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By Keith Archibald Forbes (see About Us) exclusively for Bermuda Online
In 2016 to date in Bermuda there are 791 heritage properties listed, partly by the Bermuda National Trust - which works closely with the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation as Bermuda shares a rich architectural and cultural heritage and other close links with Colonial Virginia - and the Department of Planning of the Bermuda Government, including 66 owned by the Bermuda Government. See http://www.planning.gov.bm/documents/Historic%20Environment/what_listing_means_to_you.pdf.
The vast majority of Bermuda's historic houses are privately owned. Some of the most significant ones in that category are shown below. Government-owned buildings are not shown below.
Understandably, all owners of these expensive properties are security-conscious and many do not want their houses and photographed from the outside.
Also, all private owners prohibit any photographs being taken inside, of their furniture, contents and treasures, even when their properties are featured periodically in any particular program. For security reasons in the privately-owned properties shown below, there is deliberately no specific mention of content. Most owners will be fully justified in refusing to allow any third parties to film interiors under any circumstances.
They come in the following categories:
Bermuda's Antique Furniture and Silver. Bryden Bordley Hyde. 1971. 198 pages, illustrated. Still the definitive guide.
Bermuda's Architectural Heritage: Devonshire. Andrew Trimingham. 1995. Bermuda National Trust. First in a series of illustrated parish by parish reviews of Bermuda's architecture. Reprinted 2004.
Bermuda's Architectural Heritage: Hamilton Parish. Diana Chudleigh. About the Bermuda Parish by this name. 2002, Bermuda National Trust. 4th in its historic buildings book series. 230 pages. Illustrated with B&W photographs. $29.95
Bermuda's Architectural Heritage: Sandys. 1999. Bermuda National Trust. Third in the series.
Bermuda's Architectural Heritage: St. George's. Michael Jarvis, edited by David L. White. Photos by Robin Judah and sidebars by Trimingham, Andrew. November, 1997. Bermuda National Trust. Second in the series.
Hamilton, Bermuda: City and Capital 1897-1997. Benbow, Colin and the late Marian Robb. 1997.
The Traditional Building Guide: Advice for Preserving Bermuda's Architectural Heritage. 2003. Anthony Short and Sylvia Shorto, with drawings by Anthony Short. A joint production of the Bermuda National Trust.
House, cottage, South Road, Paget. A classic and historic Bermudian home, original part of which was built in 1700, 5-10 minutes (depending on traffic) from the centre of the City of Hamilton, with wood floors, fireplaces, tray ceilings and old fashioned verandahs that overlook both the South Shore and Hamilton Harbour. The main floor of the house consists of double living rooms with fireplaces, formal dining room, large modern kitchen with breakfast area, three bedrooms, and an exquisite master suite (including dressing room and home office). The lower floor has a separate apartment suite, a media room, billiards room, study, three further bedrooms, a bathroom, a wine cellar, a gym and a large laundry. Has been updated with alarm system, modern communications system and air conditioning. In September 2011, listed for sale, asking price $ million for house and its 6 acres. ARV of $276,000.
1821. Construction in the city of Hamilton of one of Front Street’s first three-storey edifices covering a 50ft lot, at this address. It was built as a residence on the upper floors with stores and shops on the ground floor. It was then quite different to all the other buildings on the street, as it did not have a veranda and also due to its plain architectural features, typical of the Georgian style, was argely wooden. It was the home to Thomas J. Tucker, a merchant; in the late 19th century, its upper storeys were leased to the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, which moved to Albuoy’s Point in 1933. Later businesses included the J.B. Astwood cycle store and J. Howard Cooper’s provision store. Its reliance on wood ultimately fuelled its undoing in late July 2016 when a fierce fire tore through the structure for hours until firefighters quelled the blaze.
See under Hillcrest.
4 Blockade Alley, Town of St. George. Originally called Lough House. Name was changed in the 20th century. Won the 2003 Bermuda In Bloom best Garden in the Parish Award. A privately-owned, not open to the general public, historic house in the Town of St. George built by one of the town's most prominent 18th-century citizens. He was the Honorable Dr. George Forbes, originally from Strathdon, Aberdeenshire, west of Aberdeen, in Scotland. Born there in 1705 probably on or about 22 August (baptized on 24 August) in 1734 he earned a medical degree from the University of Aberdeen, specializing in "phisick and surgery." He emigrated to Bermuda shortly after his graduation, as a medical doctor. He brought with him recommendations from his relatives Lord Forbes, the Duchess of Gordon and his kinsman, Lord Gordon, Sir Arthur Forbes and Sir Duncan Forbes. In Bermuda, he fell in love with and married Mary Jones, daughter of Francis Jones, a prominent local merchant, councilor, militia general and frequently Bermuda's President (leading legislator, president of the legislative counsel). He became renowned throughout Bermuda for his decency and humanity. He pioneered smallpox inoculation in Bermuda and saved many lives. He was the personal doctor of Governor William Popple and became a councilor, vestryman, Justice of the Peace in 1763, briefly Chief Justice in 1749 and, like his father-in-law, President of the Council, member of the Executive Council of the Bermuda Government. In 1759 he was made the Honorable George Forbes. He purchased Paget Island - then called Paget Ford Island and 36.35 acres - in St. George's Parish for sixty pounds sterling. There is a large tomb in his honor on the left, shortly after you enter the ancient church of St. Peter's in the old town of St. George. His first child was Francis - born at Brackish Pond, Devonshire, Bermuda. Others, including James, William and Thomas, were born in the old town above. Two sons, Francis and Robert, were sent to medical school in Edinburgh and two others, William and Thomas, left Bermuda and became merchants in St. Kitt's, West Indies. James did not succeed as a merchant in Georgetown, now Guyana, and Charlestown, South Carolina, and returned to Bermuda. Dr. Francis Forbes married Mary Tucker of Bermuda and had a son, also Francis who began in legal career in Bermuda, was the Arrorney General, later Chief Justice in Canada, and knighted for his services to the legal profession as Sir Francis Forbes was transferred by the British Government to Australia as Chief Justice of New South Wales, lived in Sydney and died there. His descendants today include Forbes family members of Sydney, Bermuda, Scotland, England, South Africa and Forbes wineries in Victoria, Australia. Some time later, the house passed to a member of the Lough family which descended from the Forbes family of Bermuda. During the American Civil War it was leased by the Confederate military agent in Bermuda, Major Norman Stuart Walker, and his family. Lough House was where a son of Major and Mrs Walker was born on June 15, 1863, and at the special request of Mrs. Walker, a Confederate flag was ceremoniously draped over her lying-in bed. Later, it had various owners including F. C. Outerbridge and at one point was subdivided. Now owned by a member of the Hayward family originally from St. David's.
Private property, not open to the public. Photograph by Keith A. Forbes, exclusively for Bermuda Online.
11 Cobbs Hill Road, Paget Parish. One of several substantial houses built on the hills of Paget in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. A curving drive leads up to the house, imposing in its size a symmetry and surrounded by almost three acres of land. The wide two-storey verandahs are reminiscent of West Indian plantation houses which Francis Albuoy, who built Belair, encountered on his travels south through the islands to Demerara in British Guiana (now Guyana) in South America where he had a trading business in the early 1800s. The front door, beneath an elegant fanlight, is surrounded by stone quoining. Across the threshold, circles of thick glass are embedded in the floor allowing light into the quarters below where slaves once lived. Beyond the house are the old stables and a guest cottage.
See Bermuda National Trust.
Behind King's Square, St. George's. The house that stands today is a circa 1700 mansion, one of the earliest in the area, once near a bridge across a creek from the sea to a marsh. The original building which the present house replaced was a timber-frame house erected by planter and shoemaker Roger Bailey, whose father arrived in Bermuda before 1623. The present house was once the home of Governor Benjamin Bennett in the early 18th century and later the American-born Revolutionary War Loyalist and privateer Hon. Bridger Goodrich and his wife Elizabeth. He purchased Bridge House for US$1,000 cash and prizes he amassed from capture by his Bermuda-built privateering vessels and their commanders of a large number of American ships during the Revolutionary War, after his American home and lands were confiscated by their local authorities. His ships blockaded Chesapeake Bay, much to the consternation of Thomas Jefferson and others. Goodrich was appointed to the local Legislature, hence his Honorable title. There's an ornate Memorial to him in nearby St. Peter's Church. His exploits are written about in full in the 2012 book "The Prince of Privateers. Bridger Goodrich and his Family in America, Bermuda and Britain 1775-1825" by Nick Hartley. Later, the house ownership passed from Bridger Goodrich to Edward Goodrich. The house today, after many subsequent owners and most recently the Bermuda National Trust (BNT), the present owner, has the Bridge House Apartment, an office and artist's studio. Both the main house and rented apartment received sensitive but significant BNT upgrades in 2013-2014. Keith Forbes graphic.
7 Savannah Road, Hamilton Parish, CR01. On the market in February 2017 for $1, 6905 million. a historic home full of charm and character. Has a brick pathway to the entryway which was once a 300 year old cottage that now makes up the foyer of this spacious 3,000 square foot home. Featuring 5 bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms, this two-story residence has been renovated with an abundance of modern improvements. A large living room seamlessly flows through to the dining room and into the open plan gourmet kitchen with granite counter tops, an island, new stainless steel appliances, and a breakfast nook. The layout has new French doors opening to a sizeable 288 square foot covered porch overlooking the ocean. The lower level also features a laundry and powder room, as well as a guest bedroom with an en suite bathroom. On the second floor are four large bedrooms with soaring ceilings and a cozy office. The master bedroom is significant in scale with an en suite bathroom, walk-in closet and doors leading out to another private 288 square foot covered patio with unparalleled water views to Dockyard. Has remarkable mature grounds, this property is an ideal family home offering quaint touches of a traditional Bermuda cottage with contemporary improvements 15 minute drive to town via North Shore and walking distance to the Railway Trail, grocers and playground. Available to Bermudians and PRCs.
194 North Shore Road, Bermuda area postal code CR 04. (Photo by this author). It was built by Claude William McCallan and named as such partly because he was a "son of" Callan as the Scots name indicates. He was born on September 4, 1765, in Ayr, Scotland, the son of William and Jean McCallan. At the age of 21, by then having been trained as a young ship designer, he was shipwrecked on Bermuda's north reefs in 1786 and rescued with his shipbuilding tools by a local fisherman, Daniel Seon. McCallan never left Bermuda. Instead he selected a local bride, Lucy Burrows Mercer, and erected this home, of Georgian design, in 1799 to 1800 (a front porch was added in the 20th century). McCallan’s ability to draw plans for a ship on paper and his aptitude for design allowed him to prosper in the colony. Before his arrival, Bermudians used small-scale models, carefully carved from cedar, as guides for building their vessels. He began a whole dynasty in Bermuda. This Callan Glen property once owned a great deal of land east, south and west of it, including what are now the since long-sold nearby streets called Callan Glen Drive and Callan Glen Rise, both of which took their name from the house. A son was Claude Thompson McCallan who also once owned an old Bermuda home called Edgewater in the west of the old town of St. George, facing St. George's Harbor. He also owned and operated McCallan's Wharf, a little west of Penno's Wharf, nearby. He enlarged and operated the wharf as a ship watering and Victualling business during the American Civil War. He was one of the main suppliers of essential ships chandlers and related services to Clyde-built and other British ships from Liverpool, England to Confederate ports via Bermuda during the 1860-64 blockade running heyday. Callan Glen remained in the McCallan family for 110 years, until about 1910. The McCallans of Bermuda include an author who first came to local fame in the 1950s. Since then, it has had various owners. They include a 1949-1955 Governor of Bermuda, Lieutenant General Sir Alexander Hood, after his Governorship, then Geraldine Rose Crockwell Crockwell-Sequeros in 1976, then Mr. and Mrs. Robert Dwinnell, others subsequently.
