Richard Lea produced this reconstruction drawing depicting peasant longhouses as they likely appeared in the English village of Wharram Percy around 1300. A cutaway, in the foreground, helps us to understand how the interior of such homes appeared. Copyright, Historic England, all rights reserved. Image provided here as fair use for educational purposes. 


When Geoffrey Chaucer wrote about his "nine and twenty pilgrims" on their way to Canterbury, Europe was still in the midst of the Hundred Years’ War. It was the same war that cost Joan of Arc her life in 1431.

As England battled France over what part of France England should own, people went about their daily business. Lawyers practiced law, merchants traded wares, and the Catholic Church endured a schism that saw the Pope move from Rome to Avignon, France.

Troubadour music was popular. (Follow this link to hear a sample.) Lutes and other instruments not well known today were fashionable. (Follow this link to hear them.)

Nobles lived in castles. (They were not always the fantastic, romantic places we imagine.) People in medieval villages lived in small houses with thatched roofs. Their homes were cold, damp and easily destroyed. The Feudal System was in place, predetermining the "order" of life in a structured society.

Science, medicine and the study of subjects like meteorology and mineralogy were, of course, not what they are today. When the Black Death killed entire villages, physicians were powerless to understand, diagnose, treat or prevent "the pestilence."

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: May 01, 2001

Updated Last Revision: May 04, 2019

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"LIFE IN THE MIDDLE AGES" AwesomeStories.com. May 01, 2001. Jan 17, 2020.
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