poorer villagers lived in huts which we would now think very rough.
But some cottages which were built for the more wealthy men have
survived to this day. One which was in use in the 13th & 14th
centuries was known as a 'cruck'
type of building, as it was
supported by sets of crucks. These were two inclined timbers called 'blades' which rise in a curved
shape to the roof ridge. These
timbers were cut from trees which had a natural curve, or from the
trunk of one tree split in two along its length, to ensure that the
joiner obtained a matching pair of blades.
two crucks were set up and supported until the 'ridge beam' and the 'wall plates' were joined to them.
Then the framework of the house
was further reinforced using 'studs'
to support the wallplates, 'tie-beams'
to link the two outer wall together, and the 'common
rafters' which with the 'purlins'
held up the thatched roof. The open
spaces between the wall posts and the doors and windows were filled
in with a kind of walling called 'wattle
and daub' in which the gap
is first filled with interwoven hazel twigs. This was then plastered
with a rough kind of plaster made up from mud, clay, manure and
straw. Then it was smoothly finished off with a finer plaster.