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Questions about housing?

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#1 theamature



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Posted 01 March 2017 - 10:27 PM

Hi All,


  I am in the midst of reading the book The Time Traveler's Guide to Medieval England:  A Handbook for Vistors to the Fourteenth Century by Ian Mortimer.  I started this research for a possible story idea.


I am currently reading about what to expect if you are in a city or town of Medieval England.  As he is describing alleys and streets, he comes to a point where he starts describing the slums of a Medieval city.  Here is an excerpt (what I'm having trouble with in red):


You will have noticed small alleys.  They look dark on account of the jetties of upper storeys which close in over the thoroughfare, so that the second and third storeys of houses facing each other come within just three or four feet.  Houses here have little light and probably no outside space.  Some alleys are barely more substantial than muddy paths. You see rivulets of water trickling between buckets of offal and kitchen rubble, carrying the liquid of rotting food in the street.  Next time you walk along here in the churned-up mud, the stench of decay will fill your nostrils.


If you walk down a few more of these dark alleys, you will see that there are turnings off which are even narrower.  The most densely inhabited areas of a city are warrens of tiny lanes and paths.  Here you will find the poorest houses.  They are low, single storey rows of old timber buildings subdivided into small rented rooms.  You can see they are old: the shutters hang at angles or have disappeared completely.  The shingles are slipping from the roofs and covered in lichen and moss.  The paths and alleys leading to them effectively open sewers


The thing is I can see the alleys and smell the muck, but my problem is for some weird reason I can't wrap my brain what these houses might look like!!  I know what the house of a country peasant looks like because I'm a nerd and have watched countless documentaries who have used a town that archaeologists re-created for experimental research (I think). 


My question is this.  Does anyone  know of pictures that might give some idea as to what these structures might look like?


Thanks in advance!