KENT ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY  -- RESEARCH   Studying and sharing Kent's past      Homepage

Archaeologia Cantiana -  Vol. 72  1958  page 21
Medieval Buildings in the Joyden’s Wood Square Earthwork. 
   By P. J. Tester, F.S.A. and J. E. L. Caiger
These webpages are designed to be viewed with the screen resolution set at 800 x 600 and text size at normal. HOW TO

   In halls of this age there was usually an opening giving access to a detached kitchen, either opposite the main entrance or through the pantry and buttery, but its exact location in this instance could not be discovered. H. S. Cowper, F.S.A., in his account of timber-framed houses in the Kentish Weald (Arch. Cant., XXIX), stated (p. 173), that, among the earlier types he had examined, the kitchen was invariably detached to avoid the danger of fire.
   At the opposite end there occurred evidence of a further internal division to form the customary solar, or upper sleeping apartment. The row of five chalk-rubble post-settings shown on the plan are considered to mark the positions of timber uprights supporting the front of a wide loft, or solar, which extended to the S.W. end of the building and was possibly open to the hall, as in the early 14th century house at West Hoathly, Sussex.1
   In S.E. England it was not unusual for the space beneath the solar to be open likewise to the hall, and it apparently was so in this case, except for the row of posts forming an open screen. Had the lower apartment been separated by a closed timber partition it would have rested on a continuous footing like those forming the domestic offices at the opposite end of the hall.
   A short length of rubble footing projecting inward from the N.W. wall below the solar may have supported the foot of a ladder giving access to that apartment. Evidence of such an arrangement was noticed in the medieval timber house at Sundridge.2 There was no indication that this footing ever extended across the full width of the hall, nor did we find any trace of a dais at this end.
The function of a chalk projection on the outside of the N.W. wall in line with the row of post-settings cannot be determined.
   A hearth stood at the "high" end, originally consisting of a platform, 7 ft. square, composed of broken tiles set on edge. These tiles were of the same type as those used on the roof, and rested on a foundation of chalk rubble. As the top of the hearth was 6 in. above the estimated floor-level it may be inferred that the tiles were retained by a kerb, possibly of wood as no trace of more durable material was noticed. Marks of burning were evident at the centre. Nothing came to light to suggest the existence of a hood above the hearth to carry off the smoke, though something of the sort is not unlikely in view of its position so close to the solar.
   A circular platform of flint and chalk, 2 ft. 3 in. in diameter, was revealed near the square hearth but at a slightly greater depth. This may have been an earlier hearth which had lost its covering of clay,
   1  R. T. Mason, " Medieval Timber Framed Houses," The Illustrated Carpenter and Builder, 8th Nov. 1967, p. 3637. 
   2 
Arch. Cant., XXXVII, p. 175.

Previous page       Back to Page listings       Next page

For details about the advantages of membership of the Kent Archaeological Society   click here

Back the Contents page   Back to Arch. Cant. List   Back to Publications On-line  Back to Research Page  Back to Homepage

Kent Archaeological Society is a registered charity number 223382
© Kent Archaeological Society 10th January 2011

This website is constructed by enthusiastic amateurs. Any errors noticed by other researchers will be to gratefully received so
 that we can amend our pages to give as accurate a record as possible. Please send details too research@kentarchaeology.org.uk