Cottages on a Manor The Life of a Fisherman Profits from the Mill Cottage Photograph River Photograph

The day of a medieval peasant was goverened by the availability of sunlight, and of course the weather circumstances did have a more direct influence on people's lives than in modern times. The seasons were governed by the job that had to be done that time of year: plowing in May, sowing in June, reaping in August, the fruit harvest in October, slaughering the pigs in November. The Church, with its Sundays and feastdays, probably provided the only break that these peasants had.

The river provided not only a supply of fresh water, but also of fish, and its hydraulic power could be used to work a mill. The proceedings of the mill would go to the lord of the manor; through the bannum he could constrain his villeins to use his mill. Cottages were simple dwellings; people and animals sometimes had to sleep under the same roof; the floor was hardened clay, and a hole on the roof the only outlet for the cooking fire.
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