"The only form of modern hallway was the open gallery; this was a common feature in houses not built around a closed court. It survived in the design of inns, where a means of circulation was specially necessary, and the internal hall, because of the absence of artificial light, was not an attractive solution. The main outlines of this type of house lasted right down to through the seventeenth century, even later. But as one went downward in economic scale, arrangements would be less differentiated and the space more constricted: the one room apartment, still common among the poor in many countries, possibly had its origin in the more industrialized cities of the late Middle Ages.
"The fact that the burgher house served as workshop, store and counting house prevented any zoning between these functions. The competition for space between the domestic and the working quarters, as business grew and the scale of production expanded, was also perhaps responsible for encroachment over the original back gardens by sheds, storage bins, and special workshops ... the family pattern dominated industry, just as it dominated the organization of the Benedictine monastery. Survivals of this regime lingered on in every European city: the habit of 'living in' long retained by London drapers, with the men and women divided into dormitories, was a typical holdover from the Middle Ages.
"To sum up the medieval dwelling house, one may say that it was characterized by lack of differentiated space and differentiated function. In the cities, however, this lack of internal differentiation was offset by a completer development of domestic functions in public institutions. Though the house might lack a private bake-oven, there was a public one in the baker's or the cook-shop. Though it might lack a private bathroom, there was a municipal bath-house. Though it might lack facilities for isolating and nursing a diseased member, there were numerous public hospitals. And though lovers might lack a private bedroom, they could 'lie between the acres of the rye,' just outside the city walls.
"In the original towns, with the exception of a few that kept to original Roman foundations or were constricted by topographical obstacles, ample gardens spread in the rear of the houses. The size of the medieval houseblock was not standardized; but in general a hundred-foot depth was common and a fifty-foot width was not unusual. Since it was customary to build row houses, for cheapness, for compactness, and above all, perhaps, for maximum protection against cold, this would mean that in some cities houses originally would show their long side to the street, as they still do in Grantham, for example in England: a type of planning that did not come back till the development of modern workers' housing estates in England. Gardens and orchards, sometimes fields and pastures, existed within the city, as well as in the 'suburb' outside: endless illustrations and plans as late as the seventeenth century prove how universal these open spaces were."
Protection and the Medieval Town, The Culture of Cities
by Lewis Mumford