Mesolithic Britain was thought to have been inhabited by hunter-gatherers, constantly on the move in search of food; however, the recent excavation of a dwelling in Northumbria reveals our Stone Age ancestors to have been ingenious and elaborate house builders.
The style of buildings and their details provide vital clues to their age and much more besides.
This brief guide to the styles of British and Irish architecture holds some clues. Old-fashioned provincial builders would go on using styles, sometimes for centuries after our standard works on architectural history tell us they were out of date.
Stylistic revivals add to the longevity of certain styles.
Among the most characteristic styles originating in England are the Perpendicular Gothic of the late Middle Ages, High Victorian Gothic and the 'Queen Anne' style.
These cromlechi are common over much of Atlantic Europe: present day Spain; Brittany; Great Britain; and Ireland.
The house is built of Cotswold stone, round a small courtyard, called the Dairy Court.
The structure is an annual calendar, but the reason for the massive size is unknown with any certainty, suggestions include agriculture, ceremonial use and interpreting the cosmos.
My sisters and I used to lie on the bed in the secret room and pretend we could hear the horses galloping towards us.
The bed has now gone and the entrance to the room is barred with one of the National Trust's trademarks: a rope." Chastleton House is different from other houses of its type in several respects.
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