Medieval Halls Did Not Conduce to Comfort or to Observing Modern Proprieties

Practically all living, awake or asleep, was done in this single large, mostly bare, always smoky chamber. Servants and family ate, dressed, and slept together–“a custom which conduced neither to comfort nor the observance of the proprieties,” as J. Alfred Gotch noted with a certain clear absence of comfort himself in his classic book The Growth of the English House (1909). Through the whole of the medieval period, till well Into the fifteenth century the hall effectively was the house, so much so that it became the convention to give its name to the entire dwelling, as in Hardwlck Hall or Toad Hall.

Bryson, Bill. At Home: A Short History of Private Life. New York: Doubleday, 2010.
(Note: italics in original.)

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