life on the manor

life on the manor shoebox diaorama

life on the manor shoebox diorama

What was life on the manor like living under the manorial
system?

Life living under the manorial system was a tough way to
live. It was broken into three categories you could be a serf or peasant, work
in the church (for the widows or girls without families to decide their
husband) and you could be in the lord’s family and rule over the peasants in
the manor. The peasants and serfs spent half the week harvesting food for
themselves and then the other half they worked the lord’s crop and harvested
food that the lord and his family would use. The peasants before living under a
lord would be free and allowed to live wherever they liked. But living with
just your family or by yourself was dangerous so people would seek refuge in
within the castle walls where they would be protected but have to fight with
and serve the landlord. A serf was tied to the king and if the king traded his
property the serf would usually be traded to. But the ordinary peasant only
worked the land and gave produce to the lord he was not bound to him. A serf
would be able to gain their freedom if their lord died in battle or of a
sickness, if ran away and hid for 1 year and a day. The second option was less
preferred in early feudalism as there weren’t many places to go and your chance
of death was very high.

The life of a man and woman on the manor?

For farming a three field method was used where one field
would be planted in autumn this would usually grow wheat or rye. Then a second
field was planted this was to grow barley to brew beer because back then the
water was not clean enough to drink and it contained many diseases. Every year one
field would be left free of crop but still worked they did this so the ground
would fertilize and the crop for next year will grow well. Serfs and peasants
all owned land which they farmed some even had up to thirty acres. The diet of
a commoner consisted of black bread, cabbage carrots and onions, as well as
meat and dairy. Most people believed that the diet was the main factor in why
people died around the age of thirty but really their diet is what was keeping
them alive. The amount of work that had to be put in was the killer as it would
cause multiple injuries. Whilst the men were out working the ground they attended
to household duties they would often spin cloth to create clothing, bake bread
and meals and brew the beer. Only on Sunday and special occasions did everyone
in the manor have a day off for fun and relaxation. However the menfolk’s
version of fun was wrestling and weightlifting so their bodies never had any
time to recuperate.

What a child did during the week on the manor?

Life growing up on the manor was tough for children they
didn’t go to school and from an early age learnt how to live like their parents
and grandparents did. From about the age of seven the boys were taken off for
training to become a knight they began just being a squire for the lord which
involved many little duties that eventually as he became older they gradually
got bigger. By the age of 21 he was officially old enough to be knighted. Not
many needed there knight skills as they assumed life after their parents as
farmers but whenever war was on the horizon they would have to fight for their
lord till death or victory.  The life of
a girl on the manor was simple and was exactly what their mother did. They
would learn how to cook, clean, sow and many other things that were essential
to living in that time. The girl would have an arranged marriage where her
father would pick her groom and she would marry him. If the father had died in
battle then the job was up to the oldest son to pick a worthy husband and if
that wasn’t possible then it was likely she would become a nun and serve in the
church. The kids grew up only knowing one religion and that was Christianity,
the only reading or books they ever saw were in the chapel where the priest
would read the books and parables of the bible to them.

Bibliography:

http://middleages.pppst.com/manorlife.html

http://www.middle-ages.org.uk/manor-house.html

http://themiddleages.tripod.com/manor.html

history text book and hand out sheets (life on the manor)

my history diorama

  by nathan dawson

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One Comment on “life on the manor”

  1. swoonie says:

    Great work, Nathan. =) Thank you for an enjoyable read.