Barn Record Durham

Building Name (Common)
Seward-Atwell Farmstead
Building Name (Historic)
Seward-Atwell Farmstead
25 Sand Hill Road, Durham


Historic Significance

Architectural description:

This is a 2 ½ - story three-bay eave-entry barn with a shed-roof addition on its south eave-side. The ridge line of the barn runs east-west parallel to Sand Hill Road. The three-bay north eave-side of the barn facing Sand Hill Road is the main façade with the main entrance in the middle bay through a pair of double-height hinged wagon doors with blacksmith hardware and lintel trim. The east gable-end of the barn has an entrance off-centered towards the north through a hinged pass-through door with lintel trim. The grade level along the east gable-end gradually declines towards the south revealing the un-coursed un-mortared field stone masonry foundation of the barn.  The east gable-end has two closely placed square twelve-pane windows centered in the first floor level and two twenty-four-pane windows at the second floor level. The gable attic lined by projecting overhang is separated from the rest of the gable-end by a distinct dropped girt siding divide line and has a similar twenty-four-pane window with trim at the center. A six-pane window with trim can be seen in the gable attic just below the apex of the roof. The gable attic of the west gable-end is also lined by projecting overhang. It is separated from the rest of the gable-end by a distinct dropped girt siding divide line and has a six-pane window with trim at the center. 

The wooden frame of barn is supported on un-coursed un-plastered fieldstone masonry foundation. The barn has grey painted vertical siding and asphalt shingle roofing.

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.

Field Notes

Listed on the State Register of Historic Places 12/04/2013. English barn next to the road, vertical siding, asphalt roof,relatively nice condition.

Use & Accessibility

Use (Historic)

Use (Present)

Exterior Visible from Public Road?




Location Integrity



Related features

Environment features

Relationship to surroundings

The 2.83 acres property, parcel number - D0064100 and map number 78, is towards the south of Sand Hill Road. The property is situated in a predominantly residential area with individual plots separated by dense woodland. The plot is flanked by residential plots on its east and west and towards the north, across Sand Hill Road. The area towards the south of the property is covered by dense woodland.

The barn is located along the northern edge of the property abutting to Sand Hill Road with the circa 1780 colonial main residence positioned towards its south-west. The ridge lines of both the barn and the main residence run east-west, almost parallel to each other and to Sand Hill Road. The property is accessed by a driveway from the north-western corner that leads to the main residence. Another 1 – story gable-roof shed with its ridge line running east-west can be seen immediately towards the east of the main residence while a swimming pool is located towards its south-east. The property has a patch of open land towards the south with dense woodland covering the area beyond it. 

Typology & Materials

Building Typology


Structural System

Roof materials

Roof type

Approximate Dimensions

Barn: 35X24 SqFt, Circa 1900 Shed: 180 SqFt, Circa 1900 Shed: 192 SqFt, Circa 1910 Open Porch: 335 SqFt, Circa 1940 Pool: 540 SqFt, Circa 2005


Date Compiled


Compiled By

T. Levine and M. Patnaik, reviewed by CT Trust


Photographs and field-notes provided by – vin scamporino,

Assessors’ records retrieved on January 27th, 2011 from website

Map and property records retrieved on January 27th, 2011 from website

Information retrieved on January 27th, 2011 from website

Information retrieved on January 27th, 2011 from website

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.

PhotosClick on image to view full file