has been adapted to use as a dairy cow stable, with the upper loft level remaining as a hay loft. The original frame is obscured on the interior but is visible from inside the hay loft.
The south eave-side of the western block has a series of six-pane stable windows – from left to right, a pair, a triple, another pair – followed by a door opening at the right (east) corner. To the right (east) the south wall of the eastern portion steps out five feet toward the south. A 1-story shed-roofed milk room addition is attached to the east of the doorway. It has a six-pane stable window on each of the east and west gable walls. The upper level has no openings; siding on this block is wood shingles.
The east portion of the barn appears by the deflections in the roof line to consist of three bays. The left (west) bay is largely encompassed by the milk room addition but also had, prior to recent repairs, a small stable window at the ground level (replaced by a larger sash) and a large six-pane window at the loft level (removed). To the right the next bay has a hinged pass-through door and a six-pane stable window. The rightmost (eastern) bay has a sliding barn or garage door and to the right a two-over-two double-hung window matching those of the Farmhouse. The two righthand bays have at the loft level a row of four six-pane windows just under the eave line. Siding was formerly a mix of vertical boards on the milk room bay and horizontal lap siding on the right two bays. During rehabilitation horizontal siding is being installed across all three bays and the discontinuities that indicated construction of each bay as an addition, are now concealed by continuous siding.
The east gable-end wall of the barn has a slight saltbox profile, as the north wall is stepped out to the north. The gable-end had prior to renovation, a two-over-two double-hung window in deteriorated condition, now replaced by modern double-hung sash. The north eave-side of the barn has three windows in the two easternmost bays – two of these appear to be modern while the rightmost is a six-pane stable window. The third bay from the east steps back to the plane of the western block and has a pass-through door and a double-hung window. This portion of the barn has horizontal wood lap siding. To the right (west) the three-bay block has a pair of sliding doors in the left bay with a hay door above, and a modern double-hung window in each of the bays to the right. This section has horizontal wood lap siding.
The west gable-end has wood shingle siding, a slight saltbox profile with the north eave-line lowered, a six-pane attic window near the peak, and on six-pane stable window at the main ground level near the right (south) corner. Grade declines toward the west and the fieldstone foundation is exposed along the west and part of the south sides. Prior to renovations the barns was a mix of unpainted shingle siding and red-painted horizontal siding, with white trim. Following renovation all walls are red with white trim. Roofing, with no overhangs, is asphalt shinges.

Field Notes

Listed on the State Register of Historic Places 12/04/2013. 2004 - owned by the Bethany Historical Society. Russell Family still uses the barns for their herd. 2011 - renovations underway by Historical Society.

Use & Accessibility

Use (Historic)

Use (Present)

Exterior Visible from Public Road?




Location Integrity

Original Site


Related features

Environment features

Relationship to surroundings

This 3.1-acre parcel is located on the north side of Round Hill Road, west of its intersection with Amity Road (Route 63). The site is at the southern border of Bethany close to the town line with Woodbridge. The farm is located on a relatively level saddle of land between Round Hill to the south and a broad plateau to the north. A stream running southwest drains the area. The present acreage appears to be the remnant of a larger farm with the Farmhouse dating from the mid- to late-18th century.
The house is located on an elevation above the road and is a 1 ½-story cape-style building with its ridge-line oriented east-west. The south eave-side faces the road, with a level landing formed by a low fieldstone wall adjacent to the house and stone steps leading down to a narrow lawn area. The south side is a five-bay façade – originally the central door was flanked by two windows on each side. In the 1940s the door was moved one bay to the left (west) and a window moved to the center. The windows are two-over-two double-hung sash. Several courses of fieldstone foundation are exposed at the southwest corner, with grade rising toward the northwest. The west gable-end has two similar windows at the ground floor level widely-spaced and two in the attic close together. The east gable-end has similar fenestration but a fully-exposed foundation with windows and a door to the basement.. A 1-story gable-roofed well room addition is attached at the northeast corner; this has its ridge-line east-west and has a full-height fieldstone foundation exposed on the south side. The main block is 31’ x 39’, the well room is 8’ x 13’, and a shed addition 7’ deep spans the entire north side, extending the roof-line in a saltbox form. This has a continuous row of six-pane windows and two pass-through doors located near the west and east ends. The addition is un-heated and functions as a porch or mud room.
The Farmhouse interior formerly had a center chimney mass, but this was removed in the early- or mid-20th century. The interior layout consists of two parlors at the south side with a narrow room between, formerly the entry hall. To the north, the northwest corner was historically borning room, the northeast room is the kitchen, and a bathroom and pantry are located at the center. The house is of post-and-beam construction, though much modified by the removal of the chimney mass and installation of central heat. The current owners have been restoring it as a house museum, to a pre-World War II period.
Outbuildings include Barn I northwest of the Farmhouse, a long wagon shed, Shed II, to the north, and two chicken coops. The larger of these (Coop III) is a 2-story flat-roofed coop located west of the barns, and the smaller (Coop IV) is a 1-story shed-roofed structure to the northeast of the wagon shed.

Typology & Materials

Building Typology


Structural System

Roof materials

Roof type

Approximate Dimensions

Barn I: 1644 sf; Shed II: 1054 sf; Coop III: 576 sf


Date Compiled


Compiled By

C. Hitchcock, reviewed by CT Trust


Bunton, Alice Bice, Bethany’s Old Houses and Community Buildings, Bethany Library Association, 1972.

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

U.S. Federal Census, accessed at

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

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