Tudor Houses

The majority of Tudor houses were built in a half-timbered design. This meant that the frames or structures were made from wood - all of which was hand-cut. The spaces in between the framework were then filled in with a mesh of connected small sticks (wattle) ands the mesh of sticks was then coated with a kind of plaster made from clay, animal dung and sand (daub).

In early Tudor times many houses were built with thatched roofs although in later times it was more common to see roofs made from tiles made from stone or other materials such as clay. The highly decorated chimneys that can still be seen on some existing Tudor buildings would tend to have only been set up by more wealthy householders.

The streets in towns in Tudor times would often be lined by houses on either side. Often the top storeys of the house would jut out farther than the lower part of the house making the top floor(s) bigger than the ground floor. The part of the house that juts out in this way was known as a jetty. It is thought that this was a quick and simple way of giving more floor space without eating into the space in the street.

In some towns the spaces between jetties on opposite sides of the street were so small that people could reach through their windows and pass things to each other. And, windows themselves (with glass in) became more common in this period. It was actually too costly to make large panes of glass as we do nowadays so the Tudors tended to put together casement windows made from a lot of small panes of glass that were stuck together with lead. Even so, glass was beyond the budget of most people who would use other materials for windows including paper and pieces of cloth.

Although many tudor houses now have white exteriors with black beams, this was added by the Victorians. The white effect on the houses’ exteriors was achieved by painting the daub with a wash made from lime and the beams were often black due to the coating of tar that they were given to prevent rot setting in.

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