What Did the Pilgrims Houses Look Like?

The Pilgrims who arrived on the Mayflower in 1620 are widely known for their bravery and determination in establishing Plymouth Colony, the first permanent settlement of Europeans in the New World. But what about the homes in which these settlers lived during the new colony’s formative years? What did the Pilgrim’s houses look like? In this article, we will take a closer look at the architecture and design of the early Pilgrim homes, and discover how the simple yet sturdy design of these homes helped the settlers brave the harsh and unforgiving winter of 1620.

The Pilgrims’ houses were small, wooden structures made with wooden frames and covered with bark, straw, or cloth. They had a single room with a fireplace at one end, and a loft for sleeping. The floors were made of clay or packed earth, and the windows were covered with oiled paper. Tables and benches were made of wood, and the walls were made of wattle and daub.

The Pilgrim’s Houses

The Pilgrim’s houses were an important part of their first settlement in the New World. These homes were a combination of traditional English housing styles with some modifications to suit the New World environment.

Structure and Design

The Pilgrim’s homes were typically made of wood, with a single large room on the first floor with a loft or attic above. The walls were constructed of either wattle and daub or wooden planks. The roof was typically made of thatch and the floors were made of packed clay or wood. The walls were often insulated with a combination of moss, animal fur, and straw.


The Pilgrim’s homes were basic in terms of amenities. They usually featured a central hearth for warmth and cooking, as well as a few beds or sleeping mats. There was often a small table and a few chairs. Most homes had a small pantry, as well as a few shelves for storing food. There was usually a small window for ventilation.

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The Pilgrim’s homes were generally sparsely decorated. Most of the decorations were symbolic of the family’s religious beliefs, such as the family crest or a bible verse. The walls were often painted with bright colors, and there were sometimes items like rugs, tapestries, or wall hangings.


The Pilgrim’s homes were simple in structure and design, but they provided a comfortable and safe living environment for the first settlers in the New World. These homes were an important part of the Pilgrim’s legacy and a reminder of the hard work and determination that was required to build a new life in a strange land.

Few Frequently Asked Questions

What Materials Did Pilgrims Use to Build Their Houses?

Pilgrims used a variety of materials to build their houses. They used a combination of earth, clay, and stone to create the walls and foundations of their homes. The walls were often plastered with a mix of clay, sand, and manure to help insulate and protect their structures. They also used wooden posts and beams, as well as wattle and daub for the walls and ceilings. The wooden frames and roofs were covered with shingles, thatch, and/or bark to keep out the elements.

What Was the Interior Layout of a Pilgrim’s House?

The interior layout of a Pilgrim’s house varied greatly, depending on the size and wealth of the family. Generally, the houses consisted of a single large room, which served as the kitchen, living room, and dining area. The center of the room was the hearth, where the family cooked and kept warm. The family also stored their food and supplies in the house. There were often sleeping quarters in the rear of the house, and a loft or attic space above.

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What Types of Furniture Were Used in a Pilgrim’s Home?

Pilgrims used a variety of furniture in their homes, often utilizing what they could find in the surrounding environment. Common items included benches, trestle tables, and stools. They also crafted wooden chairs, chests, and cupboards to store their belongings. Beds were usually built into the walls, and were made of rope or rope-tied boards. In wealthier homes, chairs and stools were often upholstered with animal skins or fabric.

What Was the Exterior of a Pilgrim’s House Like?

The exterior of a Pilgrim’s house was typically simple, with just one or two stories. The walls were often made of a combination of earth, clay, and stone, with a wooden frame and roof. The roof was usually covered with thatch, shingles, or bark. The windows were small and either had shutters or were covered with animal skins. The door was usually a wooden plank, and there was often a small porch in front.

How Did Pilgrims Heat and Light Their Homes?

Pilgrims heated their homes with fireplaces, which were usually located in the center of the room. The fireplaces were used to cook and provide warmth, and the smoke from the fire was used to deter insects. The fireplaces were also used to heat iron pots, which were hung above the fire. To light their homes, Pilgrims used candles, oil lamps, and rush lights.

How Long Did It Take to Build a Pilgrim’s House?

It usually took Pilgrims about a month to build their houses. The walls and foundations were often made of earth, clay, and stone and could be completed quickly. The wooden frames and roofs took longer to construct, and the whole process could be delayed if the family had difficulty finding the necessary materials. Once the house was built, the family could then move in and begin their lives in the New World.

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The Pilgrim’s houses were truly a sight to behold. From the rough-hewn logs to the thatched roofs and clay chimneys, they were a true testament to the determination and resourcefulness of the Pilgrims. Even today, the sight of a Pilgrim-style house brings to mind the story of the brave settlers who helped build the foundations of our great nation.

This is Anthony Thompson, chief editor and the founder of this site, Tinyhousegarage. I'm a home architect. Basically, I've created this site to help people build tiny houses with a limited budget and land space or people who are homeless. As a home architect, I became very disheartened when I saw homeless people around me, which influenced me to create this site to help people build beautiful tiny houses.

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