Tredyffrin Easttown Historical Society
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Source: January 1991 Volume 29 Number 1, Page 18

The Barn at Roughwood

Anne H. Cook

Page 18

The barn behind the house at Roughwood is a one-and-a-half-story building erected in about 1870-72, and is the only dependency on the property that survives from the 19th century.

It is in the Swiss Chalet style, perhaps after a design by Addison Hutton or Samuel Sloan, both of whom had connections with Albert Sidney Ashmead, the owner of the property at that time. There are striking similarities in detail between the barn and other works of this period by Hutton, such as the Evans House (1875) in Germantown. As an architectural work standing on its own merits, it was ahead of its time by perhaps 20 years, which is one reason that it appears to be turn-of-the-century.

It faces to the south, into the walled garden of the residence.

Its length is 53' 6", and its width 44' 3", with a porch measuring 12' by 36'. The lower portion of the barn is built of serpentine stone; the upper part is of wood shingles covering frame. It is believed that the original false half timbers are still underneath. Most of the exterior doors are original, including a double door on the south side and a sliding entrance door bearing an "AA" cypher for Albert Sidney Ashmead.

Documented buildings in the Swiss Chalet style today are rare in Chester County, and buildings of serpentine stone are uncommon in this part of the county.

It is known that the building was constructed by the Ashmead family as they were the first owners of Roughwood to undertake any kind of alterations to the building after the tavern was sold in 1866. Ashmead bought the property in 1868, and the barn is shown on the 1873 Witmer map of Easttown Township. (It is probably located on an important archaeological site, perhaps where the old log barns and stables for the tavern were originally located.)

When the property was owned by Stephen Fuget, in the 1920s, the barn was the home of the Roughwood Kennels' fox terriers, which were of national repute.


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