The church and the manor house, where the lord lived, were the two major structures in the property. The manor home and the church were both situated back from the main roadway. Ordinary people lived in wooden huts, which were eventually replaced by stone homes. The dwellings were modest in size and had thatched roofs. There are many towns in England that have preserved sections of medieval street architecture.
The town market was the center of community life. It usually took place on a fixed date each week and lasted all day. The merchants would set up their stalls around noon and stay through dinner time. After dark, the shops would be closed and the streets would be deserted.
People traveled by horse and cart, on foot, or using various forms of public transportation such as buses and taxis. Traveling by horse and cart was the most efficient means of transportation because it was fast and didn't require much space. However, this method was only useful for short distances within a small area of land. If you wanted to travel farther than five miles (eight kilometers), you needed something more modern like a car or bus.
Medieval people didn't have cars; they had horses. A horse is a large animal that takes up a lot of space on roads meaning people need ways to transport more than one at a time. Horses can only use certain routes so they must be transported in groups by someone who knows them well enough to know how they will react to different situations.
The lord of the manor and his family slept in one room and utilized the second room for warming, cooking meals, dining, and other similar activities in the early medieval houses. Unlike the peasants, the aristocrats' animals were kept in crude barns outside the house, and the harvests were kept in a separate area near the house. The remaining space within the house was used for storage.
By the late medieval period, most houses had been converted into shops or offices. The great halls where the king or queen held court or where armies gathered were also used for storage. In these large buildings, the floors were often made of wood, which became rotten over time so that by the 17th century many courts lacked permanent flooring.
The majority of medieval houses were built using timber as the main source of construction. Timbers were usually harvested from ancient trees that had fallen down during strong winds or other disasters. They were then cut into planks that could be used to build new houses or alter existing ones. If the tree fell on fertile soil, then more crops could be grown nearby; but if it fell in a barren field, then only rocks would be found at the site later on.
In rural areas, farmers built simple wooden houses to live in. These houses usually had two rooms: a living room and a kitchen. There might be one other room such as a bedroom or storeroom. Houses for the rich resembled those of the poor in almost every way except size.
A manor was typically made up of three components: agricultural land, a hamlet where residents worked the land, and a manor house where the lord who owned or governed the estate resided. Manors may have also featured woodlands, orchards, gardens, and lakes or ponds with fish. In time they may have included stone buildings such as churches or castles.
In medieval England many manors were owned by the king, while others were held privately by individuals or small groups of people. Some manors had rights of self-government; others did not. The term "manor" was used to describe both types of properties.
At the time of the Norman invasion in 1066, most English lands were under the control of local rulers called "kings" or "lords". These men granted land to those who would serve them in their armies or work their estates. Over time these grants became known as "manors".
As time passed, more formal laws were developed to govern the behavior of people living within their manors. For example, farmers were required to keep certain fields fallow each year to allow for future growth. Others fields could be put to different uses (such as growing corn instead of grass) if done so responsibly. Still other laws were designed to protect villagers from violent criminals - including guards who were paid salaries if the owner of the manor allowed it.
Manor residences were the most common form of housing for knights; they were usually large, spacious buildings with several rooms, including a hall where meals and parties were held. These houses were often made of wood or stone, but some were also built using iron nails. The roofs were thatched or covered with tiles.
Knights also lived in castles. A castle is a fortified residence or palace. Knights would build their own small castles as they could afford to do so. Some castles were so large that there were different sections for eating, sleeping, fighting, and working.
There are also records of monks living in caves until 1150 when the first monastery for priests was established in Europe. It was at this time that people started building churches instead of just living in them so they could pray for their souls after they died. Those who had money built larger churches or added on to existing ones.
At the end of the 12th century, merchants around the world began trading in gold. This increase in wealth led to a rise in construction projects that produced larger and more elaborate homes for the wealthy.