David A. Brown


The focus of this study is to provide an easily accessible source of information on domestic masonry architecture in 17th-century Virginia. This includes buildings constructed entirely of brick or stone as well as framed structures, brick enders, and homes with brick-nogged walls. The few surviving examples of these buildings do not adequately represent the period and, until recently, literature pertaining to this subject has either been inaccurate or has concentrated far too heavily on a limited number of structures. Through research in the fields of history, historical archaeology, and architectural history, at least 24 structures have been found dating to the 17th-century. This investigation has revealed that wealthy colonists throughout Virginia employed a diverse array of design and construction techniques. This study excludes Jamestown Island as its architecture has been addresed in more focused works, both in the contexts of town planning and urban design (Cotter 1958; Horning 1995). An equally important study of domestic masonry architecture in 17th-century Maryland is now underway and will include a comparison with similar structures in Virginia.