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Gyeseodang Head House , Bonghwa

Gyeseodang Head House

Facing south at the eastern foot of the pine forest, the Gyeseodang Head House is known to have been built in 1613 -- the fifth year of the reign of Prince Gwanghae -- by Seong I-seong aka Gyeoseo, who was a court official during the mid-Joseon dynasty. Seong I-seong served as the village chief after passing the national civil examination. His reputation as an esteemed official with integrity earned him the distinction of thrice appointed royal emissary.

The detached house, which was formerly used as men’s study, or “sarangchae” in Korean, is estimated to have been expanded or rebuilt in the later era. With a separate outer room (“daemunganchae”) found in the end corner of the garden in the lower area, the house has a square-shaped layout connecting the detached house (“sarangchae”) and the inner house (“anchae” used as women’s quarters) found on the higher ground in the north. Past the main entrance is a relatively spacious garden for men (“sarangmadang”), and in the south on the higher ground in the opposite direction is another separate room attached to the middle gate (“jungmunganchae”). In the east is the sarangchae, and past the middle gate in the west of the sarangchae is the anchae. The house comes with a separate fence on the northeast side to make way for a shrine. The anchae and the sarangchae of this house are distinctively different. Characteristically, most anchae houses at the time came with a number of lady’s sitting rooms, whereas the sarangchae was a single-winged house; note, however, that the sarangchae of this house is double-winged, bringing a big change to the winged structure of the anchae.

Part of the anchae house is slightly altered, but overall, the house maintains the old structure of the square-shaped layout typical of private homes found in the northern region of North Gyeongsang Province; thus making it an excellent research material for the housing development history.

Gyeseodang was nationally designated as Important Folk Material No. 171 on January 10, 1984 and has been maintained accordingly since then.

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