The History and Construction of Medieval

Timber-Framed Houses in England and Wales

(Also called Half-Timbered or Black and White Houses)



My own cottage (above) is a typical example.
The first part was built between 1600 and 1700.

These pages are meant to be a starting point for students and anyone else interested in old houses. They describe the history of timber-framed houses in England and Wales, their method of construction and the people who lived in them, starting with the 13 th Century and ending with the 19 th. The emphasis is not on Great Houses or Stately Homes but on the simpler dwellings of cottagers, merchants and yeomen, although many of the last two were wealthy. Nor is it a complete scholarly dissertation ranking with academic sources - I am not an expert and the bibliography, college courses etc. will take you further if you want.

Important technological breakthroughs and techniques are described such as the minimization of damp, the invention of the chimney, the use of glass in windows. These were in their time as important as the modern developments of central heating or the automatic washing machine. There are many illustrations, along with a list of Museums and old houses in Wales and England, a large bibliography, and a glossary all reached via hyperlinks. There are also several pictures and two plans. If a word is in a different colour and underlined, click on it to get more information.


The text of these pages will appear as Comic Sans MS (which is very legible), or failing that font in your computer, Arial, or failing that, your default font.

Site first published February 1997, last revised 4 September 2005