8 Cambridge Road, Sandys Parish MA 02. Historic Bermuda house dating back to the late 1780s. Near Cambridge Beaches Hotel. For rent in whole or in part in 2012 as a corporate retreat. Nestled into a large estate with access to the tranquil warm waters of the bay at Cambridge Beach, is this stunning 7 bedroom, 5 1/2 bathroom house. Comfortably decorated and renovated with all the modern conveniences, the gracious old Bermuda home provides a wonderful venue for a family reunion, or a getaway for friends who want to enjoy a tropical setting with secret paths down to the beach, hammocks and quiet flower filled gardens. Cambridge Beach is a 2 minute walk from the main house using a path that travels under trellises of Bermudian flowers and lovely cultivated gardens. Each bedroom has a double or larger bed, and bathrooms are newly updated. The kitchen offers an oversized 6 burner stove and oven, large BBQ, large fridge, and all the kitchen equipment for a gourmet meal. Dine on the large teak table in the back garden, or set the table for 12 or more on the front verandah and enjoy a candle lit evening with family and friends. The entrance, living room and dining room all have antique cedar beam floors hearkening back to the days when the house was the original Cambridge Hotel. (Nearby is the more recently built Bermuda cottage colony known as Cambridge Beaches). The long and cozy west end of the veranda offers a welcome respite from the sun and the perfect place to catch the cool breezes.
Camden, (1) from the ground and (2) an aerial view of the grounds in the Bermuda Botanical Gardens
Off South and Middle Roads, Paget Parish. Owned by the Bermuda Government. Chiefly of interest for its house, front garden and vegetable garden behind it. With a panoramic view of the South Shore, it stands on grounds open to the public during daylight hours. The house itself is open to the public on certain days. Admission is free. An historic house in typical Bermudian architecture, the official residence of the Premier of Bermuda, although not lived in by him (the Bermuda Government pays for him to live elsewhere). It was first built in the early 1700's. Francis Jones, eldest son of Colonel Thomas Jones of Paget Parish, purchased it and lived there until his death on September 12, 1796 from yellow fever. William Durham acquired it in 1810, but sold it to the Hon. Henry James Tucker in 1823. He was Mayor of the City of Hamilton from 1851 to 1870. He began to produce arrowroot on a large scale in a factory at the back of the house. He initiated the appearance the property has today. The verandah, porch and bow windows in the dining room and drawing room were probably by his son Thomas Fowle Jauncey Tucker, a bachelor who became well known. He continued the mercantile business and arrowroot factory. The Tucker Arrowroot Trade Mark was a guarantee of genuineness in Great Britain and the USA. Thomas Tucker died at Camden on January 24, 1892, without a will.
The property passed to Boswell Tucker in London, England. In October, 1894, Camden and 23 acres of land were sold to Alexander Ewing Tucker for 3,500 pounds sterling, at the same time he purchased the land on the other side of the South Road for l,100 pounds sterling. He, his wife Violet and his two sisters Mary and Kate, were the last Tuckers at Camden. Alexander died on August 10, 1934. Violet continued to reside there until her death in 1965. The property then passed to Alexander's cousins, Sir Henry Tucker and his brother Noel Tucker. They sold it to the Bermuda Government as an extension to the Botanical Gardens.
In the front hall are the cedar staircase, a freehand blown glass hall light and Bermuda cedar chest with cabriole legs (circa 1750), one of the many items on permanent loan from the Bermuda National Trust. The carved cedar paneling in the dining room and the entrance hall, and the furniture in the dining room, were by the cabinet maker Jackson during the mid 1800's. They took about 30 years to complete. The door and window surrounds and ceiling molding are trimmed with a motif known technically as quarter sawn "egg and thread" turnings. The design is repeated in the dining room chairs and the large 3 tiered side table.
The panels of "bird's eye" cedar, prized for its interesting grain, and the "mirror image" paneling of the doors, are also noteworthy. The dining room also shows the work of four modern Bermudian craftsmen. George Trott made the table. Edward Cross turned twenty four cedar serving plates. Fred Phillips reproduced four additional chairs. Bob Patterson did the "egg and thread" design on the elegant cedar trolley. The William and Mary cushion molded mirror (circa 1680) over the fireplace reflects the central brass chandelier which, with the wall sconces, provides the only source of light for formal candlelit dinners hosted by the Premier.
Bermuda plates depict endemic flowers, part of a limited edition series produced for the local firm of A. S. Cooper and Sons Ltd. by Coalport. At the top of the stairs hang portraits of five former Premiers of Bermuda. The Honorable Sir Henry Tucker and Honorable Sir John Sharpe were painted by Anthony Harper, the Honorable Sir Edward Richards and Honorable Sir David Gibbons by prominent British, Bermuda based, artist Sam Morse-Brown and the Honorable Sir John Swan by R. Samimi. There is a carved walnut Italian Renaissance chest (circa 1650) on the landing. The drawing room is lit by a great Waterford crystal chandelier. The inlaid Sheraton console table (circa 1790) is a fine piece and the cedar chest (circa 1750) is unusual for its small size and lower drawer.
The fireplace is in the Adam style with fluting reflecting the molding of the columns at either end of the drawing room. A large gilt Regency mirror hangs over the mantelpiece. It is a handsome example of Regency detail. The walls are decorated with water colors of old Bermuda by Augusta Russell (circa 1810), part of the collection of the late Hon. Bernard T. Gosling, on loan from the Bermuda National Trust.
Beyond the drawing room is the study, fitted on one wall with cedar bookshelves. Immediately opposite the drawing room is the gallery, hung with paintings provided by the Bermuda Society of Arts. The rosewood pedestal table of the Regency period bears a large silver epergne, donated in 1864 by a grateful legislature to Alexander Ewing, a long term Speaker of the Bermuda House of Assembly. The highly ornate epergne, based on a grape and grape leaf design, was wrought in London by A. B. Savory and Sons.
Also see the mahogany Hepplewhite secretaire/bookcase (circa 1780) with a complete set of Herend hand painted porcelain plates depicting Bermuda flowers, on loan from the Bermuda National Trust. Around the gallery are occasional chairs of the Victorian period (circa 1860). It is in these two rooms that official receptions are held. Beyond the gallery is the ladies' powder or withdrawing room, decorated with water color paintings by local artist Gay Corran. Admire the silk flower arrangements.
Southside Avenue, Southside, St. David's. Phone (441) 293-5960. Fax (441) 297-0329. Bermuda's oldest house. Its main purpose is to preserve the once-unique culture and history of this separate island in the Bermuda archipelago, which included farming, piloting whaling and close association many St. David's Islanders still have with American Native Indians. Home of the St. David's Historical Society. Open April to October on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays 10 am-4 pm and 2nd Sunday each month 12 noon to 4 pm. Admission charge. Registered charity 506.
36 East Shore Road, Sandys Parish. An historic (built in the 18th century) 2300 square feet two bedroom property on the market from January 2017 for $995,000 to Bermudians only. Once home to Gladys Morrell, a founder of the Bermuda Woman Suffrage Society that campaigned for the island’s women to get the vote. One of the first properties built in Sandys. wWth amazing character, ambience, glorious land, fabulous water views and privacy. The main house has a covered front porch, easy access drive-in drive-out driveway [and] an abundance of parking. With it comes a two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment. The two properties have water views of The Great Sound and sit on a .74-acre lot which neighbors a nature reserve. Within walking distance of ferry and bus routes and restaurants.
Off Middle Road, Devonshire Parish, just east of Corkscrew Hill.
Built in the 1800s, over 200 years old, a traditional Bermuda home, a sprawling architectural gem in three acres of land, owned by Government Estates of the Bermuda Government. In 2006 the Bermuda Government-provided home of Bermuda's then-Premier, Alex Scott. In 2005, the Government spent more than $1.5 million in renovating it, including furnishings, a sophisticated security system and a telecommunications link to the Government communications network. Earlier, Chief Justices and senior civil servants resided there. After Ewart Brown became Premier in late 2006, and decided not to move in, the sumptuous 5 bedroom property (three in the main house, two others in an adjoining apartment next to the kitchen) became empty. It also has a dining room, study and office. It was put on the market for rent in July 2007, initially for $25,000-30,000 a month, then $15,000-20,000 per month. However, it became for a while the residence of Bermuda's Deputy Governor. In May 2011 it was announced that Premier Paula Cox would make it her residence. Deputy Governor David Arkley was asked to move out (to his official residence of Montpelier not far away, earlier the home of Colonial Secretaries who were in effect Deputy Governors. Mr Arkley has been Deputy Governor since October 2009. Mr Arkley’s wife Melissa, 42, was found dead at Clifton in January 2011 and her sudden death was “one factor” for his willingness to move. He was previously reported as saying the pair had many “good memories” including watching the sun set from the veranda at Clifton. The house has impressive views overlooking Hamilton Harbour. It has a large kitchen and dining room suitable for entertaining, a spacious living room and a veranda with water views. It is also in a sought-after location, just minutes away from Hamilton. Premier Paula Cox has since moved in and the house has become the official residence of the Premier.
164 North Shore Road, Hamilton Parish. Owned by Mrs. Francis J. Mulderig. A graceful, mid-nineteenth century house likely built by Englesbe Seon who represented Hamilton Parish in the House of Assembly. The craftsmanship of early Bermudians, visible in the delicate woodwork, is matched by the artistry of the present owner who has created rooms of beautiful composition and colour. The present owner has established a garden of old Bermuda roses. A pathway by the rose garden leads to the pool. Between 1911 and 1922, Frances Hodgson Burnett spent winters with her sister at Clifton Heights. Born in England on November 24, 1849 and died on October 29, 1924 in the USA, this American naturalized author won international renown in 1886 for her book "Little Lord Fauntleroy" before she emigrated to the USA. In 1911, her "The Secret Garden" was published and also became a global best seller. It has often been claimed, wrongly, that she wrote this book based on a garden she kept in Bailey's Bay, Hamilton Parish, Bermuda. Actually, it was a garden in England - to be specific, the walled garden at Great Maytham Hall at Rolvenden, Cranbrook, Kent - where she wrote it, with its 18 acres of parkland nearby with bluebells, daffodils and flowering trees. Some time after the book published, she visited Bermuda for the first time - and stayed. After a brief sojourn at the Princess Hotel, she rented the house "Clifton Heights" then owned by the Outerbridge family. Burnett settled in Bermuda to get away from the chronic claustrophobia of an adoring public in the USA and the winter weather of her Long Island New York home. At "Clifton Heights," she indulged in her passion for growing roses, first gained from her earlier live in Britain. She once wrote to her friends about her 762 roses: "They will bloom when New York is 70 degrees below zero and London is black with fog and slopped with mud and rain." They did. She and her sister devoted time to landscaping the three-and-one-half acre property She loved Bermuda so much she continued to reside here until her death in 1924 at the age of 75. She was buried at Roslyn Cemetery, Roslyn, New York, USA.
