The English Vernacular Medieval House

Ref: C2224631

The course will look at the type of houses in which medieval people lived, the marked differences between rural and urban houses, and how the layout of these houses and their timber framing changed between the 12th and 16th centuries.

Course aim

The course will introduce students to the smaller medieval houses, their layout and construction, the differing forms of urban and rural medieval houses, and how all of this changed over time from the 12th to 16th centuries.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • No previous knowledge is required, but it is hoped you will ask questions and contribute to the discussion from things you have seen in Suffolk, Norfolk and Essex, and elsewhere.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Describe the layout of a medieval open hall house
  • List the main differences between medieval houses in the town and those in the countryside
  • Identify the distinctive fronts of medieval shops
  • Discuss the difference between first floor halls and detached chamber blocks
  • Identify the unique features of the Wealden house

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • Barnwell & Adams, The House Within Harris, Richard Discovering Timber-Framed Buildings Stenning & Andrews, Regional Variation in Timber-framed buildings in E & W down to 1550 Yorke, Timber Framed Buildings Explained

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider

Download full Course information sheet

The English Vernacular Medieval House

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This course has been cancelled.


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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