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Monday, 3 August 2015


Most of our stone age ancestors got food by gathering, hunting, or fishing. They roamed to find food and often did not occupy permanent dwellings, living in caves. The first primitive houses were a simple wind-break of trees and branches.

The world's oldest known houses, some of them built from mammoth bone, were in southern Moravia and built around 25,000 BC.

From the beginning of settled habitation about 10,000 BC to the rise of the Roman Empire, houses were built of the flimsiest materials and were not expected to outlast the lives of their inhabitants. The only exceptions were monumental palaces that were the residences of priest-kings.

A 11ft-wide building, discovered near Scarborough, North Yorkshire, has been dated to at least 8,500 BC, making it the oldest house in Britain.

The two-story houses of the Athenians were made of sun-dried brick and stood on narrow, winding streets.  There were no windows on the first floor, but in the center of the house was a broad, open court. Clustered about the court were the men's apartment, the women's apartment, and tiny bedrooms.

The word "Residence" goes back, through French, to Latin. It is a place where we "sit back."

By the 14th century the homes of the great masses of European people continued to be dirt-floored huts with one or two rooms, virtually no privacy, and little in the way of ornament or comfort.

The upper stories of English town houses during the Middle Ages projected into the street. They blocked air circulation and light but protected the merchants' stalls below. By the 1400s, poor city dwellers used the topmost story, originally a watchtower called a garret, for their shelter. The constant threat of fire led to the passage of laws ordering that new houses be built of stone, slate, and tile instead of wood.

Town houses were uncomfortable in the Middle Ages. Most of them had a mere framework of heavy timbers. The house of the average citizen served multiple functions as his dwelling, factory, and shop.

Medieval house in Southampton, england

In the 15th and 16th centuries most English men and women still lived in villages. Ordinary English houses , town or country, were jerry-built, because the master-builders were building the finer houses of the new rich. But things were improving. Ordinary houses now had separate parlor-rooms with glazed windows, supplanting the old system of a single room with glass-less shuttered windows where you chose between draught and darkness. Inside the furniture was wooden, stools, table, chest and a big bed where the whole family slept.

Britain's first recorded semi-detached houses were built in 1698 in Northgate Street, Warwick.

The largest house in the United States was built in Asheville, North Carolina in 1885.  Biltmore House has 250 rooms and is on an estate of 12,000 acres.

The tallest single family home in North America is the 124 feet (38 m ) Falcon Nest,  a detached residence in Prescott, Arizona. Although the house is relatively large, its foundation is a square measuring 24 by 24 feet (7.3 m × 7.3 m); its size is spread vertically over ten stories. Its name is attributed to the resemblance to a large mountainside bird's nest and the peregrine falcons that inhabit the area.

Britain's first council estate - Arnold Circus in London's Bethnal Green - opened in 1896. Planners banned pubs in an attempt to make its residents more respectable.

A French inventor Francois Labbe constructed the world's first ever rotating house in the village of Saint-Isidore, near Nice in 1984. It was built entirely of metal and it can be turned to face the shade or the sun at the press of a button.

Half of all Japanese homes are destroyed by the time they are 38 years-old and rebuilt. There are four times as many architects and twice as many construction workers per capita as the US. There is virtually no home improvement industry.

The Korowai, a Papuan tribe in the southeast of Irian Jaya, live in tree houses, some nearly 40 metres (130 ft) high.

By ♪ ~ from Jayapura, Indonesia - Korowai Treehouse

The world's narrowest house, Keret House, in Warsaw, Poland is just five foot wide. It features a bedroom, kitchen and bathroom over two storeys, connected by a ladder.

Thimble Hall in Derbyshire, England claims to be the world’s smallest detached house, measuring 11ft 10in by 10ft 3in — 121 square feet. In 1860, a family of eight lived in the one-up, one-down home.

Hearst mansion in Beverly Hills: 165 million dollars (123 million euros)

The Hearst mansion in Beverley Hills became in 2013 he most expensive house ever advertised.  The property has 29 bedrooms, 40 bathrooms, three pools as well as a nightclub and a theater. It is the mansion where John and Jacqueline Kennedy spent their honeymoon and where scenes from classic movies like The Godfather and The Bodyguard were shot. The luxurious Los Angeles pad was made available to rent for a cool $600,000 a month.

The top three house names in the UK are The Cottage, Rose Cottage and The Bungalow

Sources Daily Mail, Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia © 1998 The Learning Company, Inc

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