Multidisciplinarity

My PhD was conceived to bring together a range of different approaches and methodologies towards the study of late medieval buildings. It started as one of two PhDs myself based in archaeological computing and a second student with a background in medieval history. This intended to bring together digital visualisation techniques with a solid base in evidence sourced through archival research.

I have stated elsewhere how visualisation techniques have been highly critiqued and the methodology developed to work in an archaeological context. There are courses that can be sat on to teach the tools available and how they can be applied in archaeology. However, for Auralization this is not the case, there have been limited applications in archaeology and the technique still requires a deep understanding of acoustical engineering. Working with ISVR has been challenging, it took us a long time to find someone to work with who could teach me how to do acoustical survey and how it can be applied. Engineers work in different ways and focus on different things. In reverse they do not have the theoretical background in archaeology to engage with the results of the work.

Where I am going with this is that using techniques from other disciplines (even just history) can be incredibly challenging. It is not just finding the contacts and someone interested in working with you. It is knowing what techniques can be used and their limitations to apply them correctly. It is making sure you are asking the right questions when learning techniques to ensure you are getting the correct answers from your collaborators not just the easy answer.

However, I have found other aspects of multidisciplinary method more frustrating, particularly when presenting my work. These issues can be as simple as struggling with referencing; archival sources such as illuminated manuscripts are very difficult to reference using the Harvard system. I spoke to Prof. Chris Woolgar from history who said, that in essence, you have to “bodge” it. Not something that works well with bibliographic software. The same is true in engineering working to disciplinary standards, trying to find the best way of getting the information across feels impossible at times.

Presenting the results of sound work is also frustrating, rarely are conference venues setup with good quality audio, if any at all. I find it hard to reconcile myself to discussing the experience of sound without any audio accompaniment in the same way discussing visualisation without images seems ridiculous. This continues when writing my thesis, providing a mechanism for the sounds I am talking about to be heard.

I don’t mean for this blog post to be a rant, I was hoping instead to highlight some of the difficulties in working between disciplines for all multi-disciplinary research in general. As we are being encouraged to use methodologies from other disciplines, I hope the more this is embraced the easier it will get for some of these basic problems.

Palaeolithic Archaeology, Ice Age Island and Echoes

Huge thanks to Sam Griffiths for helping me write this blog and to Jon Whitmore for the photos.

I have just come back for a weekend visiting the Ice Age Island Project on Jersey. During this time I spent a lot of time discussing the experience of sound with early humans/ other hominid species something I know nothing about I hasten to add. However, the issues if somewhat larger in an earlier period are still prevalent in my medieval work and primarily stem from how we can approach the experience of sound for a group of people whose experience of life is so departed from our own.

La Cotte de St. Brelade

La Cotte de St. Brelade

In the Medieval period I have discussed how the world was a lot quieter in comparison to how it is today, meaning that smaller noises would be heard more clearly and would be related to in a different way. However, these issues are even larger in the Paleolithic, my understanding is that in pre-modern humans there is a huge discussion about when language began to form. From what I have discussed with people there is no defined date to confirm when speech became possible. I was even more curious to discover that although this debate raged no thought had been turned to the development of the ear and how hominids relate to sound.

This primarily came out of a discussion about various experiments with sound that I have discussed briefly in my previous post. A lot of prehistoric work in Archaeoacoustics discusses the ephemeral nature of sound specifically in relation to echoes. Without our modern understanding of how echoes work they are assumed have been understood as magical or work of the gods. However, as Reznikoff (2008) suggests in his discussion on resonance maybe it was considered a more useful tool for exploration than light and sound. He discusses the use of sound to explore caves, where light travels only over short distances sound can be projected forward and used as a guide to find shorter or longer passages.

Both discussions have both issues and positive suggestions.

Jon's position in the entrance to La Cotte

Jon’s position in the entrance to La Cotte

While on Jersey we clambered round to visit La Cotte de St. Brelade, the cave was very busy following a Jersey Heritage tour and instead we decided we would swim back and meet some of the other project members back on the main beach. Having swam out a short distance we saw our friends climbing up into the cave and thought it would be a good point to get a photo. Without much hope I shouted back up to them, my experiences with swimming and sailing has always suggested that sound does not project well. In fact I heard my voice echo back off the cliffs. My friend Jon Whitmore not only heard up but said he could hear us as clearly as if we were sat next to him. We could not hear him.

