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162 FLOORS [CH.

material for the floors in ordinary buildings: like 'them its use
reaches back to Romano-British times, and from Anglo-Saxon
times instructions for a reeve (‘gerefa’) have come down which
state that among other duties he was to bridge between the houses
(‘betweox husan bricgian ’). Dr C. M. Andrews thought that the
bridging was of rough logs, possibly hewn on one side, to protect
from the mud of Winter and Spring, which would have made a
very simple form of wooden floor‘. At the destroyed Gatacre
Hall, described in an earlier chapter, there was a somewhat more
advanced kind of floor, which was ‘of oak boards three inches
thick, not sawed, but plainly chipped2.’ The makers of these
floors had apparently no knowledge of the need for a circulation
of air round the wood, and they differed from our modern floors
because there was no distinction between the floor proper and its
supports.

In the framed structure found in Drumkelin Bog, previously
mentioned, the upper floor was formed in the same manner by split
trees laid close together. The Splitting indicates some advance in
culture, for in a simpler form the trees would have been left
unsquared. In some existing examples the influence of the usual
mud floors of the ground storey is shown by a covering of mud
laid over the poles or logs. Mr T. Winder has illustrated such a
one from the millyard at Derwent, Derbyshire: where ‘larch
poles are laid side by side close together, and a mud floor is
plastered over them3.’ Moritz Heyne, in his Deutsc/ze Wo/mungs-
wesen also, has cited a very early German example.

According to Mr John Ward, the use of timber was exceptional
for the ground floors of Romano-British buildings. At Silchester,
a patch of gravel in Insula XVI had a series of parallel trenches
about 6 in. wide and 18 in. apart, which were assumed to be the
spaces in which joists had rested. Floors of beaten earth, gravel
or clay were mostly confined to outbuildings and cottages and
rooms of little importance. Mortar and concrete floors were
frequent and were finished with the finest white lime. Flagged
paving and pitching were chiefly used for stables and outbuildings
and especially for yards and other spaces open to the sky“.

Until comparatively recent times in England, simple buildings

1 Old English Manor, p. 205. 2 Ante p. 117 and Archwalqgia, III, p. I I2.
3 Buz'lder’sjournal, III, p. 41 (February 2 5, 1896).
4 lx’oI/zano-Bn'tislz Building: and Earllzworl's, pp. 265, et seq.

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