The English medieval first-floor hall: part 2 – The evidence from the eleventh to early thirteenth century

Hill, Nick and Gardiner, Mark (2018) The English medieval first-floor hall: part 2 – The evidence from the eleventh to early thirteenth century. Archaeological Journal, 147 (2). ISSN 0066-5983

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Abstract

The concept of the first-floor hall was introduced in 1935, but Blair’s paper of 1993 cast doubt on many of those buildings which had been identified as such. Following the recognition of Scolland’s Hall, Richmond Castle as an example of a hall at first-floor level, the evidence for buildings of this type is reviewed (excluding town houses and halls in the great towers of castles, where other issues apply). While undoubtedly a number of buildings have been mistakenly identified as halls, there is a significant group of structures which there are very strong grounds to classify as first-floor halls. The growth of masonry architecture in elite secular buildings, particularly after the Norman Conquest, allowed halls to be constructed on the first floor. The key features of these are identified and the reasons for constructing the hall at this level – prestige and security – are recognized. The study of these buildings allows two further modifications to the Blair thesis: in some houses, halls and chambers were integrated in a single block at an early date, and the basic idea of the medieval domestic plan was already present by the late eleventh century.

Keywords:Medieval History, Houses, Halls
Subjects:V Historical and Philosophical studies > V400 Archaeology
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V360 History of Architecture
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V130 Medieval History
Divisions:College of Arts > School of History & Heritage > School of History & Heritage (Heritage)
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ID Code:29941
Deposited On:08 Dec 2017 09:15

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