Swimming in the sea at La Cotte the red circle shows our position

Swimming in the sea at La Cotte the red circle shows our position

This acoustical phenomena might not have existed in the past, as with buildings landscapes change over time. Where we floating in the sea would have been dry land and this would have had an effect. Equally the erosion of local bedrock could have changed the acoustical properties of the headland. However, the water was only a couple of meters deep so our height was not too far out of reaching the site. A new suggestion is that this natural acoustical property could have been taken advantage of by those inhabiting the site. It could have been used as a signal for the approach of things or as a method of communication over a larger distance.

Either way it was a fascinating new way for me to experience the site and I can’t wait to get back there to go on a closer exploration.

Reznikoff, I. (2008). Sound resonance in prehistoric times: A study of Paleolithic painted caves and rocks. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 123(5), 4137–4141.

Acoustics and Ocularcentricism

At the end of my last post I commented that “It feels strange working visually to produce something that is going to be used to model noise”. Equally I find the same is true when reading articles discussing acoustics in the past when they use graphs and plans to illustrate acoustical features. I am taking this blog to explore some of my thoughts on acoustics and how it is visually explored. This is by no means a polished exploration just some thoughts I have had.

I know on some level I struggle to understand them as I’m not an engineer and don’t work so much with the mathematical modelling of acoustical spaces. However, I do wonder if this is more to do with the Ocularcentric approaches currently employed in archaeology to feel the need to make a graph to demonstrate our ideas. This quote from Devereux and Jahn (1996)“it is instinctively felt that sound is too immediate and ephemeral” highlights to me why we might feel the need to work in visual display. By discussing acoustics in terms of its visual display to some extent we are making our results more “scientific”. Having equally seen a hand clap described as “a single loud percussive noise” (Waller 1993) I feel we are trying to move beyond the more phenomenological areas of working in Archaeoacoustics.

My other concern is that we are imparting our interpretations of the past with a modern mindset. Most of the spaces being discussed are monuments or sites from prehistory would they have been understood in the same visual depictions that we are using to demonstrate the spread of sound?

Despite these thoughts I equally agree it is very hard to describe the results of this kind of work without graphs and plans to demonstrate clearly what we mean. As seen in my previous post I myself have to visually model a room to be able to acoustically model the space, this is how the technology has developed.

A lot of the work done in Archaeoacoustics has been trying to line up Acoustical phenomena with visual stimuli. The most obvious example is the large body of work undertaken on Rock Art sites these include but are in no means limited to the Radio 4 documentary NOISE, (Reznikoff 2008; Waller 1993; Scarre & Lawson 2006). Rock painting is not the only application other papers also link “impressive visual backdrop[‘s]” (Watson & Keating 1999) to acoustical interesting spaces or examine spaces both a visual and acoustical way to compare the results (Wozencroft & Devereux n.d.). These are all fascinating and I am generally intrigued whether the locations were chosen due to acoustical phenomena already present in the natural environment or whether the construction of a site was intended to produce acoustical affects. Today acoustical engineering forms a subject in its own right. This does not mean we can entirely predict the acoustical properties of a building; we cannot model in the same way we can the aesthetics. Buildings are still constructed with errors in the acoustics. For example this lecture theatre has had to have the acoustics adjusted (the fabric boards, an absorbing material, cover holes in the wall designed to scatter sound).

This leads me to believe that most acoustical properties related to monuments are accidental creations rather than created in the design. A modern example of this is the Whispering Gallery at St Paul’s cathedral (see Here for more details). Then potentially once discovered these properties are exploited or further explored in future constructions.
I presume that considering even now with knowledge of how acoustics can be manipulated we don’t always get it right that the latter idea wasn’t true.

Devereux, P. & Jahn, R.G., 1996. Preliminary investigations and cognitive considerations of the acoustical resonances of selected archaeological sites. Antiquity, 70, pp.665–6.

Reznikoff, I., 2008. Sound resonance in prehistoric times: A study of Paleolithic painted caves and rocks. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 123(5), pp.4137–4141.

Scarre, C. & Lawson, 2006. Archaeoacoustics, Cambridge: Oxbow Books.

Waller, S., 1993. Sound reflection as an explanation for the content and context of rock art. Rock Art Research, 10(2).

Watson, A. & Keating, D., 1999. Architecture and sound: an acoustical analysis of megalithic monuments in prehistoric Britain. Antiquity, 73, pp.325–36.

