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Medieval Hall Houses in Berkshire
in Berkshire

Ockwells Manor: A fine medieval hall house -  Nash Ford Publishing
  • This is an example of a medieval hall house. Rich landowners lived in this type of house.
  • Hall houses developed from the great halls of Celtic British, Saxon & Viking times. They were built by the Normans and Medieval people and continued to be a favourite house type even in Tudor times.
  • The main room was the hall (dining & entertaining room). At one end was the parlour (living room) with the solar (bedroom) upstairs. At the other end were the buttery (drink storage room) and pantry (food storage & preparation room). These two were divided from the hall by a screens passage (corridor) leading to the front door. Cooking was originally done over a fire in the hall. Kitchens were later built away from the house for fire safety reasons.
  • Is there a medieval hall house near you?
  • The house in the picture is Ockwells Manor at Cox Green, a suburb of Maidenhead. It was built by Sir John Norreys between 1450 and 1466.
  • Its layout is more complicated than earlier hall houses. It has a little cloister (covered walkway) and the buttery and pantry are next to the kitchen. You can click on the different rooms in the house in the picture (or eventually on a plan) to explore,  but they are not all available yet.


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