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128 WALLS [CH.

Romanesque and Early Gothic periods still remain, there is not a
single example remaining of the contemporary ordinary buildings.
They must therefore have been too poorly constructed to have
survived, and if they were merely of daubed flakes their disappearance
is easily accounted for. Such a mode of construction must have
been very weak, and the frailty of the early ordinary buildings is
apparent from the documents. The ordinary houses of London in
the year 1212 were so unsubstantial that the aldermen of the City
were provided with a crook and cord to pull them down when they
caught fire, or even if they did not comply with the legal requirements
as to fire resisting construction, the medieval equivalents of our
modern bye-laws‘. In a proof of the ages of heirs of Northumberland
of 10 Henry VI, it is stated that so large and strong a wind arose at
Morpeth that all the men and women of the said vill greatly feared
for the shaking of their frail houses2, and Hunter noticed a tradition
of a village near Conisborough having once been blown entirely
aways. Such buildings cannot have been ‘on crucks,’ for as a
Derbyshire farmer said to the writer, a traction engine could be run
over them without hurting them. The crucks were in regular use
for ordinary buildings at the end of the Middle Ages, and in out-
of-the-way places they were used until the seventeenth century.
Plainly, the ordinary buildings were very weakly constructed before
the general adoption of crucks, and no doubt the older and slighter
methods lingered, in their turn, in the more remote districts.
Froissart tells how, in the fourteenth century, while the French
and Scots invaded England, Scotland was invaded by an English
army which burnt and destroyed the houses. On the return of the
French and Scots they found that the whole of the Lowlands of
that country had been ruined ; but the people generally made light
of it, saying that ‘with six or eight stakes they would soon have
new houses.’ So King Alfred, in his Blossom Gatherings from
St Augustine, says that of fair rods (‘ feyrum yerdum ’) will a
man build his village, and in the Catholz'eou Aug/fem”, some five
hundred years later, ‘to make a howse’ is translated ‘ palare,’

1 '1‘. Hudson Turner, Domestic Arehz'terture in England from the Conquest to the
endofthe Thirteenth Century, p. 282. In St Bene't’s Church, Cambridge, a similar hook
remains. It is of iron 1% in. X Illin. x 5ft 6in. long, with a ring at each side for the
‘ cord.’ The ‘crook’ at the head is shaped like a sickle. The whole seems to have
been fixed on a. pole.

2 Arehwologz'a Aelz'ana, XXII, 1900.
3 South Yorhshire (the Deanery of Doneaster), I, p. 370.

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