Openhall Fly Through

Published: Monday, 13 May 2013

After cruck timber houses, open hall houses became popular. Like cruck houses these were not ordinary houses, but usually belonged to high status people such as lord of the manor or maybe a high ranking vassal. They were called open hall because they had a large two story high hall in the centre. Most had a passageway with doors at either side of the house. This opened into a large hall where the owner or tenant could sit in some splendour. The open fire was right in the middle of the room. Cooking however was mostly done in a different cookhouse, separated from the main building by a gap. This was a wise precaution when there was a very good chance of fire destroying the place.

Mostly this type of house had 2 story living accommodation at each end of the main room. The bedrooms were often quite impressive and in cold weather the beds could become places where people more or less lived. It wasn't uncommon to have business meetings in a bed! If you look carefully you can see two little beds under the large bed. These pulled out and could be pushed back under the main bed to save space. Who do you think slept in these?