West Country Households, 1500-1700

April 2015
25 colour, 137 black and white, 68 line illustrations
484 pages
24x17.2 cm
Society for Post Medieval Archaeology Monograph Series
ISBN: 9781843839941
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
Boydell Press
BISAC ARC003000, SOC003000

West Country Households, 1500-1700

Edited by John Allan, Nat Alcock, David Dawson

Essays on the development of the post-medieval house, its contents and decoration.
During the last forty years, South-West England has been the focus of some of the most significant work on the early modern house and household in Britain. Its remarkable wealth of vernacular buildings has been the object of much attention, while the area has also seen productive excavations of early modern household goods, shedding new light on domestic history.
This collection of papers, written by many of the leading specialists in these fields, presents a number of essays summarizing the overall understanding of particular themes and places, alongside case studies which publish some of the most remarkable discoveries. They include the extraordinary survival of wall-hangings in a South Devon farm, the discovery of painted rooms in an Elizabethan town house, and a study of a table-setting mirrored on its ceiling. Also considered are forms of decoration which seem specific to particular areas of the West Country houses. Taken together, the papers offer a holistic view of the household in the early modern period.

John Allan is Consultant Archaeologist to the Dean & Chapter of Exeter Cathedral; Nat Alcock is Emeritus Reader in the Department of Chemistry, University of Warwick; David Dawson is an independent archaeologist and museum and heritage consultant.

Contributors: Ann Adams, Nat Alcock, John Allan, James Ayres, Stuart Blaylock, Peter Brears, Tania Manuel Casimiro, Cynthia Cramp, Christopher Green, Oliver Kent, Kate Osborne, Richard Parker, Isabel Richardson, John Schofield, Eddie Sinclair, John R.L. Thorp, Hugh Wilmott,

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Table of Contents

The development of the vernacular house in South-West England, 1500-1700 - Nat Alcock
The transformation of the building stock of Exeter, 1450-1700 - Richard Parker and John Allan
The appearances of Godolphin, 1300-1630 - John Schofield
Boiling furnaces, smoking chambers and malt kilns in West Country households - Peter Brears
The polychrome-decorated plank-and-muntin screen at Marker's Cottage, Broadclyst, Devon, and its context - Eddie Sinclair and Isabel Richardson
The interior decoration of an Elizabethan merchant's house: the evidence from 41-2 High Street, Exeter - John R.L. Thorp
Sgraffito-decorated and painted plaster on Devon fireplaces - Ann Adams
North Devon relief-decorated ceramics in the household - Cynthia Cramp
The stained hangings at Yarde Farm, Malborough, south Devon - James Ayres
Culinary artefacts in West Country households, 1550-1700: form, function and nomenclature - Peter Brears
The archaeology of the West Country bronze foundries - Stuart Blaylock
Cast bronze cooking pots in England, 1500-1720 - Christopher Green
Table glass in the West Country home, c. 1500-1700 - Hugh Willmott
Portuguese faience in South-West England - Tânia Manuel Casimiro
Dinner on the ceiling: the 17th-century plasterwork at 144 Fore Street, Exeter - Peter Brears
Pots and texts: understanding pots in use - Oliver Kent
Presenting an Elizabethan interior: the reinterpretation of St Nicholas Priory, Exeter - Kate Osborne and John Allan


This richly illustrated book brings together the results of more than 40 years research...correcting some long-held assumptions and suggesting how we can approach a far richer interdisciplinary understanding of material culture. MEDIEVAL SETTLEMENT RESEARCH GROUP

The goal of this collection of essays is not only to educate and inform, but also to alert scholars and the public at large to important cultural artifacts of early modern England that are vulnerable to unwitting and careless rehabilitation. In this respect John Allan, Nat Alcock, and David Dawson have succeeded admirably. SIXTEENTH CENTURY JOURNAL

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