Browne House

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Browne House in Watertown, Massachusetts

Constructed between 1694 and 1701 for a farming family, Browne House contains rare surviving architectural features from the late seventeenth century. In a near ruinous state when it was acquired by Historic New England founder William Sumner Appleton in 1919, the house was painstakingly restored in what is acknowledged to be the first fully documented restoration in America.

Browne House is a modest “one-over-one” dwelling with eighteenth- and nineteenth-century additions. Prominent features include a steeply pitched roof, diamond-patterned casement windows, and early door and window placements and styles. During the restoration, an impressive amount of seventeenth-century finish detail was uncovered.

Hall of Browne House in Watertown, Massachusetts

Visitors learn about the way a late seventeenth-century family lived in what was termed a “mansion house” at the time. There is one large room on the first floor, which incorporated living, cooking, and sleeping space. The upper chamber contains an extremely rare three-part casement window frame.


2013 Schedule
June 1, free admission
September 21
11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Tours on the hour. Last tour at 4:00 p.m.

The Browne House is a Historic New England property.


Top photo: Browne House - The original c. 1698 house consisted of one room over one room, with a half-story attic above. There were three triple-casement windows in each of the two main rooms.

Bottom photo: Hall - The main room on the first floor was known as the "hall" in the seventeenth century. The hall was an all-purpose room used for cooking, eating, gathering, and sleeping. Halls often held a table, benches, perhaps a few chairs, and chests or cupboards for storage. The best bed was often in this room as well.