770 -1300 - Early Middle Ages

The European Middle Ages coined, among other events, a society organized in townships, as well as Christian belief and mind-set.

The Town

By now, the settlement developed into a small town, with the church and the market place in the center. Within the city walls, vegetables are being grown, and live stock is being kept - and also sold. This serves the self-sufficiency of the townspeople on the one hand, on the other hand it promotes the trading with foreign goods.


Besides the river, a public well yields the fresh water supply of the town.

 


The Houses

The houses are stone-masoned, and covered with wooden shingles. Generally,  windows are covered with wood or cloth. The windows in the houses of some rich citizens', the patricians, as well as church windows, are already glazed.


The Cucking Stool

Life in town was regulated by strict rules and regulations. The so-called cucking stool was used to punish and humiliate offenders, e.g. dishonest bakers, whose bread didn't match mandatory measurements, weight, and ingredients.


The River

First harbour facilities arise at the river banks, where merchant vessels are able to dock.


Agriculture

On the other side of the river, the forest has been cleared to make way for farmers to settle. Almost every hard labour has to be done by hand. All too often, the harvest is affected by crop failiure.


The Lord of the Manor

The soils and the forest belong to the Lord of the Manor, who has built a stronghold on the mountain towering over the town. Short of a small share, farmers have to yield their crop. Also, they have to render additional labour, for example as servants. With the possession of the forest, the Lord of the Manor also holds the lone privilege to hunt game. Being the supreme judge, he may punish offenses of any kind, even with the death penalty.


The Lord of the Manor not only generates profits agriculture, but also from ore mining (mostly silver) on his soils, and he collects duties for trading on his section of the river.

Being a Christian himself, he will his subjects to convert to Christian belief as well, even by force, if necessary.