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date: 24 May 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Archaeology (excavation, building survey, scientific dating) has established that peasant houses in much of Britain had a durability that was probably exceptional in late medieval Europe. Peasant houses in late medieval England and Wales (Scotland and Ireland were more complex) were not self-built homes but professionally made by craftsmen, and a central aspect of material culture. Building the late medieval peasant house was an aspect of consumption that entailed important choices relating to expenditure, construction, and, above all, the plan that structured household life. The widespread adoption by peasants of the hierarchical hall-house plan was in part an appropriation of high-status housing culture and inseparable from the construction and maintenance of free peasant social identity. The eventual rejection of the hall-house in the sixteenth century ended a peasant building tradition that had begun in the thirteenth century and matured during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.

Keywords: peasant houses, consumption, durable houses, hall-house, scientific dating, social identity

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