This is a
timber framed hall house from Boarhunt in Hampshire which has been
dendro-dated to the late fourteenth century (c.1355-1390). The house and its
land lay within the manor of West Boarhunt which until the dissolution was
owned by Southwick Priory, a house of Augustinian canons. Its earliest
occupant is likely to have been an affluent peasant who had benefited from
the more favourable economic conditions (more land & higher wages) of the
post-Black Death period.
The house is a
good example of the late medieval domestic plan, with an open hall and a
clearly defined upper & lower end. The room at the lower end (separated from
the hall by a wattle screen) would have been the service room, used for food
preparation (e.g. dairying) & food storage. The room at the upper end was
the chamber, used for sleeping & the storage of valuable goods, such as
processed grain, wool & household linen. Most cooking would have taken place
in the hall over the open hearth although some houses in medieval Boarhunt
also had detached kitchens or bakehouses.
It is a small but well-built example of a medieval
open hall. The main feature of the building is the central roof truss of the
open hall, which is an example of "cruck'' construction; a cruck is a long
curved timber which rises from the ground to support the roof timbers.
For more details of the social and economic history of Boarhunt and the