Merchants House Southampton

Last week I went on a trip round the Medieval Merchants House in Southampton with Jude Jones a fellow PhD student with a love of beds!

The house has been restored to its mid 14th century apparence and filled with reconstructed furniture of the period. Although a merchants house I found the visit useful to help me visualise filled living spaces.

The first thing to note is how, like I found at Dover, there is a limit amount of furniture. Unlike Dover, it was much harder to get photos of entire rooms, this is because the rooms were much smaller.

The presence of the furniture was also very helpful, again as at Dover, it was all very gaudy and brightly coloured. But Jude commented on the fact that it was much faded from its original colours (she has been visiting the building for a number of years).

Brightly Coloured Chest

Finally the main reason for the visit was to be able to look at the construction of two Hung Beds found in the upstairs bedroom. I was able to see how they appear in a room as well as see how they are put together and covered in textiles.

Hung Bed

I will hopefully be allowed to return when they put away the beds for the winter, by taking them down and removing all of the textiles as this will allow me to see more about their constrcution.


Last week I took myself on a trip to Kent and Sussex as I felt the need to collect photos of various aspects of the areas i’m looking at Bodiam. As I was making such a long journey I decided to roll it together with a trip to . I viewed the visit as a trip to have a look at how spaces were laid out and filled during the period and to use it as a possible basis for how I will begin to decorate my finished rooms despite being both Royal and of an earlier date.

The rooms themselves are fantastic, richly coloured and filled with beautiful pieces of furniture. I suppose I always had the idea that rooms were always white based on how many are presented now and how they are pictured in books and other reconstructions.

The Great Tower at Dover Castle

The other thing I noticed which hadn’t appeared (in my memory) in a lot of images was the presence of lots of soot above all of the fireplaces. At Bodiam the fireplaces, open to the elements, have all been washed clean. Whilst at other properties I suspect many of them are kept clean as part of the daily conservation tasks, or no longer have fires burning. It made me think this is something I need to remember to include, as a lot of models produced are often too clean and don’t accuratley represent the nature of life and buildings when they are being lived in.

Soot above the fireplace at Dover Castle

Laser Scanning

Someone pointed me in the direction of this article

It would be really good in terms of making Laser Scan data more managable when modelling. Thought I would send it out. I have not thought about using Laser Scan data myself yet as by all accounts it can be hard to manipulate for modelling but Alice Watterson has done and you could read about it here.

Fireplaces and Windows

Ok so having played around with the fireplaces all morning I tried to use a series of fireplace shapes and then subtracting them one after the other to create the chamferred edge. I don’t think this is the best method for producing the complex objects. Instead I think using the chamfer tool might work better expecially as the fireplace I have been working on has a rounded edge.

So after testing this out I decided instead to go back to my windows and think about methods for creating the shapes and managed to almost complete a window! I already had the inside shape in the wall. From this I created a polygon behind this first hollow and moved the lines around to create the righ shape. I think did the same to create the actual window opening and used Probooleon to insert it.

I next added the window bars which were present on this window. In this case there is evidence (holes in the masonry) for 4 horizontal bars. I created these using cylinders and aligning them. I have not inserted these into the overall object however, as these will be a different material. It all looks pretty.

My next steps will be to work on the shutters which I will need images of to complete and insert.

I also realised while I was producing these windows I have had to take a certain amount of license with the survey data. The data is incomplete to start with as due to the height of the walls a lot of the bases of windows and fireplaces that were set back into the wall were not possible to survey. Also a second point is that in the production of the window I have had to use the data as very much a guide as the survey details the building as it stands today, with holes in the masonry and some areas are more dilapidated than others. This has meant to reproduce the windows in the walls I have had to use a certain amount of conjecture to correctly position openings. However, I feel that by using the survey data in the first place I can produce the spaces reasonably accuratley provided I record where I have made assumptions. In this case the combinaion of photographs, survey data and looking at buildings with complete windows is helping me to make these decisions.


As I had left the model last time I was having trouble inserting the upper floor windows into the wall. I’m not sure what the issue was but having tried testing the window shape on another area of the building and it working fine I realiased that the issue must have been with the wall. So I just copied the floor below again and moved it into the right position so now I have all the 3 windows inserted into the wall.

As a break from the windows I have started to have a go at producing a fireplace. I am using the same basic method which appears to be working well. But will have new difficulties later on. Creating the basic shape should be fairly straightforward. The issue will be whether and how much chimney I decide to include. To do this I will have to think about the uses of the model but I think I can progress with just a basic shape for now and alter it later.

I have got as far as thinking about chamfer stops and how I will produce them so I think I will have a play around with the chamfer tool again and see how it looks.