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Mayflower, Day by Day - Tuesday, 5 January [1620]/21

5 Jan 2021 2:56 AM | Soule (Administrator)

At anchor in Plymouth harbour 

A violent storm of wind and rain.  The weather so foul this morning that none could go ashore.  Only a small amount of work could be done, but those on land refused to be deterred by the weather.  The walls of the house were made of hewn tree trunks, interwoven with branches and twigs that were covered with clay.  This “wattle and daub” construction was surmounted by a thatched roof (which would have been a familiar construction from England).  There may or may not have been a chimney -- it is possible that there was just a hole in the roof, through which the smoke from the open fire on the dirt floor escaped.  There was probably no window covering, at least immediately: eventually there would have been linseed coated parchment used to cover the openings, which would have been semi-opaque.  There was no glass.  The common house would thus have been very dark and very smoky, and the floor was soon covered with bedding (wall to wall) as this was initially the only shelter on land.

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