33 South Road, Devonshire Parish. An old Bermuda house and estate, from which some valuable Bermuda-made cedar furniture was auctioned in early 2014. The historic listed house was built in 1773 on the site of an older house and most of the architecture is thought to date from around 1800. The Bermuda National Trust now owns it and the considerable amount of land in the estate and rents the dwelling house shown above unfurnished on a 2-year lease for several thousand dollars a month, while also leasing the agricultural land to a Bermudian farmer. Devondale was previously owned by Ms Jean Spence, a member of the prominent Bermudian Watlington family, who died in 2012 aged 86. Ms Spence was the granddaughter of John Cox Watlington, who inherited the house in 1857. She and her husband had no children and her will stipulated that on her death the house, together with a bequest to help with its upkeep, would go to the National Trust. One unique item in the house is the ship's bell of SS Pollockshields, a First World War munitions ship which sank off Elbow Beach in 1915 after hitting a reef.
In Southampton Princess Hotel grounds, Southampton, to the north of the hotel. 300 years old in 2013. A plan to demolish the Grade Two listed cottage was rejected in August 2013. It is believed to have been originally erected in the late 17th century as slave quarters. Preliminary architectural excavations at the site have suggested the building was erected sometime between 1680 and 1720, and that one or two African slaves had lived there until the 18th century. Originally a wooden structure, the building's walls were at some point reconstructed with stone, but the timber framing of the original building was retained. (While wooden buildings were common in Bermuda during the early years of the Island's settlement, extremely few of the structures have survived intact). A Special Development Order in 2009 stated the building was poorly located in a utility corridor with the hotel's sewage treatment and reverse osmosis facilities. A planning assessment of the site had found that the hotel had declined to maintain parts of the ageing building. While the western side of the building, the side visible from a nearby private estate road, has been maintained, the other side has not. The Minister concluded in 2009 that the hotel was seeking to demolish the building by neglect and an application to de-list was refused, planning documents stated. But the Historic Buildings Advisory Committee at that time recommended the building not be de-listed because of its historical value. An application was received by the Planning Department in May 2013 from West End Properties Ltd, care of Fairmont Southampton. A visit by technical officers from the Historic Building Advisory Committee found that while the cottage roof was in disrepair, there were no visible structural cracks in the walls or chimneys and that the building could be rehabilitated. However, a report by ECM Services described the building as being in extremely poor condition, and that large sections of the wooden beams had completely disintegrated. The report claimed a structural portion of the roof had collapsed and the remainder was severely distorted and ready to collapse. A letter of objection by the Bermuda National Trust (BNT) stated: "It would be a great loss for this structure to be demolished prematurely and should the application be approved, the BNT asks that there be a condition attached that the recordings of the early structure be completed and that Edward Chappell [Director of Architecture and Archaeology at Colonial Williamsburg] and Trust volunteers be allowed to access the building for another week before the end of 2013." Planning Minister Sylvan Richards offered to review a request for the de-listing of the building, but stated that such requests must now include a public consultation process. The hotel decided against a de-listing request in favour of the application, but may still appeal to the Minister.
39 Harbour Road. Ideally located, situated on land stretching from Harbour Road to the waters of Turtle Cove. Originally a 1790s Georgian house, one room in depth with two rooms above. It may once have been the home of a Bermudian shipper or captain, in the 1850s. In 1910, the original house was extended on the south by a two-storey, gable-roofed wing and verandah. An American family, who bought the house in the 1920s, enclosed an end section of the verandah and later added a shed-roofed kitchen. For the past quarter of a century, the present owners, the Darlings, have blended the structures into a house full of character, charm and comfort and established gardens of great beauty. In 1981, with cedar beams salvaged by the owner from a derelict building, the shed roof of the kitchen was replaced by a traditional, open beamed ceiling beneath a pitched roof. In 1983 the owners built a glorious summerhouse using 18th century construction methods. At the same time, the grass lawn that sloped to the sea was made level. It is enclosed within sheltering limestone walls. Antique bricks traverse the walled garden to an arched gateway and the vegetable garden is planted in a quarry, protected from the northwest wind. In many other respects the house and gardens are noteworthy and quote worthy.
St. George's. Historic premises once (centuries ago) a hotel, now a Bermuda National Trust museum open to the public showing how the old town was a Confederate offshore supply center during the American Civil War.
On a hill overlooking picturesque St. George's Harbour. A property in the historic Town of St. George, a World Heritage site. A (circa) 1805 two-storey Georgian-style home. The simple but elegant structure sits in a charming historic neighborhood divided by narrow cobblestone streets. There is also a small outbuilding. A recent renovation project saw the downstairs main staircase relocated, and an old galley kitchen torn out with the area expanded into a living room. A former storage area was reborn as a great room with a state-of-the-art kitchen. The new living room extends as far as the former outbuilding, and is now part of the home as a guest wing. Upstairs, the master suite was completely renovated and a new bathroom added between two smaller bedrooms for the children to share. Overall, the house has been made as hurricane-resistant as possible. In 2003, the property was publicized for restoration in the PBS series This Old House. It is the sister-property of Hillcrest and is directly south of it, owned by the same Trust.
Riddell's Bay, Warwick Parish. A rare historic 9 acre waterfront property estate complete with its own Haggis Island. Once owned by the trust of a General Motors heir. The estate, which dates back to 1803, has been in the family since 1936, when Elsa Mott Mitchell bought it. The property, which has its own private island, has been subdivided. The plan since 2011 has been to sell the main house and cottage and then seven lots that will each have deepwater dock access. The historic two-storey, six-bedroom main home and two-bedroom cottage on about five acres with private Haggis Island was listed in 2011 at $5.9 million. It sold recently for just under $5.6 million. It was originally listed at $12 million. The estate enjoys over 450’ of prime boating waterfront on the protected waters of Riddells Bay complete with a large concrete deep-water dock, 2 boat moorings, and a 2 bedroom Cottage. The 2 storey Main house, is approximately 5,780 sq ft, of original design by famous architect Will Onions, consisting of 6 bedrooms with most situated to offer breathtaking views of The Great Sound and Riddells Bay, finished with luxurious Bermuda Cedar accents. The spacious Guest cottage enjoys privacy from the Main house fabulous water views and has been recently renovated and includes a garage and laundry room. The well-appointed grounds are lush with many types of trees such as Grape Bay, Pittosporum, Oleander, ageless Cedars as well as Frangipani. There is a proper Croquet lawn with fish ponds.
A historic property in the ancient Town of St. George. 12-bedrooms, most recently an historic inn, dates back to the 1700s, once the residence of the American Consul when the town was the first capital of Bermuda until 1815. Also prized for its early Bermuda architecture and its link to a volume of romantic verse penned by Thomas Moore, the noted Irish poet once in Bermuda for some months, in his Odes to Nea. The poet stayed at the inn for a short while in 1804 and fell in love with Hester Louisa Tucker, a young woman who lived next door. The love was unrequited. Miss Tucker married a cousin, William Tucker and Mr. Moore put his lusty feelings for her on paper. Owned by the Wright Robinson family since 1916, most recently by descendants Delaey Robinson and his wife, Andrea Dismont. They now live in England. The property first opened as a bed and breakfast in 1961 under the name Hillcrest Guest House, owned by Trew Robinson, much later became Aunt Nea's Inn, an up-market B&B (see photos above) until closed as such. Has many historic features including four-poster, canopy and sleigh beds and tray ceilings with exposed cedar beams (see third photo above). In 2003, the property was one of a handful on the island considered for restoration as part of the PBS series This Old House. Put on the market several times, most recently in August 2014 for $1.6 million.
4 Between the Walls Pembroke Parish, HM06. Recently marketed for sale (available to Bermudians and PRC holders) .at £2.35 million. Gracious, Old Bermuda home listed Grade 3 with special historic interest. 2 storey detached house within a 5 minute walk to Hamilton. Sits on approximately 1/2 an acre of private garden space consisting of downstairs; Grand Foyer, formal living room with fireplace, dining room, family room, pantry/bar, office, powder room, large eat in kitchen, mud room and a nanny/guest suite. A central elegant stairway leads upstairs to 3 large bedrooms two with adjoining Jack and Jill bathrooms, large master suite, with fireplace, bathroom and balcony. Also has very large bricked covered porch measuring 18 feet by 11 feet just off of the kitchen. Lots of storage with full attic storage access and a storage shed.
Long Lane, Tucker's Town. On the Ordnance Survey Map, prepared in 1898 and 1899 by British Lt. A. J. Savage, this property was once a modest cottage named Mariposa. At that time, Tucker’s Town was a small, scattered community of fishermen, boat builders and farmers. In the financial boom after World War I, Furness, Withy and Co. agreed to build luxury steamships for Bermuda in return for the right to buy swathes of land in Tucker’s Town where the company would develop the Mid Ocean Club and golf course on property requisitioned from the owners. Overseeing the work force, the superintendent lived in Mariposa where he viewed the transformation of the land into green and grassy fairways where once thick cedar, fiddlewood, palmetto and sage, overgrown with jasmine, covered the hills. In the front hallway, a graceful staircase with cherry treads and an open spandrel was designed to replace an earlier one and was built by a Bermuda craftsman without the assistance of a plan on paper. Delicate watercolour botanicals attributed to Lady Ramsbottom, wife of a former Bermuda Governor, line the stair carriage. The hallway contains a lovely Irish pine chiffonier, dating from the 1860s. The floors are cherry. A view of the lovely garden is framed by the Spanish cypress woodwork of the verandah. The gardens boast mahogany, Poinciana, fig, guava, banana and olive trees as well as many species of tropical palms. Spacious rooms beneath high ceilings contain handsome oak furniture, hand-carved in Toronto in the late 1920s. The collection of art includes paintings by Bermuda’s first modernist painter, Alfred Birdsey, and 20th century Canadian artist and family friend, Hilton Hassell.
3 Tanglewood Road, off Middle Road, Paget. A tall Bermuda landmark because of its atypical red roof, built in 1896, with elevated views over Hamilton Harbour and the Great Sound. A Victorian-style one-affluent- family manor house, now a Bermuda grade two listed building. Reception rooms have high ceilings finished with crown mouldings, crystal chandeliers to reflect light and heavy drapes that frame oversized French doors which access the deep patios. Since 2002 renovated and remodeled into three apartments. Very stately and set in almost two acres of park-like grounds. Over the years, as a single dwelling it has had several auspicious owners and was even used during the Second World War, guarded by the Bermuda Rifle Corps to intern enemy nationals.
Lighthouse Hill, St. David's. Delisted in 2016 but still significant. Irreparably damaged by Hurricane Gonzalo in 2014. One of Bermuda’s few remaining wooden houses and typifies this unusual style of building. Wooden houses were introduced to Bermuda from the West Indies about the turn of the 20th century and adapted well to traditional Bermuda proportions. One of several wooden homes featured in the book Wooden Houses of Bermuda by Dale Butler. The book notes the house had been repainted in several bright colours over the years. The book also describes the house as a gable-ended structure with horizontal lap-boarding on the exterior and a roof made with concrete on corrugated iron sheeting. It also notes an “architrave” around the windows where they meet the horizontal lap-boarding — a common feature in “Georgian architecture.”
