By Anna O. Shepard
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Extra resources for Ceramics for the Archaeologist
In the Avon Valley historical sources say mud brick, stone or rammed earth (pise) homes were dominant (Garden 1979) and three from the 1830s still survive with The Swan River Colony: Settlement of the Southwest 25 their style described as vernacular (HCWA 2009). In York there is a pise cottage which originally had a grass tree roof with an L shaped plan which includes a kitchen at the short end of the L with a large storeroom taking up much of the long part; beyond the storeroom were a living room and two bedrooms.
Hall’s 1833 cottage of squared limestone blocks is larger with five rooms, four of which were bedrooms, kitchen, laundry and bathing arrangements being built separate to the house. The style is a simplified old colonial Georgian with a broken-back roof, a central chimney, jarrah floorboards and a verandah around three sides. There are eleven other early extant places from the Murray region, three of which date to the 1840s. Two of these are of handmade brick with the third being the only surviving cottage in Western Australia built of black gin (Xanthorrhoea, the Australian grass tree).
Western Australian exports went mainly to Britain and the Africa-Asian region. The Western Australian trade pattern was for imports to reach the southwest ports such as Bunbury via Fremantle, but exports generally went overseas directly from the regional ports. The effect of a similar regional export pattern in New England was found by Paynter (1982) to be a weak zonation of people, wealth and structures, with densities of all the three receding with distance from the port. Western Australian exports were based on staples that could stand the high cost of transport to market.