John Sherburne, a mariner, purchased the plot of land where the Sherburne House now sits in 1694 from Mary Cutt Penhallow and her husband Samuel Penhallow, and built the first portion of Sherburne House c. 1695. By nature of its age, Sherburne House may have gone through more changes, additions, and renovations than any other building at Strawbery Banke. Here it is pictured in the mid-20th century (replete with brick-patterned asphalt shingles!) before its restoration in the 1960s to its 1703 appearance.
|Sherburne (SB4) site map after excavations 1977-1985|
(previously published in Harrington 1989)
Archaeologists also recovered information about other uses of the lot over time, including two 19th century wood-lined privies, changing fence lines, and the construction of additions on the rear (north) side of Sherburne dating to 1728 and to the late 18th century. However, a number of recommendations left by Steve Pendery and Faith Harrington in the 1980s have not yet been addressed, including further exploration of a 1728 shop addition, and possible ground-truthing of the 1697 deed, which mentioned a "well which is dugg" to the northeast (which would place it in the current backyard of the Shapley Drisco House next door).
In advance of Strawbery Banke's involvement in celebrating Portsmouth's Quadricentennial in 2023, we plan to return to the 17th century Sherburne House for this summer's excavation! For more information and a link to apply, visit: http://www.strawberybanke.org/fieldschool.cfm
Harrington, Faith and Steven Pendery