9 Stowe Hill, Paget. A glorious estate, steeped in history. The 2 storey main house of 4600 square feet was built in the 1700s and has many features typical of that era: high ceilings, cedar beams and large, raised fireplaces. Subsequent owners have maintained its charm and character through the years. Sits on four acres of land. In November 2016 it was on the market for $4.2 million. The main house, built in the 1700s for Colonel Francis Jones, was built using the finest materials, such as Bermuda cedar, throughout. Features include high ceilings with beautiful cedar beams, large raised fireplaces and panelled walls and wood floors. The Bermuda cedar staircase to the second storey is original. Upstairs are three bedrooms, three bathrooms and a library. There is also a renovated two-storey, three-bedroom cottage of the same vintage, located just far enough from the main house to ensure privacy.
31 Fractious Street, Hamilton Parish. Mid-2016 for sale asking price was $2,350 million. Historic traditional Bermuda family home on nearly two acres of private grounds with well-maintained gardens and mature trees. Meandering driveway leads to a large covered verandah that stretches the full width of this home. The reception rooms in the house are spacious with wooden beams & fireplaces. The kitchen was renovated recently to include new professional grade stainless steel appliances and modern finishes. Three bedrooms and two bathrooms within the main house, along with several rooms that can be configured for living, dining, office, library or den. The floors throughout the house are hardwood or tiled. With an outside pool, completely private and adjoined by a pool house with bathroom. In addition, there is a guest suite apartment with its own kitchenette, bathroom and private porch with pergola. The property also includes a greenhouse to grow orchids or vegetables and two large water tanks.
Now just a ruin. Longford House is believed to have been home to the very first resident physician in St George’s. It was built in 1709 for Doctor Roger Thomas and was worth the princely sum of one pound. It was a prestigious and distinguished ‘mansion’ that lay at the very heart of the old St George’s and boasted a long hall, brick-lined fireplaces and a deep chasm of a cellar. Dr Thomas had emigrated to Bermuda 1709 and his house was one of the most expensive in the capital. When he died of pleurisy in 1715 the property passed on to his wife Sarah. But it is unclear who occupied the premises after she died three years later as it was probably rented out to visiting merchants and businessmen. The Foote family occupied Longford House in the late 18th century and expanded it to its current size. Lt John Foote had been posted to Bermuda from England with the Independent Company at the tail end of King George’s War. And although he lived in the premises until he died in 1754 he never actually owned the property. His family continued to live there after his death and his son, William, was appointed Clerk of the Assembly. William was also a successful merchant as well as churchwarden and scribe and he purchased Longford in 1781 for £1,000. In the early 19th century it was home to Jehoaddan Lagourgue — the widow of a French St Domingue sugar planter who had lost everything during the Haitian slave revolt and revolution. But this marked the beginning of a long decline and by 1950 the house had become a ruin of no value. Today the shell of the building remains clearly visible, as do the large fireplaces and the cellar rooms. But the site has become overgrown with trees and plants. The roof has long disintegrated and the interior walls of this once majestic old house have crumbled away.
Longford Road, Warwick Parish. In mid 2016 for sale for $10.65 million. The three-acre property is listed for its historic and architectural importance. It is a four-bedroom, 7,381-square-foot main house with a "children's suite," as well as a split-level guest cottage, a fruit grove, a tennis court, and a secret garden with hot tub. It was purchased in 2001 for $2.5 million by Oscar winners and film stars Michael Douglas, and his wife the beautiful and talented actress and prominent film star, Welsh-born Catherine Zeta Jones, 47 in 2016. They were full-time Bermuda residents from 2002 to his illness in 2009. London-based decorator Stephen Ryan was engaged to infuse the space with a feel that combined quintessentially English with quintessentially Bermudian. Douglas is American-born his late (mother was the former actress Diana Dill Webster, once Kirk Douglas's wife, later a Darrid and then Webster by marriage. She was Bermudian from a prominent and wealthy family who have lived in Bermuda since 1610 but made her home in the USA with her American husbands. The Dill family also owns the Brighton Hill Nursery across the street and up the hill to the right. Another owner was Laurence Dill, who died in late November 2000 at the age of 91. He lived in an historic private home, "Belhaven" in Devonshire, south east of Brighton Hill Nursery. He was an uncle of Michael Douglas. He was a talented local composer and pianist. After his mother and father divorced, Michael Douglas lived for a time on the US East Coast and received an allowance from his mother and step father, William Darrid. He is an iconic film star, actor and producer, 72 in late September 2016. He won his brace of Oscars for performing in Wall Street and producing 1975's One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. She was brought up in a small, mostly Catholic, Welsh coastal fishing village and has a Catholic repugnance to divorce. Michael Douglas has a brother Joel in the USA. His grandfather Colonel Thomas Dill was Bermuda's Attorney General. They are the half brothers of Eric and Peter Douglas by Kirk Douglas and his later wife, Anne Buydens. Michael had his first birthday in Bermuda. Eric is an actor and comedian and Joel and Peter are producers. Before his marriage to Catherine, Michael Douglas was married for 18 years to producer Diandra Douglas, with whom he had a son, Cameron Douglas, an actor. He and wife Catherine became engaged in January 2000, had a son, Dylan, in August, 2000, got married three months later in New York and now also have a daughter, Carys Zeta, born in April, 2003.
In August 2016 it was listed for sale. Earlier, Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones had wanted $28K a month rent.
3 Salt Kettle Road, Paget. The earliest part of the house, built between 1845 and 1860, is the beautifully proportioned living room with its old growth, long-leafed yellow pine floors, a great hearth and cedar surround. In the 1930s, renovations were completed and again in the 1980s. The present owners, who valued the 19th century origins, made sympathetic alterations, adding bedrooms and wide brick terraces, excavating to create a basement and garage, and transforming the old kitchen into a spacious family room with views over the rooftops of Salt Kettle to the Harbour. The exterior lines of the house are defined by new pilasters, painted white, in contrast to grey stone-washed walls; windows are now framed in cedar. Furnished with many antiques inherited or found at auctions. Old Bermuda maps and historic etchings, paintings and watercolors.
15 Middle Road, Devonshire Parish. Owned by Mr. and Mrs. William Cox. Completed in 1893 by William J. Cox, it is an outstanding Victorian interpretation of a traditional Bermuda house. Characteristic of the era are high ceilings, wide verandahs, three-storey tower and widow's walk. The handsome doors, windows and floors are Bermuda cedar or imported solid pitch pine which was more highly valued than cedar at the time because of its scarcity. At the end of a long drive through spacious grounds, Mayflower looks out on a pool and to the South Shore beyond. . A charming historic Bermuda house which in May 2009 hosted the Garden Club of Bermuda's gala party in the grounds as part of its celebration of Bermuda's 400th anniversary. The event, appropriately entitled 'Mayflower in Bloom', allowed allow residents and visitors to enjoy the fine collection of furniture and paintings in the home, as well as the many beautiful floral displays created especially for the occasion by skilled Garden Club members. The gracious residence is the home of William (Bill) and Rosanna Cox, and was built in the late 19th century by William Cox, an ancestor of the present owner. It was also the home of Freer Cox, a founding member and the first president of the Garden Club of Bermuda. Among its furnishings are several items made by the present owner from Bermuda cedar cut from the property, as well as paintings by Mrs. Cox's son, well-known artist Henry Ward. A special feature of the house is the three-storey tower which includes a widow's walk so-called because this is where a wife would wait, often in vain, for her husband to return from the sea. Saturday's visitors will be invited to climb up and see both the North and South Shores. 'Mayflower' sits in ten acres of grounds which were the scene of a host of garden-related activities. The several garden areas include a nice grouping at the front of the property and more flowers and plants by the pool with a view of the South Shore.
May 2002 photo by the author exclusively for Bermuda Online
29 York Street, St. George's. Listed as for sale in May 2013 for $600,000 and earlier so-listed in July 2012 for $775,000 to Bermudians only. Built circa 1715 in Bermuda stone. Small house, 1,500 square feet, tray ceilings, 1 water tank, wood floors. Originally granted by Governor Bennett to John Ford in 1798, the property (at one time known as the “Queen Anne Shop”) came into the ownership of the Ming family in 1765 and generations of Mings lived there until the late nineteenth or early twentieth century. The home is currently configured as a two storey, two bedrooms, one bathroom cottage with a reception room on each level and a large eat-in kitchen on the ground floor, comprising two apartments. ARV's are $26,400 and $9,600 respectively. There is also a private back garden that offers a peaceful retreat from the bustle of town life. The property has retained historic charm and character despite been extensively renovated in recent times. The cedar beams have been stripped and refinished, and, where possible, the original flooring has been preserved. The renovated kitchen still retains the original brick oven that was once used for commercial baking. The kitchen, despite the brick oven, is modern with stainless appliances and crisp white cabinets. Essential infrastructure (plumbing and wiring) have been upgraded including in the modern bathroom.
3 Featherbed Alley. Telephone (441) 297-0423. Since 1920 the headquarters of the St. George's Historical Society and Museum. Bermuda registered charity 478. 18th century house filled with antique furniture and paintings. This was once a typical Bermuda dwelling. Built circa 1725, the unusual "welcoming arms" entrance is a distinctive feature of Bermudian architecture. In the high season from April to 15 November, It is open Monday to Friday 11 am to 4 pm. There is an entrance fee per visitor and an annual membership fee for residents and interested overseas persons. Bermudian historical artifacts including reminders of Bermuda's roles in the American Revolutionary, 1812-14 and Civil Wars, cedar work, documents. There is also a working replica of a Gutenburg printing press (brought to Bermuda in 1784 to print the colony's first newspaper). It was first invented in Germany in the late 1400's and refined slightly in the 1500's. It remained popular for printing of broadsheets for well over 300 years.
Middle Road, Devonshire. The historic property was built prior to 1750 and was once owned by the Peniston family. From the mid 19th century, like most of the Parish at the time, it was once - but no longer - part of British Army lands, purchased for that purpose in 1868, specifically to serve as the residence of the British Army's commanding officer in Bermuda. Montpelier Road, the street to the west of the property that led to the British Army headquarters at Prospect Garrison, was named after the house. Today, it is owned by the Bermuda Government and now lived in by the Deputy Governor and family, after extensive renovations, as was long the case until the 1970s and earlier. Up to the 1970s, the Deputy Governor was referred to as the Colonial Secretary.
Foot of the Lane, Pembroke. Once The Lane School, the latter built by former slaves more than 180 years ago following Emancipation in 1834 and as such of considerable historic importance. No longer anything like its original 1830s appearance. Once (from about 1965) the home of Dr Morley Nash prior to going into the hands of the Moonray Manor Trust. Presently owned by the Trustees of the latter. Now restored, with much controversial alteration, as a private home.
