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Stoops and Settles

wide angle view of Brecknock porch

Raised porches are so common throughout America today that it’s hard to imagine a time when they weren’t around. But the Dutch settlers of the 17th and 18th century brought this building style with them. This stoop (from the Dutch “stoep” meaning the same thing) is typical of mid-18th century taste. It fronts a Kent County, DE home known simply as Brecknock, unusual in that it was built in 4 separate stages.

Distant view of stoop and its settles with fall leaves in the front

This portion of the house is from 1740. Dutch architecture in that era tends toward quaint, not beautiful; functional, not grandiose. The two wooden benches, “settles,” don’t invite a lengthy stay. Not until the end of the 18th century does the porch start to take on larger dimensions and become transformed into an outdoor room.

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