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The Town House in Medieval and Early Modern Bristol


Product Code: 51533

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This study, covering the period c.1000 to c.1800, is of the medieval and early modern houses of Bristol, England’s second city in the later Middle Ages and again in the 18th century. Based partly on the survey of surviving early buildings, the study also makes extensive use of documentary evidence and records of houses now demolished to analyse how town houses reveal the social structure and aspirations of Bristol’s citizens in this period. It looks first at the development of the town and city from c. 1000 onwards, then at aspects of life on the urban tenement plot. Turning to the buildings themselves and adopting distinctions made in the later 15th century, the principal house types of the medieval period are examined, looking at the differing uses and context of hallhouses and shophouses.

The aspirations and separate identity of the urban elite are most evident in the largest courtyard houses, and in the building of second residences, lodges, garden houses and villas, evident in considerable numbers around the periphery and in the suburbs of the city by the 18th century.  Changes to existing houses and the emergence of socially distinct neighbourhoods all serve to underline differences in lifestyle and status. The presence of houses in North America and the West Indies similar to those of Bristol serves to underline the latter’s pre-eminent position as a commercial city on the Atlantic rim in the 17th and 18th centuries.

This is a new way of looking at medieval and early modern urban housing – focusing specifically on the relationships between different building types and changes in building forms, both of which reveal the complex character of an evolving commercial city.

Key Features:

  • 452 pages
  • Hardback
  • Published in 2014

Size: Approx. 276 mm (h) x 219 mm (w)
Author: Roger H Leech
ISBN: 9781848020535

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The Town House in Medieval and Early Modern Bristol