The Medieval Manor — Putting the Pieces TogetherPosted: June 12, 2012
— Katherine Cantos
Your wagon finally stops at the town gate. You step out and feel the gravel’s tension underneath the soles of your feet. You look around. The 3rd field is being harvested to your left. Peasants are busily cooking and rushing around. The deep green trees surround the entire land. Your heart flutters for a second when you see home. The beautiful structure in the distance composed of pale tan stone with ivy crawling over it brings back warm memories. You are back home, the manor.
The Medieval Manor Village
What is the 3-field rotation system?
The 3-field rotation system was a system used by farmers in which two fields were cultivated and the third was left to fallow (left unsown for a period of time in order to restore its fertility for later use).
What is a manor house?
A manor house is a country house that was referred to as the centre of the manor. It is where the wealthy Lord and their servants live.
— Great Hall & Kitchen (inc. pantry, larder and buttery)
The great hall is the main, grand room in a manor. It is where people dine and where the servants sleep. Manor court trails were also held in the great hall. The great hall was usually separated from the kitchen with a wooden or stone corridor to assure a lower fire risk
— A Solar
A solar was a large upstairs room where the family of the lord would live. They slept and relaxed in the solar. This room was often lit by large windows. The Solar often ended up evolving into the Lord and Lady’s bed chamber or was kept as a solar and bed chambers were built-in as well.
— Bed Chambers
Later-built manor houses usually had individual bed chambers.
Manors often had some form of fortification. In some, it was walls or fortifications enclosing the town. Manor houses sometimes were surrounded by a moat with drawbridges and watchtowers.
What were buildings made of?
Village houses were made of plastered wattle and daub with a thatch roof. Wattle is a woven lattice of wooden strips. Daub was made of sand, clay, animal excrement, wet soil and dirt. The floors were often lined with straw.Their windows were simply wooden shutters that could open and close. This allowed the people inside to see out rather than people from the outside looking in. These houses had no running water or washing basins.
Manor houses were mostly made of stone and their windows of glass. Mattresses stuffed with straw were all they had for a bed. This caused issues in regards to parasites like fleas and lice.
Understanding a manor
This Manor House is made of Stone (actually paper…). The doors are made of heavy Oak. The elevated garden beds with willow-woven sides are to the side of the manor house. They grow vegetables and Herbs.
Sources: (Including date of information retrieval in bold)
a) Saldais, M & Smith, R & Young, D, (2006), “Humanities Alive History 1, Jacaranda Learning Essentials, (10/06/12).
b) “Castles and Manor Houses Resources”, (2010), Manor Houses, www.castlesandmanorhouses.com. (7/06/12).*
c) “History Learning Site”, Medieval Peasants & Medieval Manor Houses, (2011), (http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/medieval_peasants.htm. (9/06/12).
d) “Annenburg Foundation”, (2010), Middle Ages (Homes), http://www.learner.org/interactives/middleages/homes.html, (10/06/12).
e) “History on the Net Group”, (2000), Medieval Life — The Manor, http://historyonthenet.com/Medieval_Life/manor.htm, (11/06/12).
f) “Timelines.tv”, (2010), The Medieval Manor, http://timelines.tv/index.php?t=0&e=1, (12/06/12)
Image 1 (Diagram of medieval manor) — “Big site of History”, (2012), http://bigsiteofhistory.com/manorialism-the-early-middle-ages-in-western-europe/manors, (9/06/12).
Image 2 (Athelhampton House) — “Wikimedia Commons”, (2010), http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Athelhampton_House__geograph.org.uk_-_172336.jpg, (8/06/12).
Image 3 (Painting of Kitchen by Vincenzo Campi) — “Web Gallery of Art”, (2012), Medieval Kitchen, http://www.wga.hu/framese.html?/html/c/campi/vincenzo/2kitchen.html, (10/06/12).
Image 4 (Fortified manor) — “Farming UK”, (2011), Manor Farm Cottages, http://www.farminguk.com/Accommodation/Burton-Manor-Farm-Cottages_878.html, (7/06/12).
Decorative Image Sources
Both from Source 2 (http://www.castlesandmanorhouses.com/manorhouses.htm)