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Sep 12, 2011

Medieval Mondays: Living in a Medieval House

Hello everyone! Sorry for the month's absence. August is always busy for archaeologists, with it being the height of the field season and lots of work to do. I'm hoping to get back onto a regular schedule as we move into autumn and I already have a couple of guest bloggers queued up for October.

The Guardian had an interesting article this weekend about Shandy Hall, a medieval timber-framed home dating to about 1430. It stands in Coxwold, Yorkshire. This house, built a good half century before Columbus made his famous voyage, is still lived in. While castles tend to get the most attention, there are many medieval homes still standing in Europe.

Shandy Hall has several interesting details, such as blackening of the timbers above where the original kitchen was, and two medieval wall paintings, one of the letters IHS, meaning "Iesus Hominem Salvator" and another of a man with a pikestaff. The first painting makes sense since the house was originally built as a parsonage.

This Wikipedia photo shows that from the outside, Shandy Hall doesn't look like anything special. It just goes to show that you never know what might be hidden behind a plain exterior. Hmmm. . . .I wonder if there are any dead cats hidden in the walls?