The earliest buildings whose original framework has survived in East Meon would have belonged to well-off villeins; their owners would have farmed lands in nearby open fields, and may have plied a trade from their houses as well. Forge Sound and Riverside were built on either side of the entrance to a river forge across the Meon, leading to The Court House. Forge Sound was built in the mid 14th century, a single- aisled hall-house, unique in Hampshire, whose hall truss has a massive tie beam. On the western side, the truss reaches almost to the ground, forming an aisle.
The drawing on the left, taken from Edward Roberts’ book Medieval Hall Houses of the Winchester Area, illustrates how it would originally have looked, built of timber, wattle and daub on a flint base, with a thatched roof. What is now the upstairs ceiling beam is blackened by the smoke from the open fire in the centre of the hall which escaped through a louvre in the centre of the ceiling and from ‘gablets’ at the ends of gables; wattle and daub are still visible in the sides of the louvres.
For the House History of Forge Sound, click here. For source material, click here.