photo of table with red table cloth and senter runner with pears, apples and pineapple
Restored and decorated c1721 room at the Penrose Strawbridge House
photo of table with red table cloth and senter runner with pears, apples and pineapple

Penrose-Strawbridge 1735 Barn

c1735 Barn/Ice House

There are ruins of a small bank barn located on Governor Road right at the the entrance to what was Graeme Park and is now on the current Penrose Strawbridge Farm.

The structure is surrounded on 3 sides by the hillside. The front of the building, facing Governor Road, is open. An earthen ramp leads to what would have been a second floor and is located on the back side opposite the side facing the road. There do not appear to be any windows or doors cut into the stone.

This structure was used by the Penroses and Strawbridges as an ice house to store ice likely cut from the pond in front of the Keith House

The barn appears on the 1736 William Parson's survey that was found with documents requesting that Governor Road be extended from Graeme Park to quarries in Eureka. (We're not sure whether this request was approved but it was never done). So we date the barn to 1721-1736. It is an unusual building because,although identified as a barn on the drawing, it is pretty small for a barn (as far as we can tell anyway) and doesn't match what we might think of as a barn. Ann Snider in "Dating Old Barns" describes "The characteristic colonial barn was small, built of stone, with a shallow, cantilevered forebay... . This shallow projection is the forerunner of the great cantilevered mows that typify the Pennsylvania or Quaker barn." 119 This description matches ours with respect to being small and with, at least, first floor walls made of stone. A forebay, if it existed, would have likely extended over Governor Road. There is no timber remaining.

We have plans to expose more of these walls by removing the brush from around them but no plans for restoration at this point since we have no idea of what the structure actually looked like.

photo of 3 walls set into a hillside believed to be the remains of a barn dating to 1735-37
3 Foundation walls believed to be the remains of a barn dating to 1735-37. This barn appears on a drawing from l737 found with documents requesting that Governor Road be expanded from Horsham to Eureka.

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Horsham, PA 19044 USA
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Support the Future of Horsham's History!
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900 Governor Rd
Horsham, PA 19044 USA
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version: 1.0.1.7
Ver 1.0.1.7