13 Mount Hope, Smith's Parish. Former rectory for St. Mark’s Church, looks out over the church spire to a verdant hillside and the sea. Originally a single storey house with a hipped roof and enclosed yard, built in 1847 by John W.R. Pearman, a shipbuilder and a farmer who later became a Member of Parliament for Smith’s Parish. His son, Jeremiah Scott Pearman, upon inheriting the house, made substantial changes, excavating to create two storeys at the front and adding a fashionable, T-shaped verandah, supported by cast iron columns; its design is credited to Edward Peniston, his brother-in-law. Interior woodworks are in the Charles Eastlake style, popular at the time. Eastlake, an Englishman who wrote Hints on Household Taste in Furniture, Upholstery, and Other Details, advocated low relief carvings and flat surfaces easy to keep clean, the use of rugged woods like oak and the abandonment of applied decoration. The double doors with miniature panels in the entry hallway are an example of Eastlake style. The stairway, despite its modest size, has a tapered and turned column carved with a barley sugar twist and rosettes, repeated in the balustrades.
Private property, not open to the public.
Photograph by Keith A. Forbes, exclusively for Bermuda Online.
8 Middle Road, Paget Parish. Owned by Mrs. Robert B. Chappell, Jr. One of Bermuda's most distinguished houses both in character and setting. In the late 1700s, the Honorable John Harvey, Chief Justice of Bermuda, located his courtroom in a small outbuilding now connected to the house. The main house was built by his nephew between 1800 and 1820. Mount Pleasant has two-storey verandahs and lovely architectural detail with elaborate quoining and dentil moulding. Original interior woodwork includes a handsome cedar staircase in the entrance hall and Adam-style cornices and door frames in the small drawing room. The paneling in the dining room is pickled cedar Notable are the collection of antique Bermuda maps, lining the stair wall, and many fine pieces of furniture and silver which show the artistry of Bermuda's 18th and early 1 9th century craftsmen. Unusual and beautiful trees grow on the property. The grand white cedar (Tabebuia pallida) was planted in the mid-1800s. At the far end of the splendid gardens, impeccably cared for by the owner, is a cloistered quarry garden.
Hamilton Parish, on one of Bermuda's highest hills. Since approximately 1792. An historic building of exceptional architectural and cultural heritage significance. Built by Algate possibly through his marriage to Ruth Somersall in 1782, as a splendid house, the main facade and front door of which faced westward towards and with sea views of the Dockyard, but overlooked Castle Harbour. It was ideally placed strategically. In 1808 it was purchased by Stephen Outerbridge. He leased the property for six years from December 12 1812 to the Royal Navy, when war again broke out between Britain and the USA, as a suitable residence for the Admiral on the River St. Lawrence and Coast of America and North American and West Indies Station (later, the North America Station). The first occupant was Vice Admiral Sir John Borlase Warren, Bt, KB, followed by Vice Admiral the Hon. Sir Alexander Cochrane, GCB (much involved in the sack of Washington during the War of 1812 and thereafter, being dissuaded from attacking Rhode Island, bombarded Fort McHenry at Baltimore instead). It was from this house that the final plan to sack the American capital and burn the White House was decided and duly occurred in late August 1814, made possible by the attacking fleet of the Royal Navy then assembled in and which sailed from Bermuda. The War ended almost two years to the day of the taking of the lease for Mount Wyndham, the peace being formulated by the Treaty of Ghent on Christmas Eve, 1814. Rear Admiral Sir David Milne, KCB, followed Cochrane at Mount Wyndham, which also served as one of the main signal stations between Fort George in St. George's and the new Dockyard in the far west of Bermuda at Ireland Island, then only a few years old. Possibly the last senior naval officer to visit or reside at Mount Wyndham was Rear Admiral Sir Edward Griffiths (later Griffiths Colpoys), who later died at Bermuda on a voyage to England and was here buried in October 1832, his being one of the largest monuments in the Royal Naval Cemetery. His sister, Martha Griffiths, married one Thomas Abbott in 1798 and her great great grandson, Admiral Sir Peter Abbot, GBE, KCB, served in Bermuda in the mid-1970s. Later owned by William Milner Cox.
North Shore, Pembroke. Traditional Bermuda home acquired and restored recently after many years of neglect. With welcoming arms, eyebrows, cedar work and former slave quarters under the house. Owned and lived in by Colin and Julia Washington and their four children. A Grade III listed building.
Broad Alley, behind St. Peter's Church. A restored 18th century 2-bedroom parsonage, an immaculate cottage with black shutters and with its exterior similar to an English country garden except that lime, loquat and spice trees abound. Note the similarities to many buildings in the more historic parts of Virginia, built in the same period. With typical welcoming arms architecturally. One of Bermuda's earliest homes. Originally built in or before 1699 and lived in by a notorious buccaneer whose exploits included buying and selling Bermuda-built cedar ships for the Royal Navy. His widow inherited the property. Once the residence of the Rev. Alexander Richardson, rector of St. Peter's, thus the name. He died in 1805. In 1903, owned by Robert H. James whose heirs sold it in 1950 to the Bermuda Historical Monuments Trust, now the Bermuda National Trust. It leases the property. In September 2015 it advertised it for rent at $2,850 a month.
41 St. Mary's Road, an early 18th century farmhouse, built in 1709, owned by Mr. and Mrs Ian Davidson, extended to the east in the 1820s, with its extensive garden.
Corner of Parsons Lane and Orange Valley Road, Devonshire Parish. Owned by Mrs. Michael Cox and Mr. John Cox ( whose many credits include chairmanship of the venerable Bermuda Historical Society). Private property, not usually open to the public except on special occasions. Set in 15 acres of glorious woodland gardens and citrus orchards, it was built in 1801/1802 by Bermudian sea captain William Cox, in an estate he owned since 1796. After his death in 1842, the house has been owned by William Cox (1807-1867); Henry James Cox (1858-1948); John William Cox (Sir John), 1900-1990; Michael John Cox (1931-1989) and currently John William Cox (born 1955). Six generations of the Cox family have occupied the house and the family's heritage has been carefully preserved by each, in a delightful old-fashioned style that has preserved all the original charm of the house. The house is furnished with handsome antique cedar and mahogany pieces and a lovely collection of Sevres porcelain - a specialty of present owner, historian and author John Cox (a book he co-authored is "Bermuda's Favorite Haunts, Volumes 1, 1991 and 2 (subtitled "Picking Up The Threads") 1996. Ghostly stories). The house is reputed to have ghosts. There are fine marine paintings, English landscapes and family portraits. The well-tended grounds and interesting garden areas boast a croquet lawn and some of the oldest and most beautiful trees in Bermuda, including guava, palmetto, black ebony, mahogany, royal poinciana, Indian rubber and silk cotton.
Bluck's Point, a long, narrow peninsula curving into the Great Sound south of Spanish Point. It was originally Oxford Point, after this gracious old Bermuda home. Once owned by 17th century Bermudian merchant, Thomas Oxford, thus the name. When the house was acquired by John Bluck, the point was re-named. In 1856, men of the 3rd Company of the 56th Regiment of the British Army bivouacked here, in hope of escaping the disease, at the order of Bermudian physician Dr. Harvey. They were lucky enough to escape the disease-carrying mosquito.
See Bermuda National Trust.
Pembroke Parish. A Bermuda National Trust (BNT) a picturesque waterside Grade 1 listed property on Hamilton Harbour at Foot of the Lane, along with much of Foot of the Lane, was long-leased to a major local international exempted company Fidelity International, in exchange for fixing it up. It is now used as an affluent and exclusive office building for this investment company and its subsidiaries and/or affiliates.
Riddell’s Bay, the end of Peppercorn Lane, near Waterlot Restaurant. A gracious Bermuda home, listed for its exceptional architectural and historic interest, situated on approx 2 acres of prime waterfront in with it has its own private dock, and a beautiful large pool. In one wing there is a large eat in kitchen with beautiful wood beams, a large pantry, master suite with den/TV room and entry foyer with fireplace and powder room. The living room faces the water and there is also a lovely covered outdoor porch to enjoy water views and overlook the pool and garden. In August 2016 it was made available for a long lease.
Information from the Garden Club of Bermuda. Private property, not open to the public.
Photograph by Keith A. Forbes, exclusively for Bermuda Online.
Hallelu Lane. Owned by Mr. and Mrs. George Wardman. It stands at the top of joyous sounding Hallelu Lane which draws its name from the songs of slaves heard through the night as they built the nearby Methodist Chapel in the 1820s. Built in the early years of the 20th century, the house enjoys a rural setting. Farmers grow crops in fields bordering the two-acre property much as they have in centuries past. Entered by way of a sheltered courtyard, the house is furnished with French, English and Bermudian antiques. Among the art are old English engravings and prints and lovely portraits of the owner and her two children painted by a Bermudian artist. Framed menus from restaurants around the world were chosen "for offering great memories" to decorate the spacious family room. A wide terrace presents grand vistas of the harbor and the Great Sound. On a lower terrace are a poorhouse and a pool with water spilling over one edge, appearing to cascade down the hillside.
See Bermuda National Trust.
Better known as Samaritan’s Hall, given a Grade 3 listing in Bermuda. Built by members of the Wilson, Dill and DeShields families. While the lodge was established in 1899, the building was not officially dedicated until 1924. Since then, it has served as a schoolroom for generations of students, a church meeting place, a youth club, a concert hall and a meeting place for members of the friendly society.
See Bermuda National Trust.
32 Pomander Road. A Paget waterfront two-bedroom cottage overlooking Hamilton Harbour, with direct access to the water, a quaint property. Advertised for sale in 2016 for $1.5 million. On approximately a quarter acre of land, two-bedrooms, two-bathrooms. The historic, grade 3 listed property is a short drive into the city of Hamilton. Originally built as a warehouse by Thomas Jones in the 1700s, to store and relocate lumber. In the later part of the 1800s, the property was sold to Samuel Saltus Ingham, and until sold the property remains in the ownership of his family. With a hip roof and exposed beams, the original house was in a rectangular shape; there have since been additions on both ends of the cottage.
Somerset. Historic home, listed building, for sale in August 2016 to Bermudians only with a price tag of $1.1 million. Has operated as home and a pub or restaurant for more than 100 years. Zoned residential 1, with commercial use. The site, formerly the Loyalty Inn, which closed and put up for sale 1997, sits on a 0.62 acre site with views over the waters of Mangrove Bay. The Royal Gazette reported in 2005 that Salt Rock Grill had been given planning permission to build seven new tourist units, a reception area, conference room and pool next to the existing property. The property, until sold, is owned by a family trust.
3 Salt Kettle Lane. Property is noted in 1660 in Richard Norwood’s second survey of Bermuda. Norwood, an English surveyor, initially measured and divided the Island into tribes (after 1684 known as parishes). A 1758 will described the structure as a “store house”. Hewn out of rock at near water level, the storehouse provided safekeeping for cargo unloaded from sailing ships moored in the harbour. After 1801, the second floor living quarters were completed. In the 1940s, the wide verandah, graceful dual flights of steps and a bedroom to the west, were added. Salt Winds’ present owner is a 13th generation Bermudian. The family’s genealogical chart, in the front hallway, shows that he is a descendent of the merchant adventurer Perient Trott who in the mid-1600s was the largest landowner in Bermuda. Perient Trott’s eldest son, Samuel, subsequently managed his father’s interests, including a whaling industry. He is credited with building one of Bermuda’s oldest extant buildings, his home in Walsingham, the cruciform core of what is now known as Tom Moore’s Tavern.
