The Historic Lawrence Barn
Hollis, New Hampshire
The Lawrence Barn is a double English-style timber-framed barn
with yet a third addition, one of perhaps a half-dozen still remaining in New
England. The first and oldest barn was built by Josiah Blood in the
1780's, during the time of the American Revolution. Located at 163 Depot Road in
Hollis, NH, the barn changed owners several times, eventually being acquired by
the Lawrence family in 1907. In 1970, the Lawrence Farm ceased to be a working
Scheduled for demolition in order to make way for a housing development, the
Hollis Heritage Commission acquired this unique, antique structure in order to
save it for future generations.
The barn was dismantled in November of 1999, and is currently in storage.
The Lawrence barn is to be reconstructed on Nichols Field, to become a community
center for use by all Hollis organizations, and to showcase an example of the
history of the development of timber framing techniques from medieval times to
the late 19th/early 20th century..
The oldest section was built using a medieval technique for timber framing called the "scribe rule",
(Each joint is cut to precisely fit the abutting piece. Extensive trial assembly
is required, as no parts are interchangeable.), and its construction required a high level
of craft skill and knowledge. In addition, the roof system displays an example
of the braced purlin, (A term in architecture for the longitudinal timber of a
roof that support the common rafters.), which may be a signature feature designed by the original joiner.
The second section is another English barn built onto the
First English barn. It is estimated that this second structure dates to about
1810. This second frame is also hewn, but uses a simpler joining method known as
"square rule" framing. (Each joint is cut to a uniform layout plane.
Many small parts are interchangeable.) When the second barn was completed, the result was a double
The third barn, a "Yankee barn", built to house
animals, was added around the early 20th century.
The Lawrence barn, as it stood in 1999,
at 163 Depot Road in Hollis, New Hampshire.
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