Thatched roof: The settler’s dwelling being built in St David’s, using mainly traditional methods. *Photo supplied
Thatched roof: The settler’s dwelling being built in St David’s, using mainly traditional methods. *Photo supplied

WEDNESDAY, JULY 18: A replica of an early Bermuda home is taking shape on St David’s Island.

This is the first picture of the Virginia-sourced cedar structure that is being put together by the St David’s Island Historical Society to celebrate 400 years of settlement.

The foundations have been dug and filled with limestone fill, rock and stone, the main structure is in place and the palmetto thatch is now being nailed to the roof just as it would have been done 400 years ago.

President of the David’s Island Historical Society Richard Spurling spoke to the Bermuda Sun while on location near Carter House as the first leaves were being put in place.

He said: “The palmetto roof is starting to take good shape. This is our 400th [anniversary] project. We conceived of this about three years ago and of course it took a lot of research to figure out how they would have done it.

“We have based it on a reconstructed dwelling very similar to this, that was built in Jamestown, Virginia. They based it on a 1607 structure using the Lincolnshire technique in England because they knew they had a carpenter there from Lincolnshire.”

There is still much work to be done and the project is expected to be completed and open to the public by the end of August. The thatching, with the help of Florida company Ace Thatch, will take about two weeks to complete and then work will begin on the solid wall structures likely to be made of clay, lime and oil.

Mr Spurling said that while the dwelling might be able to survive smaller hurricanes, a major storm like Fabian would cause severe damage: “The way I look at it is that it will teach us what the settlers had to put up with.

“I would consider converting it into a stone structure if it does blow down just as they would have done in the late 1600s.”