St. George's. A Class 3 historical building. Once a British Army officer's house (hence the name). Now owned by the Bermuda Housing Corporation (BHC). Once the rented home of four families, about 20 tenants. After the building sustained severe roof damage during Hurricane Fabian, they were relocated. The BHC consulted with the Corporation of St. George's, the National Trust and Bermuda Historical Society to work out some guidelines for the renovations. They included roof repairs as well as plumbing and rewiring, anticipated to be in excess of $1 million.
North Shore Road, Devonshire, across from Devonshire Dock. On 4.5 acres of lush tended gardens. An 18th century U-shaped form with residential storey above storage space. Built by Josiah Cox in about 1755 when he married and for years the ancestral home of the Dill family. Current owner is Katie Fetigan, youngest child of Tommy and Marge Dill. The library is rich in cedar work.
7 Point Shares Road, Pembroke Parish. of historic significance, built in 1883 as the manor house for Point Shares. In July 2016 advertised as for sale for $5.9 million to Bermudian and non-Bermudian buyers. On the market since 2012 when the asking price was $6.9 million to Bermudian and non-Bermudian buyers. This beautiful Victorian style home has high ceilings and graciously proportioned rooms with elegant crown moldings and carved detail. Fireplaces abound creating a focal point to each of the spacious reception rooms and bedrooms. Doors open to covered verandas and patios with fabulous views of Soncy Bay. The six-bedroom former manor house has a pool, floating dock and boat house. Once the residence of Royalty and the holiday destination of a U.S. president, Soncy stands on the shore of Soncy Bay, a protected cove. The house was built in the early 1880s on some fifty acres of land (bought for $8,000 and known as Point Shares) by General Russell Hastings, a Union veteran of the American Civil War, and his wife Emily, the niece of U.S. President and Mrs. Rutherford B. Hayes. The Hastings’ family papers recount that they renamed the property Soncy, a Scottish word “signifying thrift, prosperity, and all things good.” The deep yellow Isabella Sprunt was one of the two roses introduced to Bermuda in about 1880 by General and Mrs. Russell Hastings. Another was the Safrano or Saffron rose, a slow growing lemon yellow tea rose up to five feet high. It was well-known in rose catalogues in the American South in 1843. The family prospered at Soncy as a result of the General’s venture into growing and exporting the bulbs of Bermuda’s distinctive, pure white Lilium longiflorum eximum. With the arrival of spring in the 1880s and 90s, more than 100,000 lily blossoms could often be seen in the fields at one time. In the 1920s, Lady Patricia Ramsay, a granddaughter of Queen Victoria, lived at Soncy with her young son. In this century, the old house offers many of the same pleasures to its residents as in the past. It has large rooms with high ceilings, wide verandahs, a tree-shaded lawn running down to the water, and swimming and boating in Soncy Bay.
Enterprise Road, Morgan's Point, Southampton. One of the most important of the early buildings on the former US Navy Operating Base. An early single-storey hall-chamber house in old traditional Bermuda architecture style. The interior of the building had some half-timbering or exposed timber framework that, along with other evidence, strongly indicated early sections of the house could have 17th century origins. There are even indications the original house had at one time a thatched roof. Greatly dilapidated after years of neglect, especially after the US Navy left in 1995 when the property was known as Quarters B and used as officer's quarters, in particular as the residence of the commanding officer of the U S. Navy base built from scratch from former islands and landfill and variously called first the US Navy Operating Base then the US Naval Air Station (USNAS). In 2013 the Bermuda National Trust hoped it could be saved from demolition and conversion into single family plots during the building of a new tourism resort hotel and leisure centre at Morgan's Point.
Photos above copyright Anthony C. Becker, see below
Anthony C. Becker, from Cape Cod, MA, flew over the property in a helicopter in 2000 and took the top photograph shown above. The others by his family date from 1966/67. In April 2013 he kindly gave this writer permission to include them in this Bermuda Online (BOL) file and wrote: "I lived in Sound View and recall vividly my mother describing the historical significance of our home, Quarters 'B'. Particularly the Bermuda 'tub' ceiling. My father Cdr. Roger W Becker was the Executive Officer (2nd in command) of NAS BDA from 1964-67. I was born at Kindley AFB in 1958. We originally lived in the wee cottage on the hill above the captain's home. That too was an old cottage called Windswept, Quarters 'G'. The captain's home below, known today perhaps by it being next door to the Rockaway ferry dock, was called Far Rockaway. If you look closely at the bottom left corner of photo 1 you'll spy my mother Cynthia Jones Becker hanging laundry by the hedge. The wee cottage as for the exclusive use of the captain. The formal gardens were part of his grounds as well although we played there all the time. Below the cottage was a small tide filled stone-walled pool. The home had 3 bedrooms each with an en suite bath plus an attached servant room and bath just outside off the kitchen. The view of the Great Sound was of course spectacular. Photo 2 is taken from the southeast corner. The main entrance was through the buttery shaped structure which was an entry space. This led to the main living area which had the tub ceiling. The chimney you see here must have been part of the original home. It is flanked by bench seats with a lower section of ceiling than the main room. It may have also had a moveable arm over the hearth as well. I recall nights we lost electricity sitting there to get warm. In photo 3, I think the house had 4 chimneys. The second and third chimneys in this view are bedrooms." Mr. Becker kindly made these photographs available to BOL before his May 2013 Bermuda wedding.
12 Southcote Road, Paget. A sturdy structure. a lovely old 18th century-built 4-bedroom (all ensuite) Grade 2 listed house of 3,228 square feet with exposed Bermuda cedar beams, expansive grounds with mature fruit (avocado, beach, guava and other) trees, zoned residential two with an agricultural reserve, swimming pool and pool house, dating back hundreds of years and if its walls could speak they would utter words about the birth of Charlie Chaplin’s wife, Oona O’Neill, and the visits of American novelist George Washington Cable. The old Bermuda cottage is steeped in a unique history that grew from its construction in the early 18th century as it was passed down from generation to generation. In June 2016 the Paget property is being offered for sale on the open market for the first time in its history. In the 1920s Southcote was rented to several noteworthy visitors and Caroline Frith Smith’s memoirs document a heavily pregnant Agnes Boulton, wife of the Nobel and Pulitzer prize winning playwright, Eugene O’Neill, renting Southcote in 1925. A week later, their daughter, Oona, was born and delivered by Bermudian doctor Bill Tucker, who was a Harley Street doctor, and one of the Queen’s physicians. The family subsequently purchased Spithead Lodge in Warwick as their permanent Bermuda home, while Oona O’Neill went on to marry the US film star Charlie Chaplin. Mrs Smith’s memoirs also record Bostonian Henry Richards and his wife spending several winters at Southcote and its neighboring property Fairmount. Mrs Richards was the daughter of Julia Ward Howe, the author of The Battle Hymn of the Republic. Through the Richards family the American novelist, George Washington Cable and his family came to Bermuda for several winters and rented Southcote. Mr Cable, a native of New Orleans, wrote novels concentrating on life in the South, with particular emphasis on racial equality and interracial relationships. Was listed as for sale in June 2015 for $2.295 million.
Somerset Road, Somerset. An historic Bermuda mansion an early 17th century architectural treasure, dates back to the 1740s when it was owned by the Gilbert family. When it was constructed by Ephraim and Mary Gilbert it consisted of a range of three rooms in the wing that is now fronted by the long veranda, a hall, an entrance passage, Bermuda cedar porch and a chamber. Under the front three rooms was a large cellar. Mr Gilbert died in about 1769 and Springfield was inherited by his eldest son Thomas. He followed in his father’s footsteps as Captain of the Sandys Militia and in 1788 the property was valued at £500, the second highest in the parish. The house was passed down from one generation to the next and slowly expanded to become a much more substantial property. In 1966 the Bermuda Historical Monuments Trust bought the house and it later passed to its successor, the Bermuda National Trust (BNT). The Bermuda Government leased it and It went on to serve as a library, a nursery school and a community centre before being returned to the trust in 2013. It is in the process of being spruced up by the BNT, with both the main house and adjacent cottages slated to be rented out by the BNT. It is an early 18th century architectural treasure. A main house, courtyard, slave quarters and large buttery indicate it was once a large plantation. The Gilbert Nature Reserve is over nine acres of unspoiled woodland, open space and planting land, originally part of the Springfield property. Reforestation is ongoing at this site and semi mature specimens of Bermuda cedar, olive wood and palmetto are easily observed. Bus routes # 7 ("Dockyard") and # 8 stop on Somerset Road at the entrance to the Gilbert Nature Reserve.
Harbour Road, overlooking the Great Sound and with British Bermudian architecture, this historic private home is not open to the public. See the 1901 painting below, "Inland Water, Bermuda" by American artist Winslow Homer. It was built by one of Bermuda's most successful privateers, Hezekiah Frith. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hezekiah_Frith. He hoarded booty from two stolen ships, kidnapped a young French woman, hid her from his wife - and stashed his wealth for his family to start a liquor store. She and Frith are said to haunt the home.
Frith, with his own maritime and naval background as a privateer sanctioned by Britain's Royal Navy, ensured that Spithead took its name from an area of the Solent and a roadstead off Gilkicker Point in Hampshire, England. It is protected from all winds, except those from the southeast. It receives its name from the Spit, a sandbank stretching south from the Hampshire shore for 5 km (3 miles); and it is 22.5 km (14 miles) long by about 6.5 km (4 miles) in average breadth. The Fleet Review is a British tradition that usually takes place at Spithead, where the monarch reviews the massed Royal Navy. In 1797 there was a mutiny (the Spithead mutiny) in the Royal Navy fleet at anchor.
In the 1920s the dramatist Eugene O'Neill (born in USA October 16, 1888, died November 27, 1953) once lived here in alcoholic oblivion with Finn Mac Cool (eventually shot to death by a neighbor). They had earlier lived in Paget Parish. O'Neill and Mac Cool wrote famous works here and hosted many of their friends from overseas.
Later, O'Neill met Agnes Boulton, born September 19, 1893, who became his second wife. She was a writer of popular novels and short stories. Their first child, a boy, was Shane, born in Massachusetts in 1919. They divorced not long after the birth of their daughter. Oona O'Neill Chaplin, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oona_O'Neill, was born here on May 13, 1926. Later, she became close to Peter Arno (cartoonist), Orson Welles (actor and film director) and J. D. Salinger (novelist). On June 16, 1943 she married British-born actor Charlie Chaplin, which caused her to be disowned by her father. The Chaplin family once owned this house. With Chaplin she had a good marriage despite the age difference and had a number of children, five daughters (Geraldine Chaplin, born July 31, 1944; Josephine Ronet, born March 28, 1949; Victoria Thieree, born May 19, 1951; Jane, born May 23, 1957; Annette, born December 3, 1959) and three sons (Michael, born March 7, 1946; Eugene, born August 23, 1953; and Christopher, born July 6, 1962). Oona died in Corsier-sur-Vevey, Switzerland, on September 27, 1991 from pancreatic cancer and was buried there.
William Davies King, Department of Theater and Dance, University of California Santa Barbara, recently published a book called Another Part of a Long Story: Literary Traces of Eugene O'Neill and Agnes Boulton (U. of Michigan Press, 2010), which tells this story as well as other stories of this house. The O'Neill Society had an International Conference in Bermuda back in about 2000, because of this connection.
