A Cottage is a tile improvement that can be built by Workers immediately upon the discovery of Pottery. Cottages add Commerce to their tile. Cottages may be created on most flatland, and in addition, they may also be placed on grassland hills.
Cottages are a relatively low-value tile improvement when they are first created, but they grow in value after many turns of being worked. They go through four stages of growth, becoming Hamlets, Villages, and finally Towns (though players refer to all of these things generically as "cottages").
Cottages must be worked to grow; that is, they must have a population point placed on them on the city screen. Unworked Cottages do not grow. The time required to grow a worked Cottage depends on game speed. Growth times are listed below for Quick/Normal/Epic/Marathon speeds and are halved when running the Emancipation civic. You can see how long a Cottage has before growing by mousing over it on the main map. The tooltip will show this information.
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