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A chronicle of daily life in the 1627 English village at Plimoth Plantation from both a modern and historical perspective.

The Brewster House

July 28th, 2010 by admin

Construction in the English Village continues on it’s newest house, The Brewster House.

Here, our thatchers have put up a scaffold on which to stand while they apply the 2nd of 3 layers of thatch on house’s roof. We are using a combination of reed, hay, and cattail.

Here is a detail of the layering of our thatch. The cattail is applied to the middle layer of hay, which itself sits on a thin coat of reed. Long rolls of thatch are used at the roof’s margins to “kick out” the areas where the thatch might otherwise sag.

English houses in 1627 Plimoth were likely mortared with daub: A mixture of clay, loam, and straw. Here is a “daub pit”, where colonists, as well as some of our intrepid guests, doff their shoes and jump in to help us mix the components into a workable mortar. The new daub is applied to “wattle”, which are sticks set into the stud panels to give support to the drying mixture. It takes a few weeks to season, but will make a good wall, relatively impervious to weather.

We set up a canvas shelter to increase our working space while the daubers were working clay inside the house. Here, Plimoth Plantation’s Interpretive Artisans will square up timber for doors and shutters to enclose the new house.

Additionally, the thatchers have carried their work to the front of the house. They are about half done with the middle layer of hay.

Work on the new Brewster House will continue through the summer and into the fall.

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