The Brick Calculator

Building and Construction in the Era of Mary I: 1553-1558

During the reign of Mary I, also known as "Bloody Mary," England was in a period of religious and political unrest, but building and construction remained a fundamental aspect of society. This article explores the architectural styles, living conditions, and construction practices of the era.

Types of Dwellings

The Tudor period, under which Mary I ruled, was characterized by the construction of timber-framed houses. Wealthier people lived in large manor houses or even castles, while middle-class citizens resided in smaller houses with two or more stories. The less fortunate usually lived in one-room houses with a loft above.

The Average Dwelling and Day-to-Day Life

The average home was a two-story building made of wattle and daub, with a thatched roof. The ground floor was used for daily activities, while the upper floor, accessible by a ladder, provided sleeping space. Life revolved around work, with most people involved in farming or craft trades.

Significant Building Achievements

One of the significant architectural achievements during Mary I's reign was the continuation of the Gothic Perpendicular style in ecclesiastical and grand secular buildings. Religious buildings were often restored or expanded, particularly Catholic institutions.

The UK Population and Its Influence on Society

The population of the UK was expanding during this time, which led to the development of new buildings and settlements. Most people lived in rural areas, working the land, but urban areas were also growing, leading to a rise in townhouses and urban dwellings.

Changes in Society and the Influence of Construction Materials

Wood, wattle, and daub were the most commonly used materials. However, the increasing use of brick marked the era, reflecting the societal trend of stability and permanence. This shift can be attributed to the increased urbanization and wealth of the middle class.

Economic Activity and Construction

Despite the religious upheavals of the time, building and construction continued to play a crucial role in the economy. The rise in population and urbanization increased demand for housing and public buildings, thus providing employment for many people.