Internet Shakespeare Editions


Domestic architecture

A street in Warwick. Photograph Roberta Livingstone.

Ordinary homes in Shakespeare's time were built in the traditional way using massive wooden beams filled in with bricks, then usually covered with plaster and whitewash.

The style is often called "half-timbering" because up to half of the structure is timber. It is a characteristic of the style that the upper floors jut out over the street; the technique was developed to allow water to run off the upper storeys rather than soaking back into the wall as would happen in a vertical wall.

The street shown here is in Warwick, a town a day's walk from Stratford; it has changed little since Shakespeare's time.