Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Lean-Tos And Cellars In "A Little Commonwealth"

The Last Of The Housing Construction For The Pilgrims

I think that everyone knows what a lean-to is. This is a small almost building built onto a house or barn. For the ones that I have personally seen on a house, they are not built as if someone will live in them, but are usually an extension for storage. There is no insulation, or heating, and many times there is no windows. However, this does not to seem to have been the case with the Pilgrim houses. The cellars that I have personally seen look like big holes under the house/building. I believe that because they are under ground, the temperature is more stable than the lean-to.

"Lean-tos were not invariably limited to the rear part of Plymouth houses. The Harlow House, one of the few Old Colony dwellings still extant today, is basically a single-bay structure, but it also has two lean-to additions, one at the back and another along its west side. In restoring the house for modern-day visitors, the Plymouth Antiquarian Society has identified the side lean-to as a 'scullery' and fitted it out with a cheese press, a butter churn, as cellar of some sort. Usually it did not encompass the full dimensions of the ground-level floor plan, and sometimes it was place under a lean-to rather than the main part of the house. It was entered either by a descending stairway on the outside, or through a trapdoor in the floor of the room directly overhead."

Apparently, there are still cellars that are viewable today. In the footnotes, Demos says "Cellars that presumably date from this period can be entered and observed at the Churchill House in Plymouth and the Bradford House in Kingston." Has anyone seen these personally?

Pages 34-35.

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