Then and now: These three chimneys were built using traditional methods throughout the history of Bermuda. *Photo by Kageaki Smith
Then and now: These three chimneys were built using traditional methods throughout the history of Bermuda. *Photo by Kageaki Smith

They may be just chimneys, but each tells a story about the way house-building techniques have changed in Bermuda over the centuries.

The photograph was taken in St David’s and shows chimneys from three very different eras.

In the foreground is the settler’s cottage, which is a replica of what the first dwellings to be built in
Bermuda in 1612 would have looked like.

The structure has been made using traditional methods and materials by a team of volunteers led by Rick Spurling and Larry Mills.

Mud and stud

And its limestone and mud chimney has been created using the old ‘mud and stud’ Lincolnshire technique and further bolstered by exposed cedar branches.

There’s just one fireplace in the Settler’s Cottage with different compartments for cooking.

The smoke hood above the fireplace, together with the chimney, is an entirely separate structure to the house and could be removed if it caught on fire to save the cottage.

The second cottage in the middle background is Carter House, which was built in the 1640s.

Its large limestone chimney is a much more permanent structure and designed to have two flues.

The old house has one fire place for warming the property on the upper floor and another one for cooking and bread making on the bottom floor.

And finally in the far background is a much more modern example of a residential chimney — although it’s crumbling and seems to be in the worst condition of the three.

It’s a fairly standard structure used in many 20th century homes in Bermuda.

And unlike Carter House it has only one fireplace on one level. n