Bob the Tudor Builder

The Tudor religious reforms and the new class of wealthy merchants that emerged in this period lead to a construction boom in the 16th century. The Tudors not only dissolved the monasteries and the priories, but curtailed the land-rights of the baronial bishops, and an ever-more prosperous middle class bought up the former church land at very good prices. As much of the land was woodland there was also a surfeit of timber on the market and this was reflected in the style of the houses built, with their distinctive half-timbered look. It was a good time to be a merchant, and it was a good time to be a builder.

The most popular method of building in this period was the wattle and daub method. Wattles were vertical stakes which had thin branches woven between them. Daub was lime plaster, mud or clay mixed with straw and laid over the wattle base. This would be used to fill in the space between the large beams which provided the framework of the house. The exposed beams would be covered with tar to protect them from the weather, and the wattle and daub mix painted white, to give the buildings their distinctive colour scheme. Today’s drop-em-off is for under fives who will be learning about the Tudor building process with reference to Anne of Cleves House. AG

Bob the Tudor Builder whistles while he works.
Cartoon by Jane-Anne Cameron
Anne of Cleves House
When? 10am-11.30am
How Much? £3 (book tickets in advance)
(t) 01273 486290