Barn Record Guilford

Building Name (Common)
Guilford Keeping Society (Part 3 of 4)
Building Name (Historic)
Thomas Griswold III
171 Boston Street (Rte 146), Guilford


Historic Significance

Architectural description:

This is a 1 1/ 2 story side or eave-entry barn. The main façade faces north and the ridge-line of the barn is perpendicular to Boston Street which at this point runs approximately northeast-southwest. The north eave-side of the barn has a wrought iron hinged pass-through door to the west of center. Slightly east of center is a pair of wagon doors with wrought iron hinges.  At the east corner are paired fixed-sash windows, each with six panes. The east gable-end of the barn appears to have no openings.  The south eave-side appears to have no openings. The west gable-end has no openings. The siding is vertical flush-board painted red.  The roof is covered with asphalt shingles. A brick chimney sits at the ridge and slightly east of center. The foundation is fieldstone.

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.

Historical background:

The property at 171 Boston Street belonged to several generations of the Griswold family, beginning with Thomas Griswold, a blacksmith, who moved to Guilford in 1695. In 1774, Thomas Griswold III built a salt box house on this land for two of his sons, John and Ezra.  In 1958, the property, including house and outbuildings, were sold to the present owners.

Field Notes

Red Barn 540 Sq.Ft. Built in 1774 Vertical Siding with Gamble Wood Shingled Roof Part of the Griswold House complex (listed on the National Register of Historic Places) in Guilford Town Center Historic District, and appears to be a contributing resource within the district.

Use & Accessibility

Use (Historic)

Use (Present)

Exterior Visible from Public Road?




Location Integrity



Related features

Environment features

Relationship to surroundings

The barn is located behind the 18th century Griswold House on a 5.2 acre, t-shaped piece of property fronting on Boston Street.  To the northeast, occupying approximately one-third of the land, is a large field.  The remaining two-thirds are heavily wooded. The barn sits at the edge of a wooded area that contains a small grouping of agricultural buildings that includes a shed, a bank barn, and a corn crib.  Located less than a mile from the Guilford Town Green, the property is bordered by South Union Street, to the northeast, and Lovers Lane to the southwest.  The surrounding area is residential, but has retained a rural feel with many trees and a close proximity to the Guilford Fair Grounds, which is less than 500 feet southwest of Lovers Lane.

Typology & Materials

Building Typology


Structural System

Roof materials

Roof type

Approximate Dimensions

540 sq. ft.


Date Compiled


Compiled By

C. Wilkinson & T. Levine, reviewed by CT Trust


Field notes and photographs by Dempsey Fitton 8/10/2008.

GIS Viewer: //

Town of Guilford Assessor’s Record:
Parcel ID: 040134

Aerial Mapping: accessed 02/18/2011

Brockmeyer, Christine B., Griswold House National Register Nomination No. 75001929, National Park Service, 1975.

Raiche, Stephen J., Guilford Historic Town Center National Register Historic District Nomination No. 76001988, National Park Service, 1976.

Guilford Keeping Society:
accessed 02/17/2011

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.

PhotosClick on image to view full file