- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 05 Sep 2018
Originally, a cottage was a simple dwelling of a cotter (an agricultural labourer) in medieval England and Wales and was typically made up of ground floor living space (typically two rooms) and an upper floor of one or more rooms within the roof space. This was often describe as a ‘two up, two down’.
Cottages could be detached houses or terraced, as was the case with those built for workers in mining villages and other industrial areas. The windows were most commonly in mullion or casement style and the roof was very often thatched. They were usually built using post and beam construction which resulted in their characteristic low ceilings with exposed timber beams and earthen floors. Over time, the earthen floors were replaced with tiles set into a layer of sand.
Under Elizabethan-era statute, a cottage had to be built with at least 4 acres of land (a ‘small holding’). However, over the years the cottager’s right to hold land was removed by a number of Acts of Parliament, until the legal definition became a small house or habitation without land.
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
New low and high tech tools enter the marketplace.
Report looks at mental health in the built environment.
Radiant wall heating method to control rising damp.
What future infrastructure provision might look like.
Highlighting the health benefits of home improvement.
Pavilions for music, entertainment, and leisure. Book review.
Broadening our understanding of Dublin’s chequered social history.
The charm of London's Cabmen's shelters.
Future Weather Files research tool looking for feedback.
Exploring the Colour Rendering Index.
Why it's important to find out what went wrong.
ECA reviews the shape of the construction job market.
Why proper room acoustics make a difference.
Initiative puts gas networks on the path to net zero.
WICE Woman Architectural Technologist of the Year 2019.
Traditional low-energy approaches to comfort.
Revisiting the McArthurGlen Designer Outlet in Ashford.