Methods and assumptions
In dealing with so large a body of plans, hardly any two of which are alike in theirfinal form – and it is only the final form that is known in most instances – the first requisite is to establish types and the second is to recognise that a typology is not a series of pigeon-holes in which to place identical examples. Here experience in the vernacular field, where exactly the same problem has been faced, can offer a solution. It appears that English houses both great and small are usually the product of successive partial rebuildings, with the frequent consequence that they do not conform closely to a type but rather resemble it in the number and relative size of the various rooms: a consideration likely to apply to all domestic buildings that survive for a hundred years or more. Viewed in these terms a house type is an aggregation of functions, largely inferred, which approximates to a particular form of plan; a latitude permitting houses varying in detail to be grouped together, whether of several building phases or only one.