"The Norman conquest was a pivotal event in English history. It largely removed the native ruling class, replacing it with a foreign, French-speaking monarchy, aristocracy, and clerical hierarchy.
William systematically dispossessed English landowners and conferred their property on his continental followers. The Domesday Book meticulously documents the impact of this colossal programme of expropriation, revealing that by 1086 only about 5% of land in England south of the Tees was left in English hands. Even this tiny residue was further diminished in the decades that followed, the elimination of native landholding being most complete in southern parts of the country."
I have made several posts about moated manor houses; most have a similar history to Little Moreton Hall.
The black oak framing looks attractive but the colour comes from a pitch coating which is damaging the wood. When the National Trust has to replace timber they leave the oak unpainted and it matures to a silvery grey colour. When the house was built the wood would have been silver grey and the panels ochre.
Oak can be as strong and enduring as steel but when they added the third storey to the house the weight was too much. You can see the sagging in the above photograph. The National Trust has had to put in a concealed steel frame to prevent collapse.
|A model of the house's oak framing|
|Wattle and daub panelling|
The house has a dog kennel built into a wall but it would only suit a small dog. Compare it with the massive dog kennel at Ightham Moat, another moated manor house.
|A built in dog kennel|
|The Little Moreton Estate|
|The Great Hall|
After a meal the board would be turned over so games could be played - hence board games.
Most of the people around the table would have to sit on stools or benches. Only the lord of the manor would have a chair - hence he would be chairman of the board.
When entertainers came to the hall several boards would be pushed together and the performers would stand on these to give their performance - hence tread the boards.
If you want to read more about Little Moreton Hall the National Trust publishes an excellent guide book. You can get it from Amazon.
I have written several posts about moated manor houses. You can find them by clicking on the 'houses' tag on the right of this page.