1500 - Long House

People and animals lived under the same roof - in winter at least - or many centuries. Sheep and cattle were liable to be stolen and their presence helped keep the house warm. With its central fire, the ancient round house was inconvenient for sharing, so a distinctive style of long house became common in many parts of the country. These farm buildings usually stood on a slope with the animals at the lower end, so their urine drained away. The dung was kept and mixed with straw to use as manure. This particular farmhouse was built from the local granite about 1500, but the basic design goes back at least 3000 years. Here the house is on the left and the cowshed, reached by a common entrance wide enough for cattle, stands on the right. An internal cross wall with a hearth divides the two. Probably the house was originally a hall, open right up to the roof, with an inner room that functioned as a dairy or store. The idea of dividing a house up into separate rooms, each of which has a particular function, is a relatively recent phenomenon. The curtained four-poster bed, for instance, was essentially a room within a room, where a little privacy might be enjoyed.

Upper End Lower End


1450 - Timber Framed House

1750 – Brick-built House