The Medieval Merchant’s House – The Bedroom

 

Cradle

The front bedchamber of the Medieval Merchant’s House, Southampton

 

The tour of the Medieval Merchant’s House in Southampton moves upstairs.

Above the ground floor passage is a gallery. It runs between the two bedchambers on the first floor. Only one, at the front of the house, is furnished.  In The Winter Love this is the room I gave to Eleanor and her friend, Isabelle, while Isabelle’s brother, the merchant, sleeps at the back.

The bedchamber is furnished with two beds, complete with bed hangings, a cradle, a stool and three chests.

 

Gallery

The gallery of the Medieval Merchant’s House, Southampton

 

The beds each have a canopy, bed hangings and a counterpane.

 

Bed coverings

Bed hangings in the Medieval Merchant’s House, Southampton

 

The bed hangings provided privacy, both from other occupants of the room and from neighbours. There were no curtains at the unglazed window, although there might have been shutters.

One of the useful things I learned in the bedchamber is that the canopy of a medieval bed did not rest on four posts, as I had imagined (influenced by too many beds from later centuries), but it hung suspended from the ceiling by ropes. I already have some ideas about how such an interesting fact could be used in a future novel.

 

Bed canopy 2

Bed canopy in the bedchamber of the Medieval Merchant’s House, Southampton

 

The bedchamber was open to the ceiling and did not originally have a fireplace. As well as being decorative and providing some privacy, the bed hangings also helped to keep the occupants of the beds warm.  These have been made using medieval techniques.

The bedroom contains two more garishly decorated chests:

 

Chest in front bedroom

Chest in the bedchamber of the Medieval Merchant’s House, Southampton

 

 

Other chest in bedroom

Chest in the bedchamber of the Medieval Merchant’s House, Southampton

 

This pretty little stool is also in the bedchamber.

 

Stool in front bedroom 3

Stool in the bedchamber of the Medieval Merchant’s House, Southampton

 

 

 

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8 Comments

Filed under Fourteenth Century

8 responses to “The Medieval Merchant’s House – The Bedroom

  1. Thanks for continuing the tour. The little stool is a fascinating bit of woodworking. It appears to fold up, I guess to save space or be tucked out of the way. The ends look like dog heads. Quite a lot more work than a simple utility stool.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The decoration and attention to detail over functionality in these chests (compared to the back room chests you shared with us last week) really makes the home feel more real.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I vaguely recall hearing something about the rope for canopy beds ages ago, but like you, I always pictured four posts. I had no idea about the lack of curtains – interesting little tidbit! Thanks as always for the awesome tour, April. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: The Medieval Merchant’s House | A Writer's Perspective

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