From 1956 the house was lived in by British actor, playwright and composer of popular music Sir Noël Peirce Coward (born 16 December 1899, died 26 March 1973) who later went to live in Jamaica. Until she died in late 2001 at the age of 86, the house was owned by Bermudian realtor Joy Bluck Waters. It was later owned by her children and leased.
Off South Road, opposite junction with Point Finger Road. A gracious family home of 4,821 square feet with pool in 3 acres (once 12 acres) in Paget, . The home of D. Colin Selley and built by his grandfather, O. R. Loblein, in 1917-18 for his wife and three daughters, Olive, Helen and Jessie.
51 South Road. One of the most charming of the parish churches and its spire, designed by Dr Henry Hinson, one of the loveliest. Consecrated in 1849, it took the place of Harris’ Bay Church which stood on the site of the present graveyard from the early 1700s until 1846; a simple, silver chalice dated 1676 is a treasure left from the old church. Land for St. Mark’s was given by sisters, Sarah Trott and Mary Sears. When first built, the church was a plain, rectangular building with a gable roof and arched windows. It remained a country church until transformed under the leadership of The Reverend George Tucker and parishioner Jeremiah Scott Pearman, who made the care and ornamentation of the church his life’s work. They blessed the building of a Gothic tower, measuring more than one hundred feet, and an octagonal, buttressed spire, above which rose a cross. Julian Tucker, the chief mason, skillfully executed the work and later built a comparable steeple for St. Paul AME Church in Hamilton. The pews were made from mahogany logs washed ashore in the Turks Islands and later shipped aboard the HMS Beta to Bermuda. The altar, the exquisite reredos and pulpit, all made of cedar, were artistically carved by Arthur Wilkinson of Bailey’s Bay. The font was fashioned from Bermuda limestone by convicts. The bells which pealed for the first time in 1911 were given by the congregation in memory of Archdeacon Tucker, St. Mark’s well-loved rector for nearly forty years.
The detached two-floor cottage to the north of the main house was probably home to some of Tucker's slaves, whose duties undoubtedly included looking after the small herd of livestock which Tucker kept in the yard. An archaeological excavation at Stewart Hall in 1990-91 revealed a livestock watering trough for these cattle, over a mid-17th century woman's grave, dug long before Stewart Hall was built. A probate inventory made after George Tucker died in 1766 reveals the wealth and refinement of the Secretary's home. He had created a cross chamber on the ground floor by dividing the larger hall with a partition, reflecting the Georgian predilection for symmetry and its emphasis on creating private spaces by increasing the number of doorways in a house. Tucker has a writing closet off the hall where he attended to his official duties. Silver plate, Chinese porcelain, English salt-glazed stoneware and lead crystal graced the Tuckers' dining room and exhibited their wealth and status. George Tucker's widow Mary lived in Stewart Hall until her death in 1787. The house was then rented to Andrew Durnford between 1789 and 1791 while he was improving the colony's fortifications and building Durnford. He lived in Stewart Hall with his mistress, Elizabeth Lucas, with whom he had six children. Hannah Stockton, who was George Tucker's niece, purchased the house at auction in 1795. She died there two years later and the house went to her two young children.
The direct impact of the arrival of the British military in the 1790s can be seen in the fate of the Stockton's children. Her son became a purser in the Royal Navy and her daughter Sarah married Lieutenant James Robinson of the Royal Fusiliers. The Robinsons lived in Stewart Hall until 1819, when they departed for England and sold the house to silversmith John Trott Cox. He was responsible for the one-floor addition to the north of the house, which housed his workshop and retail store. Barrister (lawyer) Duncan Stewart purchased the property in 1849 and, although he never lived in the house himself, the name Stewart Hall, commemorates his ownership.
In the early 20th century, Stewart Hall was owned by the Higinbothom and Clifford families before the Bermuda Historical Monuments Trust purchased it in 1949. Until recently, it housed the St. Georges' branch library. It has since been acquired by The Bermuda National Trust. The latest tenant is the Bermuda Perfumery, now owned by The Brackstone Partnership.
See Bermuda National Trust.
Historic house, most recently owned by former Premier, Dame Pamela Gordon. By 1998 when she was defeated in the polls, the Bermuda Government had spent over $400,000 on renovations to it.
Over 300 years old, and with three floors for many years it housed as a 3rd floor tenant the local branch of the UK-headquartered English Speaking Union, not a union at all but a cultural organization established in England in 1918 to promote understanding and friendship. The Bermuda branch was established in 1922 and held its first meeting at the long-gone Hamilton Hotel. It has about 165 members. Phone 292-7684. Currently on 0.36 acres of land, much of which is rented car parking. The once-grand house, in a poor state, sold in 2002 for $2.5 million. It was once a lovely Bermudian manor house. In the book "An Immigrant Speaks" the home is described by one-time owner Anne Seymour Drake Burrows, who later changed her name to Anne Lous.
An ancient Bermudian house which gave its name to Hermitage Road, Devonshire.
111 Main Road, Sandys Parish. Private property, not usually open to the public. Once-wwned by the family of the late Mr. Stewart Mott, for sale in September 2011 for $7.5 million. In the 1870s, Scaur Hill Fort was built on the highest point of Somerset Island to defend the landward approach to the Royal Naval Dockyard. On the southeastern side of Scaur Hill, below the fort, The Parapet stands on some ten acres of well-tended land which extend down the hill to the waters of the Great Sound. In the 1930s, when visitors to Bermuda arrived by steamship from America, spending six months at a time on the island, the director of General Motors and his family bought this house. Generations of the family continued to spend holidays here and have benefited Bermuda through the generosity of the family’s foundation. The memorabilia, family photographs, marine paintings, the long cedar dining table made by a Somerset craftsman and many handsome pieces of furniture remain unchanged. In a small studio by the house, the American artist Georgia O’Keefe painted banana and banyan trees during the months she spent at The Parapet in the 1930s.
Another Bermuda National Trust-owned historic house. It recently received extensive refurbishment of windows and doors, electrical work, landscaping, masonry and repainting. Built in the early 19th century it is a good example of elegant Bermudian architecture. The Tivoli estate is 11.26 acres. Donated to the Bermuda National Trust in 1984 by Gloria Higgs, to preserve as open space. Also includes Tivoli Pond and this Tivoli historic house. Thanks to a donation by the family of the late Sir John Sharpe, a former Premier of Bermuda, the pond is being conserved as a remnant of marshes that once extended through Warwick Valley. It is a refuge for wildlife and protected green space in a busy suburban area and a learning resource for schools.
See under Walsingham House.
Morgan's Point, Southampton. One of the historic buildings left on the former US Navy Operating Base and used by it until it vacated the base in 1995. In fairly decent shape in 2013 it will be renovated and used as a club house when the new hotel complex is completed. It was not far from five other historic buildings at Morgan's Point — four officers' quarters and a building called Glebe Cottage or Quarters Q, all on Lexington Road, which despite being buildings of special architectural or historic interest could not be saved and would be demolished.
Water Street, St. George's. Telephone (441) 297 0545. Open Monday to Saturday 10 am to 4 pm. The stark exterior of this early 18th century merchant's house is a most interesting museum owned by the Bermuda National Trust. The house is said to be the most typical of early Bermudian house construction although the date of the building is unknown. Archaeological evidence suggests that it was standing, largely as it appears today, by the middle of the 18th century. A known first owner was a Thomas Smith. See the architecturally elegant interior furnished with family heirlooms dating back to 1775, when the house was owned and occupied by the Hon. Henry Tucker, Colonial Treasurer and President of the Governor's Council (1775-1807) and his family from 1770 to 1808. The first Tucker to arrive on the Island was Daniel, who came out from Kent in 1616 to serve as the Colony’s second governor.
It is believed that the Tuckers installed the large paneled doors with the decorative wood carvings, inspired by the Adams brothers, some time during the last quarter of the 18th century. Henry Tucker and his sons were involved in the infamous Bermuda Gunpowder Plot of 1775. They contributed richly to British, American and Bermudian history. Crystal chandeliers, an extensive collection of Tucker family silver, antique English mahogany and Bermudian cedar furniture and exquisite hand sewn quilts, are some of the treasures on view. A few of the lovely antiques include a superb Bermuda cedar tea table circa 1730-1740, along with a fine set of Bermuda cedar side chairs with caned seat (circa 1730).
These and the tea table are thought to have once belonged to the original Tucker home, The Grove. In the drawing room are two important portraits of Colonel and Mrs. Tucker, nee Anne Butterfield, painted in 1753 by Joseph Blackburn, a visiting artist who was also well know in New England. Major Henry Tucker (1658-1726) stands over the fireplace. The bedroom has an English mahogany four-poster bed with rice pattern carving, on which lies a hand sewn quilt. There is a rare example of a Bermuda cedar three-sided cradle in the nursery along with side chairs made for children.
Many items were donated by the American branch of the Tucker family, from Baltimore, Maryland, and Williamsburg, Virginia. Three pieces were made by cabinet makers Henry and Samuel Smith and their slaves Nokey and Augustus. As a team, they created superb examples of local furniture modified from English and American furniture.
One of the portraits on display is that of His Excellency, Governor George James Bruere, Lieutenant Colonel in His Majesty's Service, at the who died on September 10, 1780 at the age of 59 years.
Bruere was the British Governor and Commander-in-Chief of Bermuda from 1764, through the start of the American Revolution in 1776, until his death.
He was outraged when, under his nose, Bermudians who sympathized with George Washington and his patriots including the owner of this house, stole a big cache of British Army gunpowder in Bermuda in 1775 and got it to the Americans.
Bruere was outraged when he discovered what had happened and put up a reward for the capture of the Bermudians responsible but to no avail. It became celebrated as the Bermuda Gunpowder Plot (see stamp, right). Because he died of fever he was buried under St. Peter's Church, St. George's. Bruere lost a son also in the army fighting the Americans in 1778.
One of the rooms in the house, the Rainey Memorial Room, is dedicated to one Joseph Haynes Rainey, who spent the American Civil War years and until 1866 in Bermuda with his wife. Both had managed to escape from their earlier lives in the American South, where they had been slaves. They sought and obtained refuge in Bermuda. As a barber and dressmaker respectively, they were treated with respect and made a good living. When they finally returned to their native Southern state in 1866, with slavery having been abolished there, Mr. Rainey was appointed - not elected - during the Reconstruction period as the first ever black member of the United States' House of Representatives. The late Bermuda historian Cyril Packwood wrote a book about him, Detour - Bermuda, Destination - US House of Representatives.
The home was bequeathed to the Bermuda Historical Monuments Trust, predecessor of the Bermuda National Trust, by their great-grandson, Robert Tucker, when he died in 1950 at the age of 102.
Underneath Tucker House, at street level, there is a book store called "The Book Cellar" with a complete range of books on the town. For further information, call (441) 297 0448 or fax (441) 297 4072.
