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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Hancocks Bridge in Salem County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Patterned Brick Houses

Hancock House Historic Site

 
 
Patterned Brick Houses Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 13, 2009
1. Patterned Brick Houses Marker
Inscription. The exterior of the Hancock House is an outstanding example of the patterned brick houses that once dotted the landscape of Salem County, NJ. Modeled after the seventeenth-century building traditions of the Quakers’ English homeland, masons used variations in the color and placement of bricks to create designs, dates and initials in the walls of the house.

In the Hancock House, built in 1734, the masons alternated red bricks laid lengthwise, called stretchers, with blue glazed bricks laid on end, referred to as headers. The result was a checker-board design called Flemish Bond. They used a similar technique to create a unique herringbone pattern in the end walls.

Bricks were made from local clays. They were molded, air dried, then fired in a wood-burning kiln. Those bricks that were closest to the fire acquired a “vitrified” or blue-glazed surface. The irregular features, cracks, and bubbles within the glaze did not compromise the product since the glaze waterproofed the brick.

Salem County has the second largest concentration and variety of patterned brick houses, after Burlington County, in New Jersey and the nation. Often homes to the elite, brick houses comprised one tenth of the late eighteenth-century homes in the county.
 
Erected by State of New Jersey
Marker at the Hancock House image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 13, 2009
2. Marker at the Hancock House
Division of Parks and Forestry.
 
Location. 39° 30.47′ N, 75° 27.616′ W. Marker is in Hancocks Bridge, New Jersey, in Salem County. Marker is on Locust Island Road, on the right when traveling south. Click for map. Marker is located next to the historic Hancock House. Marker is in this post office area: Hancocks Bridge NJ 08038, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Hancock House Massacre (within shouting distance of this marker); Hancock House (within shouting distance of this marker); Swedish Cabin (within shouting distance of this marker); Patriots Massacred in the Hancock House (within shouting distance of this marker); The Alloway Creek Watershed (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Old Bridges at this Location (about 400 feet away); Waving Acres of Grass (about 400 feet away); Quinton’s Bridge (approx. 3.7 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Hancocks Bridge.
 
More about this marker. Photographs of several other examples of patterned brick houses from Salem County appear on the marker, including the Chambliss House, 1730; Abel & Mary Nicholson House, 1722; Dickenson House, 1754; Denn House, 1725; and the Hancock House, which has a caption of “The initials ‘W H S’ at the peak
Patterned Brickwork on the Hancock House image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 13, 2009
3. Patterned Brickwork on the Hancock House
The patterned brickwork on the west side of the Hancock House can be seen in this photo.
stand for William and Sarah (nee: Thompson) Hancock, the original owners of the house.”
 
Also see . . .  Hancock House. New Jersey Division of Parks and Forestry webpage. (Submitted on August 16, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 
 
Categories. Colonial EraNotable Buildings
 
Close of Hancock House's Patterned Brickwork image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 13, 2009
4. Close of Hancock House's Patterned Brickwork
The initials of William and Sarah Hancock and the date that the house was built (1734) can be seen in the brickwork of the Hancock House.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 1,067 times since then and 27 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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