Wozencroft, J. & Devereux, P., Landscape-perception. Landscape & Perception project 2007-2012. Available at: http://www.landscape-perception.com/acoustic_mapping/ [Accessed July 11, 2013].

Acoustical modelling

Oriel Chamber at Ightham Mote photo courtesy of Tony Fordham

Oriel Chamber at Ightham Mote

Old Chapel at Ightham Mote photo courtesy of Tony Fordham

Old Chapel at Ightham Mote

Great Hall at Ightham Mote photo courtesy of Tony Fordham

Great Hall at Ightham Mote photo courtesy of Tony Fordham

About 2 months ago I set off for Ightham Mote in Kent to begin the data collection for my second digital project. Working with a team of PhD students from the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research at Southampton our intention was to record the Impulse Response for three areas of the building: the Hall, the Old Chapel and the Oriel Room. This would be used to create a model of the building in CATT-Acoustic and to calculate values for clarity and intelligibility when we returned to Southampton.

The work was undertaken after the building was closed to the public as we needed each space to be empty and required a constant level of background noise. We used a lot of different bits of equipment as the ISVR students wanted to use the data for other things while I was very interested in modelling with it to compare the acoustical experiences of the space to the experience of medieval space from Visualisation. We used a microphone, Kemar (Binural microphone), omnidirectional speaker and Loud speaker to record the space in the Oriel chamber and the Old Chapel while in the Great hall we used a loud speaker but also used an omnidirectional microphone.

Kemar (binaural microphone), omnidirectional microphone, measurement microphone and microphone array and amplifier

Kemar (binaural microphone), omnidirectional microphone, measurement microphone and microphone array and amplifier

Omnidirectional amplifier and measurement microphone in Oriel Chamber

Omnidirectional amplifier and measurement microphone in Oriel Chamber

In each space we had two source positions to allow us to compare the experience of sound being produced from two different locations, and at least six receiver positions. It was my task to select *interesting* locations for these positions. They were selected based on different experiences of the space, so in the chapel I choose source and receiver positions related to whether you were performing a service or listening to the service. In the Oriel room positions close to and further away from the squint were selected. In the Great Hall I choose positions at the high status end of the room and the further down as well as a position that a musician would perform from.

We used a sin curve sound to record the impulse response (pink noise) which allows us to record most frequencies of sound that occur within nature.

After recording the acoustical properties of the room it was also necessary to undertake a basic measured survey of the room. This did not need to be as accurate as a building survey but did need to include different areas of materials to allow us to model the acoustical properties of the space. To do this I have been using CATT-Acoustic. It requires me to enter the dimensions of the room in terms of corners and planes created from coordinates.

CATT Acoustical coding

CATT Acoustical coding

I have really enjoyed getting use to this none graphical way of modelling. I am use to clicking, dragging and selecting which is very straight forward, so this was an entirely new experience. Although to begin with I didn’t find this method of coding easy once I got started and got my head around what measurements were needed and which extra corners I would need to define to be able to create planes it was speedy. Though as with any coding it required quite a bit of debugging. I also found, that as with pretty much any fieldwork, as soon as I got back I realised I needed to go back and take a load of new different measurements and take lots of photos. For this I have to give lots of credit to Camilla Rowe who came up for the day to give me a hand speeding the whole process up.

Chapel in the CATT 3d viewer

Chapel in the CATT 3d viewer

Oriel in CATT 3d viewer

Oriel in CATT 3d viewer

I’m really looking forward to getting on with the actual acoustics end of the work next. It feels strange working visually to produce something that is going to be used to model noise. These ideas are something I will be exploring further in my thesis.

Ways of Seeing the English Domestic Interior: Workshop 3

Through my supervisor Graeme I have become involved with the Ways of Seeing the English Domestic Interior, 1500-1700: the case of decorative textiles research network. I attended the first workshop in Southampton which introduced everyone to the network and began to explore how we can apply computing techniques to further explore how we might enhance our understanding of how the domestic interior was experienced in early modern England. (This might sound a bit familiar…)

On the 19th March I attended the third workshop. The aim of the day was to explore how eyetracking technology can be exploited towards the understanding of visitor experience of 17th century painted cloths at Owlpen Manor in Gloucestershire.

Owlpen Manor, Gloucestershire.

Owlpen Manor, Gloucestershire.

