Evidence discovered evidence near L'Anse aux Meadows shows that in the 11th century Norsemen built communal dwellings in the area. The buildings had a wood frame, sod walls, and roofs with the floor dug into the ground. The first long term inhabitants to the province were the Beothuk and Micmac Indians. For a long time Newfoundland was an independent British colony, that was maintained mostly as a seasonal fishing station. Eventually, British and American settlers established a permanent presence on the island. The architecture of these communities was typically simple and well adapted to the climate. Churches and public buildings were often built of wood and covered with clapboard, with few decorative details.
close association to the sea means that some buildings have become
so integrated into the landscape that they are often overlooked.
The coast is dotted with lighthouses that are vitally important,
not only for their function, but also as a symbol of authority
and as territorial markers. Another typical structure is the flake:
a simple wooden platform built on the shore of a fishing
village that serves as a drying rack for fish.