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Title: Architectural design and exterior display in gentry houses in 14th - and 15th -century England
Author: Campbell, Jill
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis examined the architectural design and exterior display in gentry houses in fourteenth- and fifteenth-century England. The research investigated how and why the exterior of these buildings were designed, and outlined the methods medieval builders and architects used in order to achieve this. It considered the argument that the design of the exterior of these houses was driven by the rise of the nouveaux riches who used it to display their status. Late medieval England was an era of increasing social mobility amongst the upper levels of society. As this group grew, it became increasingly important for the newly enriched familes to display their position through their home, and for the existing members to keep up with the latest developments and styles. The implications of the results in this thesis are wide reaching. No longer can it be claimed that the houses of the late medieval gentry were not designed. This is a study of breadth rather than depth which seeks to identify general principles informing the planning of elevations, rather than undertake a detailed study of a single building. Consequently, seven sites were studied from which a total of eleven architectural devices were recorded. Devices such as in-filling the facade with gables, and the creation of a central point on the exterior around which an axis of symmetry was formed, were used to establish a sense of balance. This suggested that presenting a balanced outward face was important in the medieval period, and was not confined to the post-medieval period. This thesis emphasised the need for scholars to go back and study houses that were believed to be relatively well understood, particularly those that fit the conventional models, to look for elements of design that may not have been previously recognised.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available