Medieval Manor

medieval-manor

Manor was an agricultural land controlled by lords. Manors were built of natural stone. It was the prime example of people working together. The house was generally consisted of a great hall, solar, kitchen, storerooms.

Manorialism

The system in which the lord of the manor exploited the serfs and peasants to work. It was also considered as the economic side of feudalism.

The manors were of various types

The lords field

The lord had the control over the manor. The fields were owned by the lords.  Fields were only for growing food. They were worked on by peasants. Peasants provided the lord with money, goods and services when demanded. Their main occupation was farming. While farming they used a system called three crop rotation to retain nutrition in the soil. This system involved three fields, the first field was left fallow, and the fallow field was unplanted in order to recover its fertility. The second field was used for planting fall crops. The third field contained spring crops.

House

The manor house was owned by the lord. Knights guarded the houses. The manor houses were self-sufficient. The house consisted of Great hall, solar, kitchen and servant quarters. There were also barns outside of the house.

Barn

Barn was used for animals and grinding of wheat and other products.

Forest

The forest is where the people on the manor hunted for food. Peasants were ordered to gather wood for fire.

Manors mill

Mill was used to produce grains for food. The mill was powered by flowing water. A river was used to power the mill. All the grains ground on the lord’s mill. Peasants had to pay tax in order to use the mill.

The manors church

It was the main place for the community life. This was the place for religious purposes and for public meetings. Bishops and archbishops were the controller of the church and they were very wealthy as well, due to the fact that the church was the largest landholder.

Peasants paid a tithe to their village priest; the tithe was 10% of their income.

The Christian church was the central feature of medieval manors. It provided Europe with a unified vision, purpose and identity.

Manors village

Villages on a manor usually had less than 600 residents. The houses were shaped like huts and were single room, single floored. Most houses were made of mud and straw. They were very small in size. Mainly the peasants lived there. They were not allowed to live with lords. They had to work from sunrise to sundown growing food and making other products for their families, lords or to sell to town. They were not allowed to leave the manor without the permission of the lord.

The names of the medieval people who worked on the manors

Vassal

Vassal was the person who holds the fief and owes alliances and service to his feudal lord or the king himself.

Bailiff

Bailiff was selected by the lord of the manor. They would administer the lands and buildings of the manor and collects fine as well.

Reeve

Reeve was a village official chosen by bailiff and elected by peasants. They were responsible for the general overall management of the village.

Serf

A serf was an agricultural worker who worked on the lord’s land. Serfs were tied to lord’s manor and could not leave. Most peasants were serfs.

Peasants or villein

The term villain was used in the feudal era to denote a peasant who was legally tied to a lord of the manor. They lived within the manor. They worked in the lord’s demesne.

Justice in the manor

Manor had two officers, viz, the bailiff and the reeve and they handled small cases. For bigger cases lord administered justice and declared punishments to the guilty.