The Effects of Changes in Tudor Society on the Development of Igtham MoteWhen Ightham Mote was first built in the 14th Century it was a typicalmedieval manor. It consisted of a great hall, crypt, chapel, solarsand kitchens. It had a large moat as its main form of defence,although this was probably more a status symbol. It has, howeverchanged in many ways over the years. I am going to concentrate on thechanges during Tudor times and whether these changes link to societyat that time.
Near the beginning of the Tudor period (1485 to 1603) the Haut familybought Ightham Mote. They made vast improvements and many changes tothe then average country house, this was very typical as people werealways wanting to show off how much money they had and improve theirpublic status. The Hauts sold the house in 1521 to a courtier of HenryVII and VIII, Sir Richard Clement. This is thought to be because theHauts spent a lot of money improving the house and couldn’t afford tomaintain it any more. Clement however, benefited from two rich wivesand a good job and therefore was a member of the increasingly wealthyand influential gentry class. He was able to complete many changes tothe house. From 1545 to 1591 Ightham Mote was owned by the Allenfamily. The wife of Sir Christopher Allen was a known Catholic and thehouse was searched for relics in 1585. The Allens did not make manychanges to the house. The end of the Tudor period saw the beginning ofthe long period of ownership by the Selby family.
The heart of the building is the great hall. It would have originallybeen used for everything, including eating for the whole household,and sleeping for the servants. In the Tudor period, however, it wasused less and less for everyday activities and was likely to be usedonly for special occasions. Most of the alterations made to the greathall were to make the house more comfortable and fashionable and were