The Distribution and Adoption of the Byre-house (Longhouse) in Late Medieval Britain

Mark Gardiner

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


    It has long been recognized that the byre-house or longhouse, in which animals and humans lived in the same building and with direct contact, was a distinctive building plan. Earlier interpretations have seen it as a ubiquitous house type found throughout Britain, but gradually replaced by separate buildings for keeping animals and accommodating humans. More recent work has suggested that it was a regional variant of the common late medieval domestic plan. The use of this building type was restricted to parts of Wales, and northern and western areas of England. It is argued that the introduction of the byre-house occurs mainly in the thirteenth century as part of a wider trend to provide accommodation for livestock during the winter months. The byre-house was a one response to this need, and its adoption was not due to climatic or geographical factors. Instead, it is interpreted as reflecting localized cultural attitudes to the relationship between humans and animals.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationStředovĕká Evropa v Pohybu. K Poctě Jana Klápště
    EditorsIvana Boháčová, Petr Sommer
    Place of PublicationPrague
    PublisherArcheologický ústav AV ČR
    Number of pages18
    ISBN (Print)9788087365762
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

    Bibliographical note

    Book title in English: 'Medieval Europe in Motion: To honour Jana Klápště'

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Archaeology


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