SIR,-The supposition that our medieval buildings rose almost by "magic" under the hands of hutdwellers is ludicrous and also misleading. The usual procedure was for a patron to engage an architect-builder. If local materials were used then the casual labour (transport, etc.) would be obtained locally, but never the skilled mason and carpenter. The chief obstacles were the cost, a licence to build. and the lack of labour due to the King commandeering all skilled men on his own works (mainly national defence). Apropos age, the great medieval architect, Henry Yevele, lived to 80, a not uncommon feat at that time.
Green Court, Linden Gardens. W.2.