A few months ago I posted about the non-fiction I was reading, including works on housing in the 12th century. The locations in For King and Country vary from the small village of Greyton with its manor house to Castle l’Aigle, Sir Stephan’s boyhood home, from the town of Nottingham and its impressive castle, to peasant wattle and daub cottages.
It was in the book The English Mediaeval House where I stumbled across the 12th century manor house in Boothby Pagnell, Lincolnshire. Further reading in Manorial Domestic Buildings in England and Northern France led me to additional information about the two-storey chamber block house there. Archaeological evidence published after these two books indicate there was a structure – a massive one, maybe a great hall, dating to the 11th or 12th century – built of stone and attached to this building:
It is now assumed that the ‘Manor House’ was part of a larger complex which would have included a ground floor hall. Resistivity survey has detected a large rectangular outline to the east of the Manor House, shown by a small excavation in 1996 to belong to a massive stone building, either of the late 11th or early 12th century. The surviving building would now more correctly be defined as a chamber block and adds further weight to a changing view regarding the story of the evolution of the English House.¹
So, dear readers, imagine a hall to the left, remove that stairwell to the upper floor – the main doorway would have been into the hall. There you have Greyton manor, the home of Henry de Grey.
¹ From Boothby Pagnell Manor, Gatehouse Gazetteer, last updated 7/26/2017.
Image credit: By User: Legrand sebastien – Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1653316
Charlene Newcomb is the author of the Battle Scars series, 12th century historical fiction filled with war, political intrigue, and a knightly romance of forbidden love set during the reign of Richard the Lionheart.
Char also writes science fiction. Echoes of the Storm was published in July 2020.
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