Medieval London Houses


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John Schofield

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This authoritative book is the first comprehensive study of domestic buildings in London from about 1200 to the Great Fire in 1666. John Schofield describes houses and such related buildings as almshouses, taverns, inns, shops, and livery company halls, drawing on evidence from surviving buildings, archaeological excavations, documents, panoramas, drawn surveys and plans, contemporary descriptions, and later engravings and photographs.

Schofield presents a comprehensive overview of the topography of the medieval city, reconstructing its streets, defenses, many religious houses, and fine civic buildings. He then provides details about the medieval and Tudor London house: its plan, individual rooms and spaces and their functions, the roofs, floors, and windows, the materials of construction and decoration, and the internal fittings and furniture. Throughout the book he discusses what this evidence tells us about the special restrictions or pleasures of living in the capital; how certain innovations of plan and construction first occurred in London before spreading to other towns; and how notions of privacy developed. The generously illustrated text is accompanied by a selective gazetteer of 201 sites in the City of London and its immediate environs.

John Schofield is academic editor at the Museum of London Archaeology Service.

"Everyone interested in architectural history will find much on which to ponder and to argue."—Derek Renn, Antiquaries Journal

"This is an amazing book and an amazing achievement. . . . This book will be of great interest not only to architectural and social historians concerned with the late medieval and modern period, but to anyone interested in life in London into the 20th century."—Choice

"A comprehensive and authoritative account of domestic buildings in London—their form, construction and decoration. . . . By any standard a very distinguished book. . . . It is rare for one author to be able to command single-handedly such a wide range of resources, and also to present the ensuing distillation in a clear well-organized manner."—F.H.W. Sheppard, Construction History

"Superbly complemented by its illustrations—plans, photographs, prints, drawings and paintings. . . . Dr. Schofield's work, undoubtedly constitutes a major contribution to our understanding of London before the Great Fire."—John Goodall, Country Life

"The whole book is informed by the author's intimate knowledge of fine detail. . . . It is both fascinating to read and invaluable reference source. . . . This book is a monument to the devoted work of a generation of scholars, Schofield foremost among them, who have recovered from such scattered fragments the metropolitan architecture of medieval England."—John Blair, Albion

"[An] impressively scholarly book. . . . substantial and densely packed with information."—Ian Jones, Journal of the London Society

"Medieval London Houses . . . will long remain a valuable work of reference for both historians and archaeologists of the city."—Derek Keene, Journal of Urban History

"This is truly a magnum opus. . . . What a feast we are presented with, intellectually and visually. . . . This is an admirable book containing new information, and one I shall definitely keep and use."—Penelope Hunting, London Topographical Society Newsletter

"This authoritative and attractive book is a compendium of the present knowledge of secular housing in London. . . . Densely packed with information, the main text is a model of clarity and easy readability. . . . This book is a most important contribution to the study of housing. It will be one of the standard reference sources for the detailed design, construction and furnishing of dwellings in cities of the later medieval period; it also offers a fine example of research method, content, presentation and layout to other authors and publishers."—Jeremy Lowe, Post-Medieval Archaeology

"For anyone wishing to know about the houses of Londoners before the Great Fire, the work remains the only synthesis, and the author’s pioneering attitude and use of a wide range of sources are to be commended."—Alexandrina Buchanan, Sixteenth Century Journal

"A synthesis of current scholarship which convincingly puts London at the centre of national architectural innovation and places its development in a European context. . . . The detailed information is invaluable and the lavish reproduction of historical illustrations, some of them in colour, goes a long way to compensate for the poor survival of standing structures."—Malcolm Airs, Urban History

"Medieval London Houses is a stimulating and highly informative study, and destined to stand for many years as a standard work of reference for those engaged in medieval urban studies. A superb selection of maps, diagrams, measured drawings, sketches, paintings, photographs and details from early panoramic views provides the perfect accompaniment to Schofield's authoritative and objective analysis, rendering the book a most enjoyable read for specialist and non-specialist reader alike."—Richard Bond, Vernacular Architecture

ISBN: 9780300055788
Publication Date: March 20, 1995
Publishing Partner: Published for the Paul Mellon Center for Studies in British Art
280 pages, 8 1/2 x 11
300 b/w + 10 color illus.