Friday, May 31, 2013

Types Of Colonial Garden Fence Designs

Early fences were used for protection and as property boundaries.

From the time the first settlers landed in New England and Virginia, they used fences for protection, to establish land boundaries and to keep cattle and other wildlife out of crops and food gardens. Designs varied widely according to the resources available in each colony. Does this Spark an idea?

Wattle Fences

The first settlers could not furnish the necessary manpower to build fences made from timber. "More rustic wattle fences were made of twigs, branches or grapevines woven together in the springtime when the material was still pliable," according to Gwen Bruno, on

Worm Fences

Worm fences were also known as Virginia rail or crooked rail fences.

This fence type was favored in the Mid-Atlantic states. The fence was constructed by stacking intersecting planks at 120-degree angles to each other. The corners were locked together by crossed diagonal stakes secured by heavy rails, called riders.

Rail Fences

In New England, the rail fence was favored over the worm fence.

The planks used in rail fences were tapered and held together by vertical posts. Rail fences required less timber and took up less space than worm fences.

Board Fences

The board fence was the precursor to the picket fence

A precursor to the picket fence, the board fence used milled wood and nails. The posts were sunk into the ground and all of the boards were flat, giving a neater appearance than the rail fence. These fences became more decorative towards the end of the 18th century.

Stone Fences

Stone fences were most popular in New England.

Stone fence did not become widely used until about the American Revolution when timber became scare but stones were plentiful. Occasionally wooden posts were used to supplement the height of a stone fence. These were called crotch-and-stone fences.

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