The day began with two groups of volunteers being “wired up” to the eyetracking hardware. The first thing to consider and why we can undertake this kind of experiment is that the eye does not work in the way we think it does. Eyes do not pan smoothly like in a film instead move in a series of small jerks. They actively only focus clearly on a very small area at the centre of the eye. The best way to think about it is that they essentially create lots of static images that focus on a small area. This means you are never too aware about exactly where you are looking and you can’t try and think too much about where your looking and don’t understand so the effect of wearing the headset is not to great.

Example of how someone is wired up the eyetracking equipment

Example of how someone is wired up the eyetracking equipment

How the eye captures information

How the eye captures information

The first of these groups was a group of undergraduate and masters students while the second comprised of *experts* from the research network. The intention was to explore the effects of expertise on the way people are viewing the interiors of the room and the effect of knowledge. Each person was individually wired up to the equipment and given time to get use to wearing it. Then they were taken to the Great Chamber (Queen Margaret’s Room) here their responses to the room were recorded a number of times. The first observation was recorded to observe the difference between the two groups of volunteers. Each individual was then provided with more information about the room and the wall painting and sent back into the room with the intention to observe which areas were focussed on in more detail or not.

Queen Margeret's Room

Queen Margeret’s Room

Some preliminary results saw a huge difference in the way an expert was looking at the room as opposed to the student they were compared with. Students tended to move their gaze to try and take in everything whereas the expert took much more time paying close attention to the painted cloths.

The day then turned to a series of talks by people involved with the project, firstly with an outline of the project to date. This was followed by a talk on Owlpen Manor and specifically the Painted Cloths displayed in the Queen Margaret room which we observed during the eyetracking experiment. The painted cloths are thought to be the only complete example of a decorative scene of interior decoration of this form the scene details the biblical story of Joseph. They were a cheaper substitute for tapestries before the introduction of wall papers and were produced by guilds until around 1502 and were considered out dated by the 17th century. Although no longer in situ they represent a complete scene and only are missing the bottom border when in the 1960s they were moved from a different bedroom during a cleaning at the same time. This move has been questioned as to whether the move would have affected the story at all? Whether areas of the border would have an effect or whether they are placed into a different order or were designed for the original space. The talk also touched on whether the effect of the cloth on walling affected the experience of the space if they had been painted with the same scenes with some discussion on the acoustical effects on the space.

This led into a discussion of the direction the research network wishes to go in. In September 12th and 13th there will be a conference presenting the results of the research network. The papers from the conference are to be published in a Textiles journal, should be consider publishing more widely? Especially considering the number of methods used. We discussed the achievements of the network so far. Feel that with a range of specialities have allowed an engagement with objects and spaces that has not been possible until now. Highlighted that there are different kinds of viewing and the type of space or display affects the interaction with the objects or textiles. Particularly in reference to this was the assessment of the critical eye. We do not just look with our eyes but want to manipulate the objects in the space they are in or change the lighting conditions. In reference to this context is very important to link the space and object when considering them in their historical context and how they were experience in the past. For example the lighting conditions at Owlpen Manor were very different and had a different effect on the viewers to examining objects at the Ashmolean. As such when we are considering the experience of an object we need to respond to how we think about the narrative associated with these objects or spaces.

Following the conference it was unanimous that the research network did not want to be downgraded but hoped it would continue in one way or another, maybe setting up a research project. Consider moving forward into looking more at how the computer techniques that have been demonstrated could further the work. There was a bit of a struggle considering whether we could apply them appropriately there is a lot of archaeological theory associated with how visualisation technology can be applied to explore these issues and whether we can examine the experience of those examining/ creating these items when they were created. Whereas the heritage professionals wished to apply the technologies as a technique for reverse designing for museums and engagement impact in schools. Consider more how people are engaging with objects today and allowing greater access to collections. Consider if these techniques can be used to track engagement with real vs. non real objects. With a focus from the Shakespeare Birthplace staff suggesting it would be interesting to examine audience perception of performance props costume etc.

I found it really interesting to engage with people who did not have such a background in computing and survey. They were very interested in engaging with new technologies in the same way as I am working in for my thesis but without the background understanding of visualisation and archaeological theory. Whereas I had not thought so much about the cultural heritage applications. It was a really interesting day and I am hoping to become more involved with the network over the coming months.

What is lived experience?

