Dollhouse Decorating

Miniature Decorating Ideas |Articles on decorating dollhouses and the history of this artform


I have had a life-long love affair with dollhouse miniatures, and careers in art education and interior design. I hope to combine these life experiences to help other miniature enthusiasts get more out of this wonderful hobby we enjoy, a hobby that often reaches the level of an art form. Susan Downing

Posted on 24 February, 2016


Miniature Tudor Style Pub found on Thea Gargas’s board

Tudor Ale House

Tudor Ale House

Today it’s called a pub. Don’t be fooled by the name, it’s still a private business licensed to sell alcohol to the general public. The big difference between the present day “local” and the its Tudor ancestor is the area served. The Church had been the center of village life until Henry VIII ordered the destruction of over nine hundred structures.

The ale house offered public rooms, as well as food and drink where many church functions could be held.

It all began in 43 AD when the first Roman wine bar, known as a “tabernae,” was opened in England to help quench the thirst of the legionary troops.


Miniature Pub found on Thea Gargas Miniature Board

Middle Ages

In the middle ages, the selling of ale was done by women trying to earn some extra money. They brewed it at home and sold it wherever they could, out the back door or on market day in the village. By the fifteenth century, the selling of ale became more sophisticated and ale-sellers, who were now predominantly male, provided a “drinking room” where the customers could enjoy their brew and eat cakes or a bun or two. The more successful added meat pies and a fish dishes. They were not classy places. Most alehouses were shabby one or two room cottages, considered inferior to inns and the taverns the upper-class might frequent. The social division was clear: the ale house was for the lower orders.


1:12 scale replica of The Anchor, found on MC Models & Miniatures

Tudor Changes

Under the Tudors, things changed. Peter Clark, a professor of history at the University of Leicester, believes that one of the main reasons for the emergence of the alehouse as a prominent institution in the Tudor period, was the impact of the Protestant Reformation. In the middle ages, the parish church had dominated the life of the towns. After the Dissolution when Henry VIII destroyed over 900 cathedrals and other Catholic Church buildings, the alehouse became the village gathering place.


A Tudor Upper Room, found on TheInFill

The Public Room

Secular and religious celebrations took place in the “public room.” Christenings, wakes and marriages, private parties and village council meeting – it was a place where the public gathered, often at no charge, if food and drink were consumed.

It is estimated that under the Tudors there were some 17,000 alehouses, 2,000 inns and 400 taverns throughout England and Wales. Taking into account the population of the period, that would equate to one pub for every 200 persons.


Tudor ale house chair found on Bijou

Tudor Miniature Resources

Google “dollhouse tudor almost anything” a screens full of sales sites and blogs appear. I find one of the most interesting resources is the Blackden Trust, a Tudor reconstruction project. It offers the miniaturist enthusiast a wonderful variety of real-life buildings, furnishings and tools to explore. There are many online shops selling authentically crafted objects for this popular era.



Posted by Susan Downing

Categories: tutorial

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