STYLE in architecture is a term the significance of which develops long after the time to which it applies. What we now recognise as the characteristic style of building introduced by the Elizabethans was, of course, looked upon by the people themselves as an innovation, a novelty, and not in the least typical of the time. It is the purpose of this section, not to write of a distinct and new step in the development of architectural history, but rather to describe the houses in which the Elizabethans lived; consequently, more will be said of houses and buildings that from an architectural point of view belong in reality to an earlier period.
During the reigns of the Tudors life in country England had become comparatively safe. In London, and elsewhere throughout the kingdom, the city walls were allowed gradually to fall into a state of disrepair and dilapidation, for the fact was fully realised that they were no longer of any great use as a protection. In consequence