Book 2, Chapter 6, The End of the Ninth Century – Ancient Towns and Highways
The collective house had various names in Anglo Saxon. It was called hus a house, a general term for all residences great or small, it was called heal, or hall, because that was the most important part of the building, as gentlemen’s seats are still called halls, it was called ham, as being the residence or home of its possessor, and it was called tun, in regard of its enclosure. The Anglo Saxons chose for their country houses a position which commanded a prospect around, because such sites afforded protection at the same time that they enabled the possessor to overlook his own landed possessions.
Houses in those times were seldom of long duration, we learn from the domestic anecdotes given in saints’ legends and other writings, that they were very frequently burnt by accidental fires, thus the main part of the house, the timber work, was destroyed, and as ground was then not valuable, and there was no want of space, it was much easier to build a new house in another spot, and leave the old foundations till they were buried in rubbish and earth, than to clear them away in order to rebuild on the same site. Earth soon accumulated under such circumstances, and this accounts for the finding, even in towns, so much of the remains of the houses of an early period undisturbed, at a considerable depth under the present surface of the ground.
Chapter 6, Ancient Towns and Highways
Chapter 6, Internal Fittings of Houses
Chapter 6, Anglo-Saxon Furniture
Chapter 6, Anglo Saxon Hunting and Travelling
Chapter 6, Anglo-Saxon Language
Categories: Book 2