Lady Nugent and Tom Cringle on the veranda : early nineteenth century observations on a Caribbean architectural feature

Hudson, Brian (2004) Lady Nugent and Tom Cringle on the veranda : early nineteenth century observations on a Caribbean architectural feature. The Journal of Caribbean History, 38(1), pp. 35-48.


This study of the veranda as seen through the eyes of Lady Maria Nugent and Michael Scott, alias Tom Cringle, clearly demonstrates the important role that the piazza, as it was then more commonly known, played in the life of early nineteenth century Caribbean colonial society. The popularity of the veranda throughout the region, in places influenced by different European as well as African cultures, and among all classes of people, suggests that the appeal of this typical feature was based on something more than architectural fashion. A place of relative comfort in hot weather, the veranda is also a space at the interface of indoors and outdoors which allows for a wide variety of uses, for solitary or small or large group activities, many of which were noted by Nugent and Scott. Quintessentially, the veranda is a place in which to relax and take pleasure, not least of which is the enjoyment of the prospect, be it a panoramic view, a peaceful garden or a lively street scene. Despite the great changes in the nature of society, in the Caribbean and in many other parts of the world, the veranda and related structures such as the balcony continue to play at least as important a role in daily life as they did two centuries ago. The veranda of today’s Californian or Australian bungalow, and the balcony of the apartment block in the residential area of the modern city are among the contemporary equivalents of the lower and upper piazzas of Lady Nugent’s and Tom Cringle’s day.

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ID Code: 23269
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Veranda, Caribbean, Lady Nugent’s Journal, Jamaica, Tom Cringle’s Log
ISSN: 0047-2263
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > ARCHITECTURE (120100) > Architectural History and Theory (120103)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2004 Departments of History, University of the West Indies
Deposited On: 17 Jun 2009 13:48
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:04

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