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Brickfields Homes through time
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Medieval Homes

 
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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An artist's impression of a medieval city street
An artist's impression of a medieval city street. © Peter Jackson.
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