Under the rule of Henry I, England experienced notable advancements in building and construction. Influences from the Norman Conquest were still strong, shaping the architecture and construction materials of the era.
Types of Dwellings
During this time, the types of dwellings varied based on the inhabitants' social status. The peasantry largely inhabited simple, one-roomed wattle-and-daub houses, while the wealthier classes lived in timber houses. Castles, often of the motte-and-bailey design, were a prominent feature of the landscape, serving as residences and fortifications for the nobility.
The Average Dwelling and Day-to-Day Life
Life for the average person was centred around their dwelling, often a simple timber-framed house with a thatched roof. These structures were usually single-roomed, serving both as living and working spaces. Daily life was largely dictated by the agricultural cycle, as the vast majority of the population was involved in farming.
Significant Building Achievements
The era of Henry I saw the completion of many Norman cathedrals and castles, showcasing Romanesque architectural style. The White Tower of the Tower of London, one of the most significant architectural landmarks of this era, was completed under Henry I's reign.
The UK Population and Its Influence on Society
Population in the UK during this period was relatively small, but steadily increasing. This influenced the construction of defensive structures, including fortified towns and castles. In addition, the growth of towns mirrored the growing population and increased economic activity.
Changes in Society and the Influence of Construction Materials
Societal changes during Henry I's reign included a continued shift towards feudalism and the centralisation of royal power. These changes influenced construction, with stone becoming more prevalent in important structures, reflecting the increased stability and wealth of the period. However, timber remained the primary material for the majority of dwellings.