1600s English Cottage Frontier Culture Museum Staunton VA

1600s English Cottage Frontier Culture Museum Staunton VA

A 1600’s English home is just as much in style today as it was during colonial times. A Tudor style was adapted from these exposed beams and plaster construction. New home construction incorporates these elements so that new and old will form an appealing neighborhood. It is a much sought after home design and I can see why. It connects us with our past when our ancestors came over from England.

1600s English Cottage Frontier Culture Museum Staunton VA

Jamestown was founded in 1607 as the first colony but this sort of home above is typical of the homes in England built during the 1600’s. It was purchased and moved to this spot so that we can better understand the English influence on our culture today and how it has evolved.

1600s English Cottage Frontier Culture Museum Staunton Virginia

1600s English Cottage Frontier Culture Museum Staunton VA

The Frontier Culture Museum in Staunton, Virginia has this exhibit as part of their old world education program. Settlers lived in these homes before coming across the Atlantic to settle the New World. They brought with them rich customs and cultures that developed who we are today.

1600s English Cottage Frontier Culture Museum Staunton VA

This home represents a prosperous yeoman household from 1600’s England. A yeoman was one who farmed a land on which he claimed a freehhold. These yeomen farmers came to the new land and planted crops that would supply England with much needed grains and goods like wool and linen. The farmers made a profitable living off of the exports.

1600s English Farm Frontier Culture Museum Staunton VA

They grew grain crops like wheat,barley, and rye. Fruits were also harvested along with vegetables such as carrots, cabbages, and beans. The New World was a relief to an England who needed these goods. Crops were rotated on a 3 to 4 year cycle and clover was grown for the nitrogen.

Some farmers experimented with new crops for feeding the animals and rape seed for lamp oil.

1600s English Farm Frontier Culture Museum Staunton Va

When these yeomen were living in their homeland, their homes would have been well furnished like the one being showcased here. It would have been well furnished with the quality and quantity reflecting the prosperity of the owner. Their pewter and silver announced their wealth.

1600s English Farm Frontier Culture Museum Staunton VA

The farmer and his wife slept in a tester bedstead , equipped with a flock and feather mattress. It looks very comfortable don’t you think? Huge pillows and bolsters made the beds look elaborately dressed. Fine wool curtains would adorn the post adding to the status of the yeoman.

1600's English Farm Frontier Culture Museum Staunton VA

The housewife was in charge of the meals, medicines, housecleaning, general herb and vegetable garden maintenance. The English families ate more meat than German and Irish descendants. The English has stews, meat pies, and soups that were flavorful and meaty.

1600s English Farm Frontier Culture Museum Staunton VA

Many of those who immigrated to Virginia were not lucky enough to be yeoman but came instead as indentured servants. They came to work off their passage fair in the service of another landowner. Often these were people who did not inherit land in their homeland and had no where else to turn. The early 1600’s voyages were crowded and the journey took a very long time.

10 Comments Add yours

  1. Anna, your travelogue has been so enjoyable. Gardener, commercial maker, travel writer–what can you not do? So very enjoyable. Thanks for keeping me entertained.

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  2. The chimney stacks always give away the period. I think you Americans do a better job at preserving English heritage than the English do.

    Lovely post Anna
    Great observation about the chimney.

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  3. Catherine says:

    Very interesting, I’d love to see it all in person! I love the rustic fence.

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  4. mothernaturesgarden says:

    That was fun, Anna.

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  5. Jen says:

    I love these kinds of places. There’s one in New Mexico called Los Golondrinas where you can see how they lived in the pueblos around the same time. Did you ever see the movie “The New World”? Does a great job of bringing Jamestown alive.

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  6. Phillip (UK) says:

    Another great post. But they look better than they were to live in. I’ve lived in them and still own one that old (but not that pretty!).

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  7. Darla says:

    It just makes me sit back and go hmmm. Just really think about how different our life styles are now……..
    Sorry, forgot to add great post! Can’t wait to see your next post!

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  8. Darla says:

    It just makes me sit back and go hmmm. Just really think about how different our life styles are now……..

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  9. I’m very glad I didn’t live during that time, Anna. No iPods, no computers, and no blogs! My life is richer because of these things, (especially blogs).

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  10. Peggy says:

    Hi Anna, great post interlinked with relevant photos. I read the first part of the story today and was delighted to see you had added to it when I came back.

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