This is a 1 1/2 story inverted L-shaped barn with intersecting gables. The western longer eave-side faces Durham road and is the main facade of the barn. A stand alone gable barn with a parallel north-south ridge line touches the south-east edge of the shorter arm of the barn to form an inverted U-shaped barn complex with a central courtyard. The main entrance to the L-shaped barn is on the main west eave-façade through a pair of sliding doors mounted under an exterior hood. The northern-façade of the barn has an abrupt rise in grade level with loose soil retained by un-mortared fieldstone. This façade has two pairs of hinged doors; one pair towards the east and the other towards the west. The entrance towards the west is accessed from the same level as the main entrance and marks the rise in grade level towards the east. The façade is also punctuated by two six-pane windows and a skylight on the gable attic. The eave-line of the shorter arm on the facade continues to form the gable apex of the main roof towards the west. The southern gable-façade of the barn has a three-pane sky-light between the apex of the roof and a shed-roofed addition beneath. The southern face of the shed-roofed addition has two pass-through doors separated by a row of three six-pane stable windows. The windows and the sky-light above have similar sill and head trim details.
Both the main L-shaped barn and the stand alone barn have vertical siding with asphalt shingle roofing. The stand alone barn is raised on mortared fieldstone foundation and is mostly blank with an open basement.
The Dudley Farm is the latest addition to the four museum sites in Guilford, each representing a period of town history beginning from 17th century. It showcases the 19th century farm activities and developments along the West River. The Dudley farm continues to be perceived as a valuable asset of the community and is used for various social and cultural events.
The complex of the barns was assembled over a period of about 160 years, beginning just prior to the civil war.
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.
Listed on the State Register of Historic Places 8/07/2013. 2008 Grant Recipient A part of Guilford's Dudley farm museum, the Munger barn was built between 1860-70, and stood at the intersection of Mungertown Rd. and Warpas Rd. in Madison. It’s first use was a hay/cow barn. It was owned by the Munger Lumber Co. to sell boat lumber and had a large ship’s wheel painted on its side. Nathan Dudley’s father was married to a Munger daughter, so the barn was “in the family” before it came back to Guilford. It was dismantled, and re-erected on the Dudley Farm in 2002.
The barn built in 1844 by Erastus Dudley, the Dudley farm sits on the remaining ten picturesque acres farmed by the family for close to 300 years. Tours of the farm introduce visitors to life in the year 1900. The barns and the out buildings, with display of tools and farm equipments representative of the period give a unique glimpse into life and work on a family farm.
The grounds of the Dudley Farm include period flower and herb gardens, a farm garden, crop land, meadows and woods that evoke a gentle sense of the past.
T. Levine and M. Patnaik, reviewed by CT Trust
Photographs and information provided by - The Dudley Foundation, 2351 Durham Road, Guilford , CT-06437
2008 Barns Grant application
Additional photographs and information provided by Ellie Green.
Sexton, James, PhD; Survey Narrative of the Connecticut Barn, Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation, Hamden, CT, 2005, http://www.connecticutbarns.org/history.
Visser, Thomas D.,Field Guide to New England Barns and Farm Buildings, University Press of New England, 1997.