During the Tudor period (c. 1480-1600) when Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries and abbeys, building efforts were directed toward secular building—private homes and public buildings. There were sufficient churches for the needs of the population ofEnglandand the wealthy were less generous to the religious. The lands that had been opened up to development, led to a building boom for the gentry and middle class.
The architectural style changed. Windows and doors were smaller, but more ornately decorated, more complex. The flattened Tudor arch and the oriel, a projecting, multi-sided window that extended out from an upper floor became popular. With the increased use of coal, ornately patterned chimneys and enclosed fireplaces became the norm.
Brick became the desired building material with HamptonCourt Palace being the best example. Where brick was not used wood, generally in oak, was used to create a skeleton which was filled in with brick or plaster. Where bricks were too expensive plaster was the infill of choice, resulting in the typical “black-and-white” small Tudor house, whitewashed plaster set between blackened oak timbers.
Inside the home, there was a widespread use of oak paneling which extended from floor to ceiling. The walls without paneling were painted with themed frescoes. Furniture, previously limited to benches and tables and chairs, filled their homes. Carved oak tables, desks, cabinets and cupboards abounded.
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