Medieval people built their homes using things they found
locally. In London this would have been trees, so houses had
wooden frames and wattle and daub walls.
Most people lived in rectangular houses sometimes with an
upstairs, and only two or three rooms. The windows had no
glass just wooden bars. Shopkeepers had a shop in the front
room of the house.
The main room was called the hall and there would have been
a fireplace in the middle. Families would have spent most
of their time in the hall. They would cook, eat and even sleep
there on the floor. It would have been very dark and smoky
when the fire was lit and cold when it was not - and they
had to share their home with mice and rats!
Houses often caught fire because they were made of wood. Even
very rich people lived in wooden 'manor' houses, though they
were much bigger than poor people's houses and had more furniture.
You can see a wall covering from an old Hackney manor house
built in about 1409, Brooke House, in the Museum of London.
There you will also find some furniture that once belonged
to a wealthy medieval London family.
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