In the early medieval period tiles were largely used in religious establishments - churches and monastaries. The tiles were handmade, moulded to give a design, and glazed. The tiles were very thick, as they were used as floor rather than wall tiles.
Ceramic tiles were also used to line stoves designed to heat the rooms of large houses. These stoves were a status symbol, and the tiles that covered them were therefore highly decorated. The tiles show human and animal figures, floral designs, and also the crests or initials of the house owner. They were usually glazed with a green glaze.
From the end of the sixteenth century, tin-glazed wall tiles were being produced. The tin glaze gave an opaque white colour, which could be painted with a variety of bright colours, although chiefly blue. The tiles were sometimes painted to give larger panels, making up a large picture. Individual tiles frequently feature biblical scenes.
|Medieval floor tiles (1066 - 1485)|
|Stove tiles (1500 - 1700)|
|Tin-glazed tiles (1570 - 1850)|
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