Half timber houses
Welcome to Quatr.us Study Guides!

Half timber Houses

rouen half-timbered house
A medieval half-timbered house
in Rouen, France

In the Middle Ages, many people in northern Europe (northern France, Germany, and England) built their houses in this half-timbered way. This was because wood for building was expensive, and most people couldn't afford to build their whole house out of wood.
Instead, they built just a frame of wood, and then filled in the frame with lath and plaster. Lath is made of smaller sticks, too small to hold any weight, and over the lath you smear on plaster made from lime.
At first people just did half-timbering to save money on wood, but soon they realized that you could make attractive patterns with the dark wood and the white plaster.

In the Middle Ages, people didn't have just one family living in such a big house. If the family was rich, they lived in a house like this along with many of their servants and employees. If the family was poor, either they lived as servants or employees, or the whole family lived in one room of the house, and other families lived in the other rooms, like small apartments today.

Learn by doing: draw a half-timbered house
More about houses

Bibliography and further reading about medieval houses:

More medieval architecture
Chinese houses
More about the Middle Ages
Quatr.us home


Please help other teachers and students find us: link to this page from your class page.
Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.
Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram or Twitter, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.
Sign up for more free articles and special offers in Quatr.us' weekly newsletter:
We will never share your e-mail address unless you allow us to do so. View our privacy policy. Easy unsubscribe links are provided in every email.
Check out our new ebook: Short and Simple: Ancient Greek Myths! - just out! Twenty-five easy to read, illustrated stories, from Pandora to Medea, Icarus, and the Trojan Horse (you can read these online as samples). Get it this week for just $14.99, five dollars off the regular price of $19.99.
Cite this page
  • Author: K.E. Carr
  • Title:
  • Site Name: Quatr.us Study Guides
  • Publisher: Quatr.us
  • Date Published:
Did you find what you needed? Ask your teacher to link to this page so other people can use it too! Send it in and win a Quatr.us "Great Page!" award!
Sign up for more free articles and special offers in Quatr.us' weekly newsletter:
We will never share your e-mail address unless you allow us to do so. View our privacy policy. Easy unsubscribe links are provided in every email.
Comment on This Article
Quatr.us is loading comments...
(Comments will appear after moderation, if they are kind and helpful. Feel free to ask questions, and we'll try to answer them.)
Cite this page
  • Carr, K.E. . Quatr.us Study Guides, . Web. 28 June, 2017
ADVERTISEMENT