It has been a while since I blogged, I have been distracted by my upgrade corrections and beginning new chapters on acoustics and literature reviews.

I began this blog a few months ago while I was in Chicago. I realised that I hadn’t ever set my work in its theoretical context and specifically avoided defining what I meant by lived experience. Today I have been updating my profiles on various websites and this blog and realised that since I started this blog my aims had changed and developed quite a lot and as such I needed to write a post to reflect where my thoughts were.

I had been straining to avoid defining what I thought about lived experience and I think this has been due to the attempt of avoiding linking my work too deeply with Phenomenology. This is essentially due to in my mind the somewhat “fluffy” image that phenomenology creates. While I agree that as archaeologists we do need to consider the experiential aspects of sites but as Stephen Murray stated we need to “reconciling our experiential responses with the task of dealing with buildings as entities that can go beyond the written document in providing vital access to the past.” (Murray 2008: 383).

For this thesis it is taken to mean how people understand the world around them, not based on some preconceived scheme but through experience: how they move, their activities, everyday paths and places and memory. This means that the documentary and physical evidence are not enough, because the past is subjective, memory: both personal and inherited are important.

My intention is to use digital technologies as a mechanism for visualising and auralising these experiences while using the reflecting ways of thinking about lived experience to critique the results.

Acoustical Work at Ightham Mote

My thesis has developed into working on two separate digital project, the first Visualisation Project at Bodiam I have discussed as it has developed on this blog. The second I am beginning to put together on Acoustics at Ightham Mote. Ightham unlike Bodiam is a complete country house which has been developed over the centuries.

I am interested on doing an Acoustical Survey of the building which will allow me to assess how sound is experienced in different spaces in the building. I will be looking at the Medieval Great Hall, the old Chapel and one of the Solar’s. These three spaces had different uses and would have different acoustical requirements.

My intention is to record the impulse response of each space which will allow me to determine how sound carried around the spaces and was experienced in the room. The impulse response can be used to state whether a space was suited towards public speaking or musical performances or conversation.

I will also be able to model each of the spaces using CATT software which will allow me to manipulate the nature of furnishings and fittings to more accurately represent the medieval spaces.

4/ 10 things you didn’t know about Bodiam Castle: The building isn’t symmetrical

One of the principal descriptions you read in the literature surrounding Bodiam is the symmetrical impression the building gives. The more time you spend working in the building the more you realise this is not the case. Externally the façade gives this impression; however, if you look closely the windows do not line up to and neither to the chimneys and mini turrets on the towers.

Bodiam Castle facade

Moving to the interior the first thing to note is that the layout of the building is also not symmetrical. As you can see from the following image the internal layout of the gatehouse is not the same on the ground floor and this continues on the floors above. Even more apparent is that the building itself is not symetirical: the main difference being the chapel being setup into the moat.

Ground Floor plan (produced by Penny Copeland, Archaeology Department, University of Southampton)

The question is what does this mean? As I continue the 10 things you didn’t notice about Bodiam I will put forward a theory that sheds doubt on the construction of Bodiam being “wholly planned” as suggested by Pevsner. Instead I suggest that the fabric of the building hints at changes of mind throughout the construction and a series of errors throughout the construction that hint at a less skilled labour force. These ideas follow the final season of work at Bodiam by Penny Copeland and I, with Matthew Johnson: the results of which are in process of being written up.

Great Chalfield Manor

It has been quite a while since I updated here due to a busy few weeks filled with exciting conferences and things, so a number of blogs will appear in quick succession.

The first is going to concern itself with a visit I paid to Great Chalfield Manor, a National Trust property in Wiltshire. The property has aspects dating from before 14th century, however, the main façade was built between 1467-80 by Thomas Tropnell.

Great Chalfield Manor

I felt the need to blog about my visit as unlike most of the properties I have visited from this period and earlier (including Knole and Penshurst) the building did not fit with my “spatial grammar of expectation”. The building is laid out with a central great hall and flanking wings to left and right, when entering the Great Hall it appears like any other, entering through the screens passage at the lower end of the hall. At the upper end there is a small vaulted/ groined room as at Bodiam, Penshurst and Ightham and above the solar or Great Chamber.

