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Answered 2011-12-01 14:52:11

You phrased your question in the present tense, which will provide a different answer to "What did manor houses look like in medieval times?"

There are very few remaining manor houses today that have not been reconstructed, added to or obliterated by later (post-medieval) alterations. Most places called a manor house today are actually later re-builds on the site of a medieval manor.

Manor houses were originally rectangular, built of stone, with tiny windows and a lower and upper floor. The ground floor was for storage (the undercroft) while the upper floor was divided into a hall, chambers and a solar (sun room) with perhaps a larger window.

Stairs, often external, led up to a door on the upper floor, while a larger door led straight into the undercroft.

This would be the living area for a nobleman (knight) and his family. Around the house would be many other building of timber and thatch: kitchen, workshops, barn, stables and byres, pigsty and living quarters for servants. The entire complex would be surrounded by a bank and ditch with a timber palisade, or later by a stone wall.

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