I've always wanted to sit inside a round house... But I believe you about the woodsmoke.
What a splendidly spotty pig.
Butser- on the Hampshire-Sussex border- can't be that far from you. It's well worth a visit.
Cool looking round houses.
And built on the latest scientific principles. Butser is experimental archaeology- with a team of people trying to work out exactly how things were done in prehistory.
I imagine stinking of wood smoke was probably one of the better options for fragrances available at the time. Also might it have had a fumigative effect?
I should think both these things are true.
Wood smoke is a strong fragrance- but one of my favourites.
Interesting theory about the square becoming round, but how does that explain the fact that over here in the Celtic fringe, the round houses were made of stone and were (as far as I know) always round until the Romans arrived and brought a new fashion for rectangular stone houses?
I reckon wood smoke would be the least of your stinks. Coincidentally, I'm reading Foundation: The History of England from Its Earliest Beginnings to the Tudors by Peter Ackroyd. It mentions these delightful little houses. I also just finished a book about the history of salt, which would have been the fate for that little piggy.
The salt book also says that if a town in England ends in -wich, it was originally a salt producing area.
The lack of any chimney hole in such dwellings struck us when visiting the Chiltern Open Air Museum recently. Wouldn't a bit of a thinning of the thatching by the apex serve to keep the air a bit less smoky? (Without, of course, opening the place up to the elements overly)
Quite an interesting place, actually - it covered dwellings from the Iron Age to the present day, with examples either constructed (as above) or painstakingly rebuilt brick by brick, giving a peculiar feel to the place, quite out of time, like The Village, but without any Rover. Intriguing, needless to say - I really ought to pull up a few example photos sometime, as I did manage to get a few reasonable shots.
Nineteenth-century British missionaries in Southern Africa measured their success by the number of square houses they got people to build.
Round houses were taxed, square houses weren't -- the rationale was that square houses had to be built with imported European tools, so those who bought them paid customs duty, whereas no duty was paid on the tools used for building round houses.