It is the other wing at the lower end of the hall which confuses me. I had assumed that the two doorways would take you through to the servants quarters but in this case no. Instead you are brought through to a dining room/ parlour with another set of private chambers apparently for the family. This has been explained through the changing fashion for eating privately instead of communally, I just find the idea of the rooms for this to occur being placed at that end of the hall bizarre. The whole experience of visiting has opened my eyes to the changes in building fashions that occurred not long after Bodiam was built and how my expectations may bias my views of visiting contemporary buildings as a whole.

This was my first intrigue for visiting the building, the next returns to my thoughts on ornamentation that I have discussed in reference to Ightham and Bodiam. Like at Ightham the family heraldry features prominently both in the buildings architecture but also in the adjoining parish church.

Parish Church Heraldry

Heraldry from the main building

The building also had a series of other interesting engravings. First on the outside of the building not only are there faces in some of the stonework as at Ightham but there are also complete figures balanced on the rooftop.

Knight in Armour

Internally there are more interesting engravings. The Great Hall features some beautiful squints which face the head of the room. These are engraved to resemble faces, one which hides above the modern minstrels gallery laughs at the high end of the Great Hall, the other two, also mocking, feature a Bishop with his mitre facing the wrong way and a king with asses’ ears. These bring back memories of the faces at Ightham Mote and mocking the high end of the table.

All together the trip was interesting, I think I will need to visit again and hopefully collect some photos of the interior, but it brought into question my understanding of the spatial grammar of the building as well as offering likely comparisons for my thoughts on architectural ornamentation.

First renders and thoughts on beams

I had a supervision yesterday with my supervisors Prof. Matthew Johnson and Dr. Graeme Earl where we discussed the first renders I had produced of my model so far. These images just detail the internal space: windows, fireplaces and doorways, and my first attempts at putting a roof and floors on the building.

I had been reading a lot around the subject of timber building construction to try to understand the appearance or these types of building. My first port of call was Richard Harris’s Discovering Timber-Framed Buildings this excellent little book explains the construction of these buildings in great detail with lots of helpful, clear diagrams. Based on his writings I started to plan the distances and shapes of my beams and how they would slot together. The following image is the results. I have just added some basic textures and materials to the renders to give an idea about the space that is not bright pink. I also realise that my smoothing groups need playing around with a bit.

Shape of beam bays

Internal beams upper floor

Ground floor showing beamed roof

A window and fireplace from the upper floor

The space the beams need to cross is quite short (about 5m) so there was no need to think about having to bridge the gap using a tie beam or similar approach. The distance the bays are placed apart does not seem to be set. I choose to space them evenly across the entire span about 5m apart as this “looked right” based on photos of other Medieval Roofs I had been using for reference (see below). Before spacing them apart I had to also consider the shape of this part of the frame. I had been looking at the above images of roof beams and decided to not go with a Crown Post and instead use 2 slanting Queen posts.

Wilmington Priory timber roof

Portchester Castle

Brockhampton Estate: The Great Hall

Presenting these images to Graeme and Matthew highlighted a few errors. Matthew suggested that the angle I had used for the Queen Posts was much too slanted, which is indicative of later buildings. Instead he suggested that it would be much more interesting to include a Crown Post or make the Queen Posts vertical.

As there are a number of options instead of just making one decision about how the roof is structured Graeme suggested that instead I create a number of different models with different roofing options, including a crown post and not, moving the number and position of bays around a bit to see if there are any obvious options for lining them up. We also discussed whether there would have been a ceiling concealing these beams. I had always assumed that the rooms would be open to the roof as this is common in halls. I had not really considered putting a ceiling in place on this upper floor.

What I had not considered was how much this changed the appearance of the upper apartment. Until now I had been thinking about them as looking fairly similar situated one above the other. However. when the roof is in place it will transform the upper apartment making it feel much larger and more open. Whereas the lower apartment will feel much more contained.

The second discussion point coming from the meeting was in reference to the beams and how decorated they were or not. We had been discussing them in terms of ornamentation of the type found at Ightham Mote (see previous blog). I asked whether, considering the lack of architectural ornamentation found at Bodiam, the beams, which would be cheaper to carve, would also be devoid of decoration. I had been thinking about it a lot as I need to decide whether I am going to shape them sooner rather than later. Matthew suggested that the question was even more complex as unlike a lot of slightly earlier buildings the household was not a peripatetic one, it was solely based at Bodiam. Which we would have assumed that more of the building would be decorated as it would not have had to have been moved around. So wondering whether the more decayed areas of the building are as plain as the rest of it is a very hard question, which I have yet to find an answer for.