Bermudians have amassed a lot of house-building knowledge over the past 400 years. Learn how the island's architecture developed and how Bermudians lived by touring its early residences, some of which date back centuries. Here are seven properties that reflect local architecture and history.
Thought to be the oldest home in Bermuda, the Carter House on St. David’s Island was constructed in 1640 by descendants of Christopher Carter, one of the island’s original settlers. The whitewashed cottage is built of resilient local limestone. The museum here features exhibits on whaling, farming and early Bermudian life. On the grounds, there's also a replica of an early settler's dwelling with a palm-thatched roof and a primitive kitchen.
2 The Tucker House
Constructed in the 1750s, the Tucker House became the home of Colonel Henry Tucker in 1775 – the same year the Colonel planned the legendary Gunpowder Plot, which helped win the American Revolution. You'll find antique paintings and furniture upstairs as well as an exhibit on island archaelogy downstairs.
3 The Old Rectory
Like a real-life “Pirate of the Caribbean,” Captain George Dew spent his youth looting, pillaging, smuggling and carousing. But by 1699, when he built his home in St. George’s, Dew had cleaned up his act. The lovely little building, nicknamed the Old Rectory, is now a bed-and-breakfast and Bermuda National Trust Property. It's perhaps best known for its charming “welcoming arms” stairs, which are curved and meant to keep gentlemen from seeing ladies' ankles as they scale them. Some say you can hear the Captain's ghost playing a gentle harpsichord there.
Built in 1725, this house at the end of Hamilton Harbour is nicknamed “Foot of the Lane.” Waterville was once the home of the Trimingham family, who opened the first Trimingham’s department store here in 1842. The store operated (in various locations) until 2005. Originally opened to supply boats docked in the harbour, it became the most popular shopping spot on island. Today, Waterville is the headquarters of the Bermuda National Trust. The house provides a great look at Bermuda in the 17th and 18th centuries with oil paintings, antique furniture and Trimingham family heirlooms.
5 The Camden House
You might call Camden House Bermuda's White House. This beautiful example of early 1700s Georgian architecture is known as the official residence of Bermuda’s Premier, though the Premier no longer resides here. Located among the flowers and trees of the Bermuda Botanical Gardens, Camden House now primarily hosts government functions, but on Tuesdays and Fridays, the property's curator leads a guided tour. You’ll see intricate furnishings carved from Bermuda cedar, a glittering Waterford crystal chandelier and other historic pieces.
6 Verdmont Historic House & Gardens
Nearly unchanged since it was constructed some 300 years ago, the Verdmont Historic House & Gardens is one of the prizes of Bermudian architecture thanks to a masterful blend of 17th and 18th century elements. The pink-walled, Georgian-style manse features views of the ocean and an interior filled with antiques like Bermuda-made cedar furniture, portraits and Chinese porcelain.
7 The Mitchell House
On the whimsically named Featherbed Alley, you'll find the 1730s home of St. George’s merchant, Major Walter Mitchell. Mitchell House now serves as the St. George's Historical Society Museum, displaying historic artefacts and furnishings ranging from a vintage printing press to a detailed re-creation of an 18th century kitchen.