Medieval township by Jerome lall and Brian leePosted: November 10, 2011
The peasants, including serfs,
freeman lived, on a manor close together in one or more villages.
Their small, thatch-roofed, and one-roomed houses would be grouped about an
open space, or on both sides of a single, narrow street. The only important
buildings were the church, a mill, if a stream ran through
the manor, and possibly a blacksmith’s shop. The population of one of these
villages often did not often go over one hundred people.
Life in a Medieval Village was
self-sufficing. Perhaps the most striking feature of life in a Medieval
Village was its self- sufficiency. The people tried to produce at home
everything they required, in order to avoid the uncertainty and expense of
trade. The land gave them their food; the forest provided them with wood for
houses and furniture. They made their own clothes of flax, wool, and leather.
Their meal and flour were ground at the village mill, and at the village black
smith their farm tools were made. The main food which needed to be brought from
some distant market were salt, salt was used to salt down farm animals killed in autumn,
iron for tools, and millstones. Cattle, horses, and lots of grain also formed common
objects of exchange between manors.
living in a medieval village was
rude and rough. The peasants labored from sunrise to sunset, ate coarse fare,
lived in huts, and suffered from frequent pests. They were often the helpless
prey of the feudal nobles. If their lord happened to be a quarrelsome man,
given to fighting with his neighbors, they might see their lands ravaged, their
cattle driven off, their village burned, and might themselves be slain. Even
under peaceful conditions, shut-in life of the manor could not be anything other
than degrading. Under feudalism the lords and nobles of the land had certain
rights over Medieval Serfs and Peasants which included the right of
jurisdiction, which gave judicial power to the nobles and lords and the right