Gale-Bancroft House and barn
Photograph by Christopher Bellamy

  Gale-Bancroft House
Photograph by Christopher Bellamy

Near the historic center of Plainfield Village, stands the Gale-Bancroft House, so named for two of its 19th-century owners. Built around 1840, it is a vernacular brick one and a half story home, and a well preserved example of one of many brick houses erected in Plainfield. Plainfield contains an unusual concentration of brick buildings within a Vermont town, all built in a singular style that represents a local building tradition. Together these houses create the village's unique historic architectural character, made possible by a few early local brick masons.

The Gale-Bancroft house is a typical New England Cape Cod house type, a small rectangular one and a half story building, only one and a half rooms deep with a high pitched gable roof, symmetrical openings and simple details. The house is also an example of the typical New England building practices of additive or continuous architecture, in which a small building is expanded through the addition of connected living spaces and barns. Soon after the construction of the brick Cape portion of the house, two separate woodframe sections were added, and a mid-19th century barn was connected at the end of this row of buildings. Today, the house is one of the best preserved small brick houses in Plainfield. The only major alteration was the removal of the second woodframe addition. Reflecting the early years of the automobile and its effects on domestic structures, garage doors were added to the first frame addition around 1910. The interior of the house maintains its original Cape Cod floor plan of two large front rooms and three small rooms at the rear. A tin ceiling has been added in the parlor.

The Gale-Bancroft house has had many owners. It was probably built by S. B. Gale, who lived there until 1847. Several other people owned the house before J. A. Bancroft purchased it in 1859. Bancroft was an undertaker, and the house and its wings were the headquarters of his business. The property was later used as a small farm and in the 20th century was the home of Plainfield's rural postman, Newton Davis.

The Gale-Bancroft House is on the corner of Brook and Creamery Rds. in Plainfield. It is a private residence and not open to the public.

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