Medieval Housing for the Common Public

weathered cozy houses located on narrow street in medieval town
Photo by Maria Orlova on

You may be wondering how the Medieval public lived. Well, these houses were very small, often crowded, and made of wood. As a result, they easily caught fire. That’s why there are many Medieval buildings that are no longer standing. In this article, we’ll discuss what you can expect from living in one of these structures. And, of course, you’ll learn about their features!

Medieval houses were small

In medieval Europe, the majority of houses were small and cramped, but that did not mean that they were without purpose. Often, they were constructed from wood that leaked as it aged. Poor families shared one house with several other families, and the house may have only one room, if that. Most people stayed in the town center, and commuting was difficult. They had to work as well as live there.

Many of the smaller houses found in the middle ages were cruck buildings, which were built around pairs of timbers that extend from the ground level to the top of the roof. The main body of these homes was made up of three bays, with the central bay being an open hall. Often, they lacked an upper level, but the surviving roof timbers are covered in soot from the hearth.

Houses for the common public in the Middle Ages were surrounded by fields, and most were small in size. Peasants, or villeins, were not wealthy but still held land, and the lord cultivated the land. A man could be in the manor for centuries, but he could not live on the money earned by his peasants. If you want to live comfortably and live in a small house, you will need a house that is not too big.

They were crowded

In medieval Europe, housing for the common public was extremely crowded. Often, medieval households contained several people, including poor married couples, unrelated children, orphans, and servants. The lack of running water in homes made it difficult to wash and maintain hygiene. Garbage was thrown into the canals and streams nearby. In addition, Medieval towns were incredibly smelly, with fleas and rats roaming the streets.

Medieval towns were often small and crowded. Many houses were constructed of wood, which tended to lean as the years passed. Poor neighborhoods could have several families sharing one house, or even a single room. Many people had to work in their town in order to survive, so it is not surprising that housing for the common public was crowded. Although people were able to live in small houses, the common public tended to share them.

They were made of wood

The homes of the middle classes of late medieval Europe were usually timber-framed or brick-built. They were characterized by their spaciousness and well-appointed furniture. Wealthy people had glazed ceramics and porcelain. The poor, however, were unable to afford these luxury items. Rather, they built their homes with wood and thatched roofs. Despite the cost and time required to construct stonework, only the wealthiest people could afford these luxurious homes.

Unlike modern homes, medieval houses were not adorned with windows. Instead, the windows were made of wooden boards that were laid overnight. The interiors of these houses were very small and often held entire families. They had one or two rooms and were usually made from wood. The interiors of these homes were often furnished with straw or dirt floors. They also included a resting area and kitchen. Despite their primitive appearance, these homes significantly improved the life of peasants.

Homes during the Medieval period were made of wood and had wooden roofs. The heating systems for these houses were charcoal braziers and a central hearth. Lighting was provided by oil lamps and wooden torches. The streets were very dark in medieval towns and were filled with people and horses. Among the many problems these medieval homes had were unhygienic conditions and a lack of water supply.

They caught fire easily

Buildings during the Middle Ages were often built of combustible materials like wood and pitch. Fire was easily spread in these homes, which were often situated on narrow streets without fire breaks. Residents of the city were tasked with putting out fires with water squirts and leather buckets. Nevertheless, fires did still occur. Here’s how fire safety in Medieval London was different.

Unlike today, most homes during this period were made from wood and thatched roofs. While brick and stone are relatively fire-resistant, the material was easily combustible, which makes it easy to imagine a fire breaking out. And while it might not be very dangerous for medieval buildings today, these homes were a risk to the general population. The ashes of the buildings in Medieval cities would burn down the streets.

They were contaminated with disease

The first rumours about medieval cities were that they were filthy and infested with disease. The medieval era brought about an explosion in urban trade, resulting in dense, lively cities. As these cities grew in size and population, their sanitation and hygiene problems were magnified. According to Dolly Jorgensen, an historian at the University of Stavanger, waste disposal in medieval cities in Northern Europe was a mess. In fact, she estimated that cities with 10,000 people produced about 900,000 litres of excrement and almost three million litres of urine annually. This is a staggering amount for a city of that size. Without any type of underground sewage system, medieval cities reeked of foul air and were often dirty and smelly.

Poor sanitation conditions were the main cause of medieval diseases. In addition to unhygienic conditions, daily places were a source of disease and illness. Poor food preparation was one of the leading causes of disease and fungus, and a lack of sanitation resulted in ergotism epidemics. Poor diet and uncleanliness were also factors in the development of skin diseases like eczema, psoriasis, and scurvy.

They were built of wood

Most of Medieval Europe’s houses were built of wood. There was no glass in them and windows were often made of small cutouts. These windows would be covered overnight with wood boards. Many medieval homes were very small and held entire families. The interiors of these homes were usually small and had a straw or dirt floor. The doors were often made of wood with iron nails to hold them together.

The walls of Medieval houses were made of timber. The panels that did not carry a load were filled with wattle. This material was made by weaving twigs into uprights. The most common kind of twig used was hazel. The wattle was daubed with a mixture of straw and clay. Then, a layer of lime plaster was applied on top. Fleas were commonly found in these houses.

Houses built for common people were typically made of wood. The materials used to build these houses were very expensive and difficult to shape. They were used sparingly. Even today, some cruck houses still stand in their original locations, though many have been converted to apartments or even offices. Some of the towns in the area today are now ‘cruck villages’ where houses of this type of architecture can be found. Some cruck houses have sold for three times the average national house price.

They were made of stone

The stone houses of the Middle Ages were often resembling modern-day apartments. Stone houses were generally located in hilly areas and were reserved for the nobles and wealthy. They were expensive to build, transport, and carve, and were also difficult to heat. Peasant houses were usually small, but many had stone basements. Unlike today, most peasant houses were only two stories high. Small farms often combined a house with a barn.

Most Medieval houses were constructed of stone or cob, and the peasant houses were not particularly high in class. The construction of these houses varied depending on the location. In southern France, peasants built their homes with stone or wood over a cellar. Stone houses were typically two stories high, with the upper level accessible only by ladder. In central and eastern Europe, peasants constructed their houses using wood or clay.

A typical dwelling during the specified period of time was a timber or log-framed house with three to four trusses. In Slavic areas, there were sunken square buildings that were around 13-15 feet across. These sunken buildings were eventually replaced by larger three-compartment houses. The 12th-13th century also marked the beginning of local cellars in rural buildings. In Germany, stone foundations were only attainable by the wealthier peasants.

They were built of stone

Although the majority of houses in medieval towns were made of wood, wealthy people had access to stone homes. These structures were large, comfortable, and were built to last. Unlike modern homes, many medieval dwellings had only one room. Most households shared one room, which had a wooden floor. The hall served as the family’s entrance and was a central corridor for cooking and storing food. A buttery, or kitchen, was also common.

By the thirteenth century, stone houses had become the largest secular buildings, replacing half-timber houses. The fourteenth century saw the end of these buildings, and they were replaced by 18-inch-wide sleeper walls. Manor houses were the home of landowners beneath the nobility, and they ranged in size from small to large. Large stone castles were the homes of powerful nobles and their domestic servants, and some were even more elaborate than today.

In addition to stone buildings, medieval towns were often spartan in size. Although most people were rural during this time, they built towns in the 12th century around monasteries and castles. These towns were hubs of commerce and industry, and were protected by thick stone walls. There was also no garbage collection in medieval towns, so there were unpleasant smells everywhere. Listed below are the characteristics of medieval homes.

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