'Beer Belly' Bellamy

How would a pirate vilage/town look like

10 posts in this topic

I would like to know how a pirate town would look like in the Caribbean, of which buildings such a settlement would be composed, what architectural style would have been common?

Why would? Because I am dreaming of layout, even planning a pirate town, because such a project would drive me to learn more about this topic. Maybe someday there will be a studying model of such a pirate town.

I am comming from the Wilhelminic reenactment (the era around 1900) and there are tons of books, pictures and photographs, there are even still lots of buildings to find nowadays. But I was very unskilled in digging out pictures or drawings of such stuff from the Caribbean from around 1715.

Every useful comment would be much apprechiated and every hint to good books etc. would be much thanked!

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newstreet2.jpg

Stumbled on this image of Port Royal, Jamaica, circa 1692. Can't get a much better example of a pirate town than that!

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Interesting that it basically looks like a lot of English towns. It appears to have mostly wood buildings in the back (on the alley) and a half-timbered and either a wood or brick house facing New Street. (That half-timbered look always strikes me as particularly European. Not that I know much about architecture, but I had never noticed such buildings until I was in England.)

1half-timbered-house.jpg

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Ooh, look at this page on an archeological excavation at Port Royal. There are some interesting construction notes in there for you, Mr. Bellamy.

buildings.jpg

Red Sea Trade hit on a great idea; Port Royal is a fantastic time capsule of what a thriving English-Caribbean outpost would have looked like because it sank in an earthquake in 1692 and there's enough still there to get an idea of how things looked without any modernizing influences. Plus, as he says, you know pirates frequented the place.

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Fantastic references!

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Thank you very much! This is a good start. Great references, now I could realy picture the scene!

So I presume there were a prickyard needed around and a sawmill.

I did search what kind of wood grows and were used in the caribbean:

- Guaiacum (Pockholz in German) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lignum_vitae)

- Teak (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teak)

- Caribbean Pine (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caribbean_pine)

Edited by 'Beer Belly' Bellamy

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Not entirely sure how authentic this is, since I can't find a date, but came across this while I was googling a similar subject. Nassau.

17bnr5.jpg

And another, 1864 (a bit later than 1700s, but may be helpful for your purpose). Nassau again.
H26935NassauILN.jpg

Edited by JS1990

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The one map you don't have a date for is from around the mid eighteenth century (c.1750), based on clues in the map - including the names on plantations (some of the tracts belong to later Governors) and buildings in Nassau (the chapel for instance wasn't built until after the pirate presence).

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I think the maker never saw the places he depicts, but here are some Dutch pictures of colonial ports of 1600s by Johannes Vingboons

Now understanding "pirate town" more generally than actual pirate port. Towns of the period and regions where pirates operated. Port Royal can be compared with these, though Nassau and Tortuga barely.

New Amsterdam (New York)

1280px-GezichtOpNieuwAmsterdam.jpg

Havana in 1639

Havana_1639b.jpg

ParaĆ­ba a region in Brazil

Johannes_Vingboons_-_Paraijba_%281665%29

Edited by Swashbuckler 1700

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