Medieval Homes

Medieval peasant homes were usually very small with only one or two rooms. The houses had thatched roofs and were cold, damp, and dark. Windows, when they were present were very small for security reasons. They were designed so the occupants could look out, but kept outsiders from looking in. They had very small openings with wooden shutters that could be closed at night. There was usually a large window in the front with two horizontal shutters which folded out to make a counter where craftsman could sell their goods. The actual home was held up by wooden supports with spaces filled with a material called wattle and daub. Wattle was made out of willow or oak sticks woven together to form a type of wall that was then waterproofed by applying daub. Daub was a combination of mud, clay, horsehair, and the dung of animals in the area. The roof was made of the same combination or of sheets of shingles made by wood or slate. The roofs were waterproof and fairly sturdy. The floor was dirt covered with reeds to provide some cushioning for the worker's feet. There was sometimes a second level to the house although they were usually only used for storage and sleeping occasionally.

Though the homes were waterproof, they were not known for being durable or safe. Thieves often broke into homes by cutting a hole through one of the walls because it was quieter than breaking through the front door.

Though Medieval Homes were nothing like homes are today, they provided everything necessary for survival although I would personally not want to live in a house with walls that had animal dung in them.


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