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How the second England was born - Rebecca Fraser

Features |


Today in 1607, British settlers founded Jamestown, Virginia. When the Pilgrims then settled in Massachusetts, 400 years ago, they imported the place names, traditions and building styles of the country they left behind, says Rebecca Fraser

Today in 1607, British settlers founded Jamestown, Virginia. When the Pilgrims then founded Plymouth 400 years ago, they imported the place names, traditions and building styles of the country they left behind, says Rebecca Fraser We have really everything in common with America nowadays except, of course, language,’ said Oscar Wilde. The Americans were even more similar to us until the American Revolution – the first English settlers were dominated by the customs and architecture of the English places they came from. One American historian, David Hackett Fischer, even traces a distinctive building style in Massachusetts, adapted from the love of wood in eastern England, where so many of the first settlers hailed from. He saw continuity in building materials and in particular methods, with post and beams, and mortise and tenon joints. Wooden clapboards were more prevalent in East Anglia than anywhere else. Prototypes of the most iconographic...


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