The Manor- By Kalani PitmanPosted: November 12, 2012
Life on the manor- for both lord & peasant, including the kinds of people who lived there, the types of work done, and the lifestyles of the manor’s inhabitants, responsibilities of each person.
- Pantry- Pantler, looked after the pantry.
- Buttery- Buttler, looked after the buttery.
- Kitchen- Cooks, scullions. Prepared the meals for the household.
- Larder- Larderer, looked after the larder.
- Cellar- Cellerer, looked after the cellar.
- Constable- Was in charge of the horses, grooms and pages.
- Chamberlain- Was in charge of making sure the chambers were clean.
- Marshal- Was in charge of all things military, including arms and discipline, knights and squires.
- Master of the wardrobe- Was in charge of choosing what the lord and lady would wear and other domestic things.
- Bailiff- Was in charge of making sure the manor ran smoothly.
- Serf- Paid the lord out of their crops for letting them use his land.
- Reeve- Was a manor official elected by the peasants or the lord himself.
- Peasant/villein-Usually worked as farmers of labourers.
- Cottager- Worked as a labourer doing simple jobs. They had little if not no land at all except for the cottage they lived in.
- Servant- Worked in the manor house cleaning, cooking and doing all other chores around the manor.
- Lord- Was expected to fight and provide soldiers for the king and he had to oversee the running of the manor.
- Lady- Her main goal was to provide children for the Lord but she also took on his jobs while he was away, purchased special items like material and spices and assist or supervise the preparation of the food.
The physical layout- of the interior of the manor.
The manor contains 12 main rooms. The great hall was where everything happened. This was where the lord or king sometimes had his court. There was a screen at both ends of the hall. One end was the entrance to the hall the other was the only wall that separated the sleeping lords and ladies from the servants. The second room of the manor was the bed chambers. These rooms were where the lord and lady slept. This room offered them privacy and their personal attendants were fortunate enough to sleep on the floor in the same room. The solar was a small room that was sought of like a sitting room, it also included a wardrobe. This was the room that the lady of the house could come to that would give her more privacy when the hustle and bustle of the hall grew too much for her. The garderobe was the toilet that the people of the manor used. This was generally a hole that leads to the moat or elsewhere. There were no baths or showers back then because they were classified ungodly. The kitchen was where the dining room was so that the heat was spread around evenly. In the time that the great hall existed the pantry was where the bread was kept. There were separate rooms for other foods. The larder was used to keep food cool prior to preparation. These were generally close to the kitchen so that the food was easy to access. The buttery was not for storing butter, but for storing beer for the lower people of the household who couldn’t drink wine. The word buttery came from beer butts (barrels). The gatehouse was the structure that protected the entrance to a manor. These would have many lines of defence so that it would defend the manor from intruders. The chapel was built close to the great hall and could be used by everyone in the household. It had two floors the top one being for the nobles and the lower one for the servants. The cabinet was usually a man’s private study these were scattered throughout the castle. A boudoir was a noble ladies version of a cabinet. This was where they dressed and bathed. Later in the medieval time period this room was used for embroidery and other activities. The casemate was said to be impenetrable and it was used to store troops. Under crofts were generally used as cellars but they were often rented out as stores. The ice house was used to store ice that was kept from the winter months. It was used to keep people cool in the summer months and would usually last until next winter. They mostly built underground. The dovecote was used to house doves or pigeons. There were holes in the sides of the rectangular or cylinder buildings so that the birds could come into nest at night. They were used for their eggs and flesh. Aparments were given to important residents of the house hold they contained everything they needed just like the ones we have today.
Food preparation- What did they use and was it hygienic. What did they eat.
Food preparation was always done over an open fire. In the manor if the lord was rich enough he could afford an oven allowing the cook to make more fancy meals. In a very rich manor there could be several ovens. Fruits were often included in the meal because they could be dried, preserved or fresh. Fruit was also used in desserts because honey and sugar were so expensive and it was a natural sweetener. The most common vegetables in the medieval times were cabbage, onion, garlic, carrots and beets. Fish wasn’t eaten as much as meat was but it could be salted and preserved for when they felt like it. Meat such as pork and lamb were common in their diets because these meats were easy to obtain and cheap to look after until they are killed. Beef was rare because they were good for milk and were more expensive because of the feed that was needed. Medieval citizens didn’t know how to preserve milk so it was mostly turned into cheese which was used a lot in the cooking. Spices were very expensive because they had to be imported so not many people had it. There were other spices like mint that grew all over Europe and was much cheaper. Desserts would usually consist of mulled wine, aged cheese and fruit. Wine was commonly drunk in the southern region of Europe as they grew grapes there it was also popular because it was said to be healthy and aid the digestion. Beer was drunk in the northern area because wine had to be imported and beer was therefore easier to get because it was made from ingredients they already had.
What did the peasants live in, what were the conditions and was their food and water safe?
The peasants lived in small huts on the manor. The huts were made of wood woven together and the gaps were sealed with mud. The floor was packed down earth but straw was laid over for more warmth. There were no panes of glass making it very cold in the winter. The animals had to live with them and there was only one fire used for cooking and keeping warm. There was a cauldron over the fire that was used for cooking. Chairs were too expensive so they used stools instead. The only other furniture in the room was a chest of drawers and a table. Peasants were too poor to afford beds or pillows so they slept on the floor with only logs as pillows. They couldn’t afford candles so they used rushes dipped in animal fat for their light. Peasants couldn’t afford bread because wheat was so expensive but they could afford the common vegetables of the day.