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Building and Construction in the Era of Henry VI: 1422-1461, 1470-1471

During the era of Henry VI, English architecture and construction were deeply influenced by the ongoing Wars of the Roses and the transition towards the Renaissance. This period was one of relative instability and upheaval, both of which reflected in the buildings and structures of the time.

Types of Dwellings

The types of dwellings during Henry VI's reign ranged from simple one-room huts for the lower classes to timber-framed houses for the merchant class and stone-built manor houses and castles for the nobility. Most houses were still largely constructed from timber, wattle, and daub, although the use of stone and brick was increasing.

The Average Dwelling and Day-to-Day Life

The average dwelling during this period was a two-storey timber-framed building with a thatched roof. The ground floor often housed animals and storage, while the upper floor was used for living and sleeping. The daily life of most people was tied to agriculture and other rural activities, with the majority of the population living in small villages.

Significant Building Achievements

Despite the civil unrest of the period, some significant building projects were completed, such as King's College Chapel in Cambridge, which is considered one of the greatest examples of late Gothic English architecture.

The UK Population and Its Influence on Society

Estimates suggest that the population of England and Wales during this period was around 2.5 million. This relatively low population, combined with the ongoing civil war, meant that there was less demand for new housing than in previous eras. However, the gradual growth of towns and cities did lead to some urban development.

Changes in Society and the Influence of Construction Materials

During this period, English society was in a state of flux due to the ongoing Wars of the Roses. The civil war caused significant disruption, including to the construction industry. However, this period also saw the beginning of a shift away from timber and towards more durable materials like stone and brick, particularly in the construction of buildings of importance.