Page:A short history of social life in England.djvu/96

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76
MANOR HOUSES

the imprisonment of human foes, it was, nevertheless, built over strongly vaulted cellars. It was dark and it was draughty. True, the long narrow windows of the castle had been enlarged, and wooden shutters constructed to cover them, but glass was still too dear for anything but Royal palaces. It cost six shillings a foot, and it was risky work carting it over the rough roads of this period. Hence we get a Royal command in 1238 to place a window of white glass in the Queen's bedroom at Winchester, "so that the chamber be not so windy as it used to be," but the houses even of the rich barons were exposed to all the winds of heaven.

Tapestry covered the walls as of old, worked with patience and ability by the English ladies, who had plenty of time on their hands—plenty of imagination and sentiment too, to cover their walls with inspiring representations of noble deeds and knightly heroism. There were few carpets as yet, and the floors were strewn with rushes, which were not changed so often as might have been wished. One vast improvement took place. The piled up fire in the middle of the hall gave way to a regular fire-place built against the side of the room, with a canopy constructed