Medieval cities were often tiny and densely populated. They were narrow and up to four floors tall. The majority of the dwellings were built of wood and tended to tilt with time. Two houses facing each other would occasionally lean so far that they touched across the street! This is because they were not built on solid ground but rather on piles surrounded by water.
Cities in Europe during the Middle Ages were mostly made up of churches, monasteries, and castles. In addition to these structures, there were also large markets, hospitals, prisons, guild halls, and public squares. There are several examples of this type of city in European history. London in England was one such city. It was first established as a fort by the Romans and then grew into a large metropolitan area that included Westminster, Southwark, Whitechapel, and Bankside.
Medieval cities were usually protected by walls or moats. These defensive structures were used for shelter and supply lines as well as to separate different neighborhoods within the city.
There were two main types of cities in Europe during the Middle Ages: independent cities and royal towns. Independent cities were self-governing entities that were not part of any larger kingdom or state. They could trade with who they wanted and had their own laws they could decide what role they wanted to play in national affairs.
Medieval cities often built up around a castle or monastery, or along the contour of a slope or riverbank. As a result, their roadways were steep, meandering, and uneven in width. Because the ground available within the medieval town walls was restricted, the streets were small. Sometimes houses would be built directly onto the street wall, requiring residents to go outside to use the privy or take a walk.
In addition to being constricted by space, medieval towns were also limited by law. For example, they could not expand beyond the boundaries of the old Roman city, nor could they be closer than 1,000 feet to a royal palace or feudal lord's manor house.
Finally, towns had to be protected by a wall. These protective walls varied in height from less than 2 feet to more than 20 feet, but they always served as a barrier between the inside and outside worlds. The wall might consist of stone or brick, but most often it was made of wood that had been grown locally and then assembled into shape with iron nails and paint.
During the Middle Ages, many towns grew rapidly due to their location near important roads and waterways. However, urbanization slowed after the 13th century because economic conditions changed and governments began to fear rebellion among the rising middle class.
The population of Europe increased during the Middle Ages, reaching its highest point in 1550.
What was the difference between a medieval town and a manor? Medieval towns were dirty, crowded, and crowded, with unpaved, muddy roadways. Medieval towns grew as a result of trade. Manors, on the other hand, were massive fortified stone houses or castles in the heart of a noble's domain. These grand structures were not used for daily commerce, but rather served as a reminder to those who saw them that the noble who owned them was important.
Medieval towns and manors were not supposed to mix. In fact, they often fought with each other over territorial disputes. The people living in either a town or manor would vote on which one they preferred. If they liked living in a manor, they could stay if they wanted to. However, if they felt like being included in some sort of community life, they could go to the town hall and sign up. Once at the town hall, they would be given a position within the government based on what role they needed filled. For example, a person might be given a job as a guard or a baker or a teacher. They would then have to find people to fill these roles around them until everyone was assigned a job.
Towns and manors also had their differences when it came to religion. While all nobles had ties to the church, not all churches were equal. Some were larger, more powerful institutions that could choose which nobles they favored. Others were smaller, less influential churches that could not do the same.