Coffin House

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Coffin House in Newbury, Massachusetts

Coffin House was occupied by the Coffin family over three centuries, and provides fascinating insight into domestic life in rural New England. The structure, which contains the family's furnishings, began as a simple dwelling built in the post-medieval style. Tristram Coffin and his family lived, cooked, and slept in two or possibly three rooms; their possessions were few.

Beginning in 1712, the house more than doubled in size to provide living space for a married son and his family. As the family grew, they added partitions and lean-tos so that different generations could continue to live together under one roof.

Spinet of Coffin House in Newbury, Massachusetts

In 1785, two Coffin brothers legally divided the structure into two separate dwellings, each with its own kitchen and living spaces. With rooms from the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries, Coffin House depicts the impact of an expanding economy and new concepts, such as the notion of privacy, on architecture and modes of living.

First and third Saturdays, June 1 - October 15
11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Tours on the hour. Last tour at 4:00 p.m.

The Coffin House is a Historic New England property.


Top photo: Coffin House - The significance of the Coffin House lies partly in the age of the original building but more importantly in the way it reveals how a home, built in 1678, grew and changed over the years to accommodate the needs of the one family that lived in it for six generations.

Bottom photo: Spinet - This is where the fanciest furniture in the house would have been found. The spinet is English, and although much of the other furniture is locally made, it was of fine quality and was quite expensive when it was purchased.