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Markets and Rough Justice

Tudor Housing

As the people of Leeds got richer, they spent more on housing and timber frame houses started to be built.

These timber frame houses were a bit like the ‘flat-pack’ we can buy today. The house would have come in sections and had to be put back together, piece by piece in a certain order. You had to follow this order carefully to make sure you got the house built properly.

There were no iron nails or bolts in the frame of a Tudor house to hold it together. The joints were mortised tenoned together and then secured with wooden pegs. A ‘Mortise and Tenon joint’ consists of a ‘tongue’ (the tenon) that slots into a hole (the mortise) cut in the piece of timber. The tighter the fit, the stronger the joint. The spaces between the beams were then filled in with wattle and daub, a mixture of hair, dung and clay, to make them air tight!

Colour photograph of a wooden chair, richly decorated with carvings
Early 17th Century Chair

Many Tudor houses had furniture and fittings made out of oak. This is a golden yellow colour when it is first carved but turns dark with age.