Monday, 30 April 2012

Memories of Plimouth Plantation, Massachusetts

I enjoyed reading The History Girls' blog yesterday morning. Sally Nicholls was visiting and talking about her research for All Fall Down,  her new novel about a peasant surviving The Black Death. 
She described how she visited Cosmeton Medieval Village in Wales to help her get the feeling of how people lived in those times.
This got me thinking about a trip I made to Plimouth Plantation in Massachusetts, some time ago.
The 'English Village', although firmly in America, is a reproduction of the 1627 settlement, with the houses and fort that the Pilgrims built.

Interestingly, there are Native Americans as well as English settlers represented there, and you are welcome to watch and talk to them as they go about their daily tasks.
It's rather like going back in time, which I think a lot of history lovers would like to do!

This Native American is explaining how he is making a canoe by burning a hollow in a sturdy tree trunk, and the Pilgrim woman above is cooking a rabbit stew over an open fire.
The smell of the woodsmoke is my most enduring memory.

Nearby is a reproduction of The Mayflower which was an incredibly small ship to have sailed the Atlantic, and Plymouth Rock where the Pilgrims are said to have landed.
I've always been interested in the founding of America, and the first book I read about this was The Hearth and Eagle by Anya Seton, about settlers in the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries.
Have you read that book?
Have you visited Plymouth, Massachusetts?


  1. I love those types of re-creation villages - there's an annual Viking one down the coast from me and I've still to explore it properly. I loved Anya Seton! Haven't read that one but her Green Darkness is one of my favourite books.

  2. I'm researching my ancestor, who went to the New World on the Arbella, the flagship of The Winthrop Fleet that sailed in 1630. I'd love to go to Massachusetts and visit Plimouth Plantation for inspiration and to get a feel for what the early settlers lives were like.

    1. It's certainly worth the trip. Meanwhile why not try The Hearth and Eagle. It's set in Marblehead, near Salem which of course has it's own story!

    2. Gosh, we went to Marblehead the December before last. We loved it - so atmospheric. I think it's there that there's a very atmospheric old cemetery with a view (through old houses) of the sea. The weather was incredibly cold, though. But we loved every minute. New England is a fascinating place.

  3. Looks really interesting - will have to tell a friend about this place (she loves anything Native American!)