Half timber Houses
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
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:
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- Carr, K.E. . Quatr.us Study Guides, . Web. 27 March, 2017