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Title: Ightham Mote in the fourteenth century : the lived experience of Sir Thomas Couen (d.1372)
Author: Minihan, Gemma
ISNI:       0000 0004 5921 4679
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2015
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Ightham Mote, Kent, is the most complete surviving fourteenth-century half-timber framed house in England. Although the property has attracted scholarly attention over the years, and has been extensively restored and conserved by The National Trust, current understanding of its history is limited. This thesis was set out to present a detailed revision of the history of Ightham Mote, to challenge its status as a house of men lacking in ambition, and to provide a case study of its gentry owners during the fourteenth century. The methodology chosen is ‘lived experience’, an interdisciplinary phenomenological approach that provides an experimental, experiential approach to the built environment. The necessity of a study of this type was manifest from a review of the current state of building studies, gentry studies and military studies. Current approaches, which compartmentalise these disciplines and consider them within overarching political themes, have consistently failed to achieve a suitable synthesis of the information available. The present investigation thus presents an innovative review of the physical and documentary evidence for Ightham Mote’s material culture, as well as the life of its earliest known owner, Sir Thomas Couen. The resulting thesis demonstrates the importance of applying multidisciplinary approaches to medieval built environments, and accordingly proposes that architecture is of greater historical import as a signifier of contemporary habitus and identity, than as a signifier of wealth, ambition or power.
Supervisor: Johnson, Matthew ; Woolgar, Christopher Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available