Programme Name: Dan Cruickshank: At Home With The British - TX: n/a - Episode: Cottages (No. 1 - Cottages) - Picture Shows: Dan Cruickshank - (C) Oxford Film and Television - Photographer: Lorian Reed-Drake

BBC/Oxford Film and Television/Lorian Reed-Drake

“I want to go beyond masonry and mortar and come face to face with residents past and present, I want to understand how they lived and how they transformed buildings into homes.”

In a remarkable programme lasting just one hour Dan Cruickshank traces the development of a Warwickshire village beginning with its entry in the Domesday Book then through 500 years of history to the present day, studying in great detail the transformation of Medieval cottage life to the home comforts we have come to know by way of the chimney stack, glass windows and separate rooms for different functions.

On Youtube here The Cottage

The domestic comforts we take for granted developed over hundreds of years to suit the needs of the villagers, from the simple cruck framed thatched cottage as one large open space (the great hall in miniature) to the multi-floored and heated semi-detached houses of today.

The residents of Stoneleigh were tenants for most of the 900 years since the Domesday book, initially paying rent to the Cistercian monks from 1155 then later to Sir Thomas Leigh from 1561 who bought the entire estate following the dissolution of the monasteries under King Henry VIII.

It wasn’t until 1989 that the estate was sold off and broken up, the original cottages and more modern housing going for private sale.

The first of a three part series will be broadcast at 2100 on BBC4 on Thursday 19th May and I recommend you to watch it if you have any interest at all in the historic development of the domestic house.

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