I suppose glass was only available to royalty or nobility. But what about peasant houses? Did they have windows that closed with some kind of wooden or leather shutters or not at all?


closed as off-topic by sphennings, Vincent, L.Dutch, Hohmannfan, Azuaron Sep 18 '17 at 13:05

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "This question does not appear to be about worldbuilding, within the scope defined in the help center." – sphennings, Vincent, L.Dutch, Hohmannfan, Azuaron
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to worldbuilding. Unfortunately your question appears to be about history and not world building. You may want to try inquiring at history SE. $\endgroup$ – Braydon Sep 17 '17 at 19:25
  • $\begingroup$ Well, thanks for answering. I thought worldbuilding would be a good idea because I saw a lot of similar questions. Thanks for the suggestion. $\endgroup$ – liakoyras 87 Sep 17 '17 at 19:27
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, you're question is wrong here, and houses had fewer windows, definitely with a wooden shutter, and even less the further you went north (=colder.) $\endgroup$ – Karl Sep 17 '17 at 19:33
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    $\begingroup$ Before the invention of sheet glass they used wooden shutters. Translucent materials such as paper, pig bladders and thin horn sheets were sometimes used as a transparent covering. But sheet glass was invented a very long time before the industrial revolution; for rich people glass windows were available since the late Antiquity, and prices went gradually downwards until around 1600 they were availabe to most city dwellers (in Europe, at least). $\endgroup$ – AlexP Sep 17 '17 at 20:10
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    $\begingroup$ @liakoyras87 It's conventional to wait at least 24 hours before accepting an answer so that people from every time zone have a chance to weigh in. $\endgroup$ – sphennings Sep 17 '17 at 20:19


Scottish 'black house' Door. No window. Fire in centre of room, smoke hole in ceiling. You can see why men would stand outside in the rain practicing the bagpipes...

Parchment/thin skins/thin tissues. Take all the fur off a rabbit skin, sew together, oil. Will let light thorugh, but no visibility.

Oiled Paper Paper may be expensive for writing but could still be affordable for windows. Paper was only available commonly a couple centuries before glass.

Mica You can make windows of mica. Not great visibility, depending on thickness.

Glass Clear glass was expensive. Most glass has at least a green tint from excess iron. And getting it smooth required endless polishing. Glass good enough to let light through shouldn't be more expensive in principle than good ceramics -- lots of energy needed.

Nothing The openings are just openings, and the breezes blow in and out.

Shutters These can be external, internal, or both. If you used skin or paper glazing you wanted to protect the glazing during storms. An additional layer of shutter on the inside gave further weather resistance.

Curtains Don't think modern sheers, but heavy blankets of wool.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks a lot, both the edit and the solution helped me tremendously. $\endgroup$ – liakoyras 87 Sep 17 '17 at 20:08

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