Page:Elizabethan People.djvu/457

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.


349
DOMESTIC LIFE

stone mansions were generally covered with lead. In the latter case they were likely to be flat and much used by the household in hot weather as walks and places for recreation and exercise. Tile, however, was a more common roofing material which gave rise to the general red appearance from a distance of so many Elizabethan towns. Because of its inexpensiveness, thatch was a common substitute for tile in country districts, and was sometimes used in the construction of mansions of even considerable pretension.

Windows were made of glass except in the most insignificant houses, where expense necessitated the use of open lattices, or closed board shutters when the inclement weather made the former impossible. The use of translucent horn in windows had practically ceased in Elizabethan times. The manufacture of plate glass was still in its infancy, and the secret of making large pieces quite unknown. Hence the characteristic small panes that were in use even when a large opening had to be thus filled by many subdivisions.

Floors of the meaner houses, especially in the country districts, on the first floor, were of bare earth, covered frequently with rushes; but oftentimes even this addition was dispensed with. Floors in the better houses were generally either of stone or of tile, The floors above ground were