The ‘Open Hall’ and the standard ‘tripartite’ p
In order to understand societal complexities of the evolution of English carpentry, it isimportant to understand the social forces that dominated domestic timber-framing,until the early 16
„the open hall‟ within the standard „tripartite‟
plan(Courtenay 1984, 301; Currie 1989, 7; Fairclough 1992, 362; Harris 1978, 31; M.Johnson 1993, 55; Rippon et al. 2006, 35; Edward Roberts 2003, 126-7).
In the late medieval domestic plan, the social structure was articulated byemployment of the main structural posts of the timber frame, in order to provide cleardivisions of space (Gardiner 2000,159)
. Although the term „feudal‟ is of
ten used todescribe the social and military structure of the late medieval period - especially inolder textbooks -
modern thinking tends to “shy away from the term „feudalism‟”
(Abels 2009, 1009-10)
. Matthew Johnson suggests that „patriarchal‟ is better suited
to describe a system
of “good governance and public rule”, which he takes fromMertes‟ book,
The English Noble Household 1250-1600: Good Governance and Politic Rule
(Mertes 1988). So, if the house is then subdivided into a patriarchalstructure, spaces of restriction and openness can be created (Quiney 2003, 135).
Traditionally, the house is divided into two social spaces, the „upper end‟ to the rightof the hearth and the „lower end‟ to the left of the hearth, in
Figure 1.Often, thisdivision is delineated by the open truss that runs through the centre of the property(see
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). This central truss forms a fundamentalelement of the English open hall (Harris 1978, 13; M. Johnson 1993, 59) and is atopic that will be revisited many times during this thesis.