Life in a Manor

Life in a manor, in the medieval ages, was tough. All the peasants in the Middle Ages  surrounded the manor.  A manor is an area of land that was owned by the feudal lord. The lords either lived in manor houses or castles. Other than the village, there were forest/woods that were used for hunting, fields, owned by lords, used for crops, a church, grain mills and a barn. The Manor was usually defended by a surrounding wall. There were 3 types of fields that were divided into long strips of land. One field was planted with wheat, which was usually planted in Autumn, another with barley, which was usually planted in Spring, and the other was left unplanted. From this, the three fields kept rotating every year. The unplanted one was kept like that, so that the soil could get its goodness back after being planted with different crops. Peasants lived in small houses that had holes in it, so that the house doesn’t get filled with smoke when they’re using fire.

Serfs were peasants that were bound under the feudal system to work on his lord’s estate. Serfs were given work like slaves but they were not slaves. They couldn’t be bought or sold, but they could not leave the manor without permission. They had to do jobs they were assigned to they would be punished. Nobles were rich people or knights in the medieval ages. They usually ate different food from the peasants. Meat was considered food for the rich, as they could afford spices to disguise odd flavors in the meat. Vegetables were usually eaten by peasants.

Feudalism was created by William the Conqueror as he was not necessarily liked, though he needed people’s service and loyalty to him.  Feudalism played an important role in the society of the medieval ages. It was where the overlord provides a portion of land for a vassal in exchange for his service and loyalty. There often is a ceremony where the vassal knelt in front of the lord and put his hands on the lord’s hands. He then swore an oath of fealty, a solemn promise of faithful service to the lord, promising to serve the lord for life. The lord then kissed the vassal and lifted him to his feet. Everyone knew their obligations and rights. Usually it was better if you were a king/lord rather than a serf or vassal. In the thirteenth century, feudalism started to fall as more towns appeared. If serfs ran away and were not found in one year they were free. Serfs could also buy their freedom. Black Death also contributed to the fall of feudalism as the serfs could negotiate better terms with their lords.

Children growing up on the manor didn’t go to school, but instead they followed what their parents did. If they wanted to become a knight, they would be sent to training at the age of seven up until the age of 21 where it was the official age to become a knight. During his time in training, he would learn to do many things, such as singing, playing chess, playing the harp, learn the different ways to cut meat, ride a horse, be a personal assistant to a knight and take care of his armour. His duties increased as he got older. As a girl, life on a manor was following everything her mother did. As they grew older and was old enough for marriage, she could not choose her companion. Though, women in those times did have the choice to divorce their husband and take their property.

This is our diorama


– Humanities Alive 2
– History notes from classes
Other group members – Ashwini, Jade
By David Ong 8B

2 Comments on “Life in a Manor”

  1. swoonie says:

    Mr. Ong!!!!! So proud of you!!!!! Well done!! Incrediblygenericname, thanks for letting him use your account.

  2. yvmason says:

    Thanks for your very informative article on Medieval Manors. May I politely point out an error however. Medieval people did not eat spices in order to disguise odd flavours in meat. Yes they did salt, smoke and pickle their meats, but they actually liked very strongly flavoured and spicy tastes. Much more so than we do in English style cooking today.