OK, So I had requests for an episode on construction. I actually had a surprising number of requests for it, actually. So we're going to do a single episode on how things were built, and since we've been talking about feasts, we'll talk about... of course... feasting halls.
Now as I've said with much of this material, it's really hard to study. This is because of the materials they used, of course. Timber doesn't keep too well unless it's in a bog or something along those lines. And while it would have been handy if Cerdic decreed that everything had to be built in stone, he didn't, so here we are.
And adding to our troubles is the fact that the sites for the Anglo Saxon buildings didn't change over time too much. Which means that the sites end up being tough to analyze because other medieval buildings have been built on the same site. Not to mention modern buildings, such as Car Parks. You know, like in the case with the possible grave of Richard III.
And as you might have guessed, with so few items that survive, and the contamination of the site throughout history, dating anything we find would be pretty hard too.
Well what about post holes, you might be saying. Remember the Balbridie structure? That's pretty much just post holes. So why don't we just look at those and figure it out? Well, the problem there is that the buildings appear to have been deconstructed and reconstructed from time to time. Think about your homes. The plot of land that you live on right now has probably had quite a few different buildings on it over time, at least if you live in an urban area. So if we find post holes, we can't be sure that they were part of the same building, or even from the same time frame. And Pollington suggests that keeping the existing building after taking it over might have been a sign of poverty, so knocking down the old building and building a new house might have been a cultural and prestige thing.
And frankly, I've seen plenty of that in our modern culture. If not knocking it down, at least building extensions and doing dramatic remodels.Click here to be able to read the full rough transcript.