Carved oak brackets and 'View of Silver Street, Bermondsey' by John Chessell Buckler, 1828, by permission of the Guildhall Art Gallery, 1610-20
Oak brackets like this give an idea of what it was like to walk the streets of London in the Tudor and early Stuart period. Brackets were used to support overhanging upper storeys or 'jetties' of timber-framed houses. This carved oak bracket from Tooting dates from 1610-20.
In a city with limited space like London, people built the upper rooms of their houses out over the street to gain more room. On narrow lanes jetties could extend over the middle of the road, making it quite dark for people walking below. In places like Wandsworth, jetties may have been used out of fashion rather than lack of space.
This style of building had existed from medieval times. In 1276 it was ordered that all jetties be at least nine feet (2.7m) above ground so riders on horseback could still get down the street. From the mid-16th century, jetties were seen as a major nuisance. They went out of fashion in the 17th century.
Additional image showing brackets in use: John C. Buckler, View of Silver Street, Bermondsey, 1828. Guildhall Library, Corporation of London
Museum number B500