Historical Description of the English Barn
English Barn, as part of the Kennedy-Martin-Stelle Farmstead, was listed on the State Register in 2002 and the National Register of Historic Places in 2003.
The English barn as it stands today has traditional English framing with shiplap and vertical board siding. It is 30′ wide, 84′ long and 26′ high at the peak. The eastern end of the structure was the original barn and the western end was added at a later date.Two rare features still survive: hewn rafters with pegged wind braces, and a “dropped” stable at the eastern end, which is at a lower level than the main floor. A three-bay extension was added to the west of the structure around 1840, using the frame of an existing smaller English Barn of the same mortise-and-tenon, hewn timber construction as the main barn.
The original portion, circa 1760-1800 was 30′ wide, 48’long and 26’high at the peak.
Special features: Dropped lower bay for stalls, one bent with single elevated tie-beam, hewn rafters, extremely long wind braces, raising holes in two directions on the same post, long braces, close studding, no purlin system.
The addition, circa 1840, was 30′ wide (21′ as originally built), 36′ long and 26′ high at the peak (23′ as originally built).
Special features: Built separately, moved and enlarged in order to expand the hay barn, raising holes in perpendicular faces of corner posts. (courtesy of New Jersey Barn Co.)
A dairy barn was added to the English Barn in the mid-20th century, and was removed following the roof collapse in 2004. The foundation still exists to the south side of the barn. In January of 2004, prior to the commencement of historic preservation work, the region was covered by two successive snow storms within the space of ten days which loaded the barns with the vertical static equivalent of 20 psf. Under the weight of the snow, the dairy barn collapsed. While the existing bracing and cinching on the English Barn were sufficient to withstand the added lateral loads, the roof was locally failing at the intersection of the structures. With guidance from historic architect Michael Calafati and Engineers S. Harris, the collapsed portion of the dairy barn was removed which relieved the historic English Barn of the imposed loads.Read more about the stabilization project led by S. Harris at http://www.sharrisltd.com/Projects/Individual%20Project%20Pages/English%20Barn.html
- Comprehensive preservation plan developed
- Foundation was repaired to stabilize the building
- Walls and siding were repaired or replaced based on existing condition
- New cedar shake roof was applied once the roof system was repaired
- Most 20th century interior construction was removed leaving the historical envelope intact
- Exterior primed and painted, stained in 2014
- Cement flooring added to western part of barn, wood from Navy Ship Yard (circa 1900’s) preserved in eastern section
- Electricity installed in 2014
- In 2016, we completed installation of the “store front” door inside the north barn doors to allow greater use of the barn in the colder weather, flooring in the drop stalls, preservation of the flap doors between the barn and the drop stalls, additional lighting interior and exterior, steps to the drop stalls, and completed the ADA walkway to the driveway.
Current work to be done in 2016-17 funded through the Somerset County Historic Grant
- Restore and reinforce the platform over the drop stalls – to be used for stage storage and for musicians/technical support for productions.
Work to be done
- Determine type of floor to install
- Determine if installation of plumbing and HVAC is required, plan for restrooms
- Perform maintenance required to preserve the current building condition