In the more settled times which followed the end of the Wars of the Roses and the accession of Henry VIIth -- the first of the Tudors -- in 1485, changes in the old order which had been developing throughout the XVth century brought about tangible results. The decline of feudalism and of Church supremacy were important factors. In the rise of universities and grammar schools, the monasteries had lost influence as the main seats of learning, and a steady growth of commerce had brought wealth to a new section of the community - a middle class of merchants and lesser gentry. Further fields for commercial enterprise were opened up by the discovery of the New World, and the adventurous voyages of ship captains were aided by the magnetic compass and the improvement in navigating instruments. In sea and land warfare the general use of gunpowder led to the reliance on regular artillery and the use of the arquebus or hand gun. The invention of printing by Caxton in 1477 helped to spread knowledge of the wall panelling oak panelling designs of the Renaissance movement in arts and letters which, emanating from Italy, was gradually sweeping over Western Europe.
Architecture reflects the events and conditions of the times which produce it. In the Tudor period, since new requirements had to be met, a change is found in the type of building erected rather than in its style. The Gothic tradition was still full of vigour and the "Perpendicular" phase (see Part I) persisted well into the XVIth century, for Italian influence, encouraged by Henry VIIIth, led actually no further than to a grafting of Italian detail on to Gothic structure.
The previous centuries had bequeathed an ample supply of cathedrals and though the monastic institutions continued to make secular additions to their monasteries, the building of parish churches was carried on by the laity. In place of ecclesiastical building, domestic comes into prominence, and this period is remarkable for country houses built in increasing numbers, not only by the nobility but also by the smaller landowners and prosperous merchants. With peace more or less established, a comfortable home was needed rather than a fortress, and early Tudor house represent the first vernacular style of house building with wall panelling oak panelling designs in this country. It was not to be expected that defensive ideas would be immediately abandoned; houses continued to be built round enclosed courtyards entered, in early Tudor times, through gate-houses and, when on level sites, they were frequently surrounded by a moat ; battlemented parapets to walls and towers, though originally devised to serve the needs of the fortified castle (Part I, Diagram IV), were retained long after the gate-house had assumed a more domestic aspect.
Diagram XIV, Examples in Bricks