Sayle Road, at the top of Collector's Hill, Smith's Parish. Telephone (441) 236-7369. The Verdmont estate was once hugely bigger than it is now and centuries ago stretched between the South and North Shores. Friends of Verdmont, a volunteer group aiding in preservation of the property, meet most months. A unique example of early Georgian British Colonial architecture. A historic and stately manor house built sometime after 1693 originally for John and Elizabeth Dickinson after their marriage, with roses and other flowers, herb and mixed period gardens. Georgian style and three floors. Both the house and garden are open to the public at specific times. With a parking area. Admission during the season is Tuesday through Saturday (except public holidays) from 10.00 am to 4:30 pm, Saturdays only in December 2000 until further notice, charge for adults, free for Bermuda National Trust members or members of National Trusts elsewhere with which the Trust is affiliated, and children under 12. It has a superb collection of antique Bermuda cedar furniture and valuable mahogany. Other period artifacts include English and Chinese porcelain, Georgian silver including pieces by Bermuda silversmiths, portraits in oils, children's furniture and toys. Also see a fine Bermuda cedar staircase, an Oriental room, powder rooms (once used for powdering wigs, not faces) and toy nursery. The house has its share of resident ghosts and ocean views. It has remained architecturally unchanged since the late 1700s. It was re-built in about 1716 by John Dickinson, out of the proceeds of a pirate venture in the far off Indian Ocean. Acquired and added to by late 17th century Bermudian visionary, Captain William Sayles (in whose honor Sayle Road nearby is named). Captain William Sayles was a three-term Governor of Bermuda before he and a group known as the Eleutheran Adventurers sailed from Bermuda in 1648 and settled the Bahamas. He was the first Governor of the Bahamas and later first Governor of Carolina (before it was split in two as North and South Carolina). It was never plumbed or electrified. There is no kitchen or running water or air conditioning or ceiling fans or heating. Later, it was acquired by Hon. Thomas Smith who, as Collector of Customs, spawned "Collector's Hill" both as the name of the house and the main nearby access road (another is Collector's Close. Later yet, it was acquired and added to by the American portrait painter John Green who arrived in Bermuda in the mid 1760s, married a Bermudian girl, settled permanently in Bermuda and a Loyalist American was appointed Bermuda's Judge of the Vice Admiralty in 1786, after the USA's War of Independence. He called the property "Verdmont" as a French pun on his surname, combining the word for green and mountain. Further variations of the Green name were made - and have stuck - at Green Hill Lane not far from the North Shore, at the top of Store Hill where it intersects with Middle Road; and Green View Lane, near the foot of Collector's Hill on the South Shore. It has been known as Verdmont ever since. Other access roads built since then echo the Verdmont name. They are Verdmont Road; Verdmont Drive; Verdmont Lane; Verdmont Valley Drive; Verdmont Valley View; and Verdmont Valley Close. When Green died in 1802, his wife Polly died less than six months later and left Verdmont to her nephew Samuel Henry Trott, son of her sister Elizabeth. Samuel Henry Trott (died 1817) was a magistrate and member of the Colonial Parliament. He and his wife Sarah had a number of children all born at Verdmont. When he died she spent 47 years as a widow at Verdmont. One son, Captain John Henry Trott (1805-1892) took over the estate in 1831 when he got married. He became Provost Marshall General. He and his wife Harriett left the house after their daughter Catherine died there of typhoid on August 31, 1858. In 1860, after he had rented and lived there for two years, it was bought by bachelor farmer Rupert Hugh Spencer. The Joell family acquired Verdmont in 1872 when Stafford Nairn Joell married Emma Elizabeth Spencer who had inherited it from her uncle. It was purchased from the Joell family in 1951 for 8,000 by the Bermuda Historical Monuments Trust, forerunner of the Bermuda National Trust. It was a private residence until 1953.
Photo by author Keith A. Forbes
In October 2013, a descendant of the last family to live at historic Verdmont in Smiths visited the Island after a 61 year hiatus, and helped to shed new light on the old place. Connie Maxson, great granddaughter of Stafford Nairn Joell (1846-1911), arrived in Bermuda by cruise ship with her husband, Kennon. She was raised in the United States and last visited Bermuda in 1952 at seven years old with her brother, Granville, and mother Gladys Paultisch Wright. When Mrs Maxson first saw the house, there was no one living there. She dimly remembered a cherry tree out back with delicious cherries. Mrs Maxson's mother, Gladys Wright, was the daughter of Emma Constance Joell and Fredrick Paultisch, an American. Mrs Maxson is named Constance, after her. Mrs Wright was born overseas and was the youngest of three daughters. Her mother, Emma Constance, became very sick and the family returned to Bermuda thinking it would be better for her health. Sadly, she died soon after returning to the Island in 1910. Mr Paultisch, a steel yard worker, went back to the United States leaving behind his three daughters to live at Verdmont with their aunts, Lillian and Irene (Dolly) Joell. Mrs Maxson's mother, Gladys, was just four years old. It was 1911 and he felt that he could not raise his daughters on his own. Eventually, Mr Paultisch remarried and his daughters gradually returned to the United States to live with him. Gladys was the last to leave, but finally followed her sisters at the age of 14. It appears that at one time there was an open wooden veranda along the entire south front of Verdmont. This was something that the BNT did not know, and they have since researched.
Verdmont: The Story of a House, Its People and Its Contents. An Historical House Guide Book. Diana Chudleigh. Bermuda National Trust, 2011. Pages: 44. Paperback. Illustrations in colour. Tells the story of this early 18th century house in Smith’s Parish, and the families who lived in it.
In Hamilton Parish, this is one of the oldest homes on the Island, built in 1652 by architect John Millner for Samuel Trott. It is now owned by Italian Bruno Fiocca who owns Tom Moore's Tavern, long the restaurant business name for the house. It was considered of such importance that a replica was put on show at the British Empire Exhibition at Wembley in 1924. The building is of a cruciform type. Often referred to as Tom Moore's Tavern after the Irish poet by that name who in 1804 once lived in Bermuda for a few months, although it is doubtful he ever owned it or slept there, although it is believed he quite often dined there. Next to the building, currently a very expensive restaurant, on the edge of an extensive range of caves (perhaps some of the largest in Bermuda) and close to what is still often referred to at the back of the house as Tom Moore's Jungle and small bodies of lake-like brackish water, once stood a solitary calabash tree. It is believed Moore penned one of his poems, "Ode to Nea" underneath the tree. She had attracted his romantic interest but it came to nothing. One of Moore's admirers was a Dudley Costello, an officer (also a journalist and artist/illustrator) in the British Army's 96th Regiment of Foot, later stationed in Bermuda. His sister Louisa was another local belle admired by Moore. Costello created a goblet formed of one of the fruit-shells of a calabash from that tree and presented it to Moore. The sterling silver and gilt memento of Bermuda was hallmarked 1834 and made by Charles Rawlings and William Summers of London. The "Moore Cup" is now in the collections of the Bermuda National Museum.
A beautiful stone manor house built in 1815. Until 2007 it was an exquisite small hotel, an oasis of calm and tranquility, offering superb dining and lovely vistas of water and gardens, rests just a stone's throw from the bustling capital. Now it is no longer what it was, instead an upmarket office block.
2 Pomander Road, Paget. Historic, once an elegant merchant manor house, now the headquarters of the Bermuda National Trust.
172 North Shore Road, Bailey's Bay, Hamilton Parish. A historic, impressive and substantial home overlooking Bailey's Bay outfitted with modern amenities. Built in the 1800s and is now a Bailey’s Bay landmark. As was typical of that era, the home has extensive cedar mouldings and flooring, high ceilings and large reception rooms. With Viking range, Sub-Zero refrigerator, split-system air conditioning and swimming pool. In June 2015 the house was available for sale for $3,100,000. It has four en suite bedrooms, two dining rooms, a family room, bar and laundry. There’s also a spacious one-bedroom apartment that comes with two fireplaces of its own. A recent restoration has resulted in an elegantly finished historic estate home with extensive Bermuda cedar mouldings and flooring. The large reception room, dining and living rooms, the impressive ceiling heights and multiple working fireplaces create a good environment for both family living and entertainment. The swimming pool is nicely situated, surrounded by mature landscaping and bricked patios, and the waterfront parcel of land provides convenient access to the waters of Bailey’s Bay. Additional amenities include a large one-bedroom apartment with its own private driveway. Lot size (in acres: 1.84. Square footage (main house and apartment: about 4,100.
On the Winterhaven Nature Reserve, dating from the 18th century, a fine example of traditional Bermudian architecture. It was owned until recently by the Bermuda National Trust but was sold to Bermuda's then-Premier Dr. The Hon Ewart Brown.
Warwick. Historic. completely renovated in 1998 in a traditional fashion with extensive use of Bermuda cedar. Magnificent property surrounded by water on the east, south and west sides, and Riddell’s Bay Golf Course on the north side. The original part of the house built in about 1700, is the two storey north wing including a gallery corridor, the library with fireplace and wet bar, a powder room and the original entrance to the house on the west side. A guest suite, is accessed through the Great Hall/ Music Room. Stairs descend from the Great Hall to a lower hallway on the ground level leading to a living room/office, bedroom and bathroom, which are utilized as staff quarters. The dining room with fireplace is to the south of this lower hallway, and connects to the kitchen and the south side of the property for outdoor entertaining. Accessed from the outside and via the pool area are three bedrooms with bathrooms. The large impressive Garden Room with patio to the south provides an informal living room and entertainment area. Also off the main entrance hall to the south, is a magnificent master suite consisting of a very large bedroom with sitting room and fireplace.
Flatts Village. A gracious old waterside home, in a particularly desirable area, one of the loveliest sites in all Bermuda. Named after an estate in England. During the US Civil War it was the home of the US Consul General, Charles Allen, a friend of Mark Twain. In 1932, on July 22, the death occurred at this house of the Canadian pioneer in the field of radio with a previous Bermuda connection and Bermudian relatives, Professor Reginald Fessenden (born October 6, 1866). At the Whitney Institute school nearby, he had been the Headmaster. Fessenden had married a Trott (an old Bermuda family) and in his memory there are scholarships called the Fessenden-Trott Scholarships. He made it possible for radio voices to be broadcast (Marconi's radio only did Morse code). He was buried in St. Mark's Church cemetery. On his grave (on a stone lintel at the top of the memorial) is inscribed: "His mind illumined the past and the future and wrought greatly for the present." When Fessenden retired to Flatt's Village (because of a heart condition) in 1928, he bought 'Wistowe' and remodeled it.
12 Between the Walls, Pembroke. A handsome, Edwardian house, built around 1910, when C. W. Woodford Walker was developing land in the area. The neighborhood quickly became fashionable. With more than an acre of lovely gardens to explore and a splendid flat, open, field for baseball games or soccer matches. The house is cement washed with deep, double verandahs extending across the front and side. Woodcroft opens to a spacious hall beneath a flat, high ceiling. The exquisite wall colours of the interior are an effective contrast to the simple, gray exterior. Rooms are artfully arranged and eclectically furnished with a mixture of beautiful antiques and modern pieces; fabrics create an imaginative interplay of patterns, textures and colours. There are numerous paintings, watercolors, etchings and prints
Private property, not open to the public.
Photograph by Keith A. Forbes, exclusively for Bermuda Online.
9 Middle Road. Paget Parish. Note the external architecture of this lovely house, built in the 1820s by Adolphus John Harvey. Once known for its cedar stands, it is recognized today for its beautiful gardens which extend from the ridge of a hill, with vistas of Hamilton Harbour, to a valley where citrus grow beside the tennis courts. In the early 1900s, a second storey and servants' wings were added.
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March 23, 2017.
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