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For more than the first 125 years, Verdmont was home to generations of men, women and children who had no choice but to live and work here.
Bermuda’s slaves helped to build this elegant house with its extensive estate. Slave labour would have maintained it for about 125 years before emancipation took place. John Dickinson, who built the house in the early 1700’s, owned six slaves.
They were lodged in the outroom and buttery. The men were probably labourers, whilst the women tended the house and kitchen. Verdmont Cottage was originally the kitchen building, noticeable by the oversized chimney, and there is evidence of a similar sized building opposite on the east side of the house. These buildings were most likely slave quarters; however, the total number of outbuildings surrounding the house and their uses are unknown. Near the end of the century, during the time of Thomas Smith, the number of slaves at Verdmont rose to a total of fourteen; these included Bacchus, Daniel, Mell, Joe, Rachel, Sue, Marian and seven children. Mell was listed away at sea serving on board merchant ships and privateers.
Today Verdmont is owned by the Bermuda National Trust and the main house is open to the public. However, Verdmont Cottage, the former kitchen, which stands to the west of the house is a private residence and not open to the public. Verdmont Historic House Museum, Collector’s Hill, Smith’s.