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Who was the european leader at the time of the medieval period?

There was no European leader. The Roman Empire had broken up. However countries did have their own Kings. The feudal system emerged


What started to happen in society?

Law and order broke down and wars between rival leaders and kingdoms became common. Gradually a new system began to develop which sought to return some stability through Europe. This system is known as the feudal system


Describe how the feudal system worked?

- The King was the most important person - he owned al, the land in the country and made the laws
- Nobles and lords were second in line. The King would give them an area of land called a fief in return for knights and horses for the kings army
- Knights were full time soldiers who fought for nobles and kings
- The peasants were at the bottom of the system. They worked for the nobles and knights in return protection. The peasants paid rent. They had to get permission to leave the land as they were 'tied to the land'


Who lived in castles?

Kings and nobles lived in castles. It housed their families, servants and soldiers. From here they defended and administered their land. It was a place of safety in time of attack


Other than housing and protection name two uses of the castles?

- They were also used as courts and prisons
- They were also centres where festivals and banquets were held


Describe a motte and bailey castle?

At first castles were made from wood.
- They were built on top of hills for protection, sometimes these hills were artificially made of rocks and soils. This hill is called a motte
- At the bottom of the mottle there was a bailey. It was surrounded by a wooden fence
- A deep ditch called a moat was dug around the fence, filled with water to stop attackers climbing over the fence


How did the motte and bailey defend itself?

It had a motte, a wooden fence and a moat. However, the motte and bailey castles were not very strong and could easily be destroyed in a fire. This is why they were eventually replaced by larger stone castles


Why were stone castles built?

Mainly for defence


What was the most important building within the castle walls?

The Keep was the most important building within the castle walls. It was where the lord and his family lived.


Describe the conditions of castles.

- Castles were cold and damp
- Windows were small and had no glass to prevent arrows or other objects to be thrown into the keep
- This kept out much daylight and made the castles dark and damp
- There was no central heating or running water
- Large fires lit for heat
- Decorated with large wool hangings and rugs to brighten it up
- No flushing toilets (garderobe - wooden seat where waste fell down into the moat)


What is a keep?

- A large square tower
- Most important building in the castle walls
- Lord and his family lived there
- Consisted if many different rooms


Name and describe the different rooms within the keep?

- Private rooms of the lord and his family on the top floor (safest place).
- The great hall where family ate their meals and entertained guests (most important room) and it was sometimes used as a court.
- Keeps also had a dungeon located below in the cold. The dungeon was used as a prison and a place to store food.


Describe the methods of defending a castle during attack?

- Stone walk with towers (turrets) surrounded the castle
- Archers could fire arrows on the enemy through battlements and hide
- Boiling oil and quicklime
- Drawbridge could be pulled up and a steel gate(portcullis) could be lowered across the gate
- Gatehouse called a barbarian


Describe the methods of attacking a castle?

➰siege (surrounding the castle and stopping all supplies from reaching the inside) , however castles were well stocked and this could take a while for them to all starve and die
➰battering rams used to break through the castle gate
➰catapults called mangonels to break the castle walls
➰rope ladders
➰tunnels were dug beneath the foundations of the wall to collapse it


Did the lord and lady of the castle live a privileged life?

Yes, hey were surrounded by a host of servants who carried pit their commands


Who was the most important person in the surrounding area of a castle?

The lord


Who would endure that rents were paid?

The lord and he would also ensure that his knights would remain loyal and ready to defend his land


Who was the estate steward?

The estate steward worked for the lord and carried out tasks for him involving his knights and peoples rent. He would issue orders to 'bailiffs" who were responsible for collecting rents and fines.


When the lord acted as a judge what type of work did he do?

➰settled local disputes
➰handing out punishments
➰fining people who broke the law and disobeyed his rules


What time was the middle ages / medieval period?

500Ad - 1500AD


What did the lord do for entertainment?

Hosted banquets(festivals) and hunted


Describe a banquet?

➰great hall
➰entertain visiting lords or the king of the land
➰lord and nobles ate well
➰meat and veg
➰those who sat at the top of the table with the lord and lady ate well
➰top of the table ate things such as swan and peacock
➰spices added to meat to make old meat smell good
➰sometimes food dyed to look good
➰other guests, long tables
➰the more important you were the closer you sat to the top
➰food served on platters other gusts used trenchers


Describe how the lord would hunt?

➰providing food for the castle
➰hunted wild boar, deer and foxes (horseback)
➰sometimes hunted out on foot or by using birds of pray such as eagles, falcons and hawks


When did the lady of the castle usually decide to marry?

Usually there marriages were arranged, not put of love but more often as a pact between her father and a neighbouring lord. Girls were often married by the age of 14


What duties was the lady of the castle in charge of?

Domestic duties


When the lord was away who was in charge of running the castle?

The lady of the castle


What jobs did the lady of the castle do?

➰ensured there was enough food in storerooms
➰oversaw the salting of foods
➰responsible for the upbringing of children
➰ladies in waiting helped the lady do these duties(relatives, other noble woman)


What children was the lady of the castle responsible for the upbringing of?

Children who were in the fosterage. It was a common practise during the middle ages for nobles to send their children from the age of 7 upwards to another family to be taught


Did ladies go hunting horseback?

Rarely, however they did often take part in another form of hunting called hawking. It was a less strenuous form. Falcons and other birds of prey were specially trained to fly from a nobles wrist and to kill and bring back other small birds or animals like rabbits


What would the lady of the castle do in their spare time?

➰play musical instruments


How would ladies dress?

They would wear
➰long expensive silk dresses
➰strange looking headdresses which completely covered their hair


Who were the fighters or men-at-arms?

➰Fighters or men-at-arms were always ready to come to the lords aid at short notice

➰the men-at-arms consisted of;
-archers (armed with bows and arrows)
-watchmen (kept permanent watch from the castle towers)
-knights (fought horseback and the most trained and skilled)


Keypoints on lord and lady of the castle

-estate steward

-local disputes
-disobeyed laws/rules


-deer, wild boar, foxes
-foot or using birds of prey

-arranged marriages
-domestic duties
-in charge of castle when lords away
-salting of foods
-upbringing of children
-ladies in waiting helped
-not their children-fosterage

-hawking with Falcons
-musical instruments


How long could it take to become a fully trained knight?

Up to 15years


What were the stages of becoming a knight?

1) page (learnt good manners in a castle as servants. Read & write, basic fighting skills using wooden swords and shields )

2) squire (accompanied a fully trained knight, learnt to fight with real weapons, responsible knights horse and armour)

3) knight (about 7 years later if the squire was a skilful and rave warrior the king or local lord knighted him)


What had to take place for a squire to become a knight?

➰If the local lord or king thought he was skilful and brave as a squire they knighted him.
➰knighting of a squire at a ceremony called and accolade
➰squire spent night before in a church paying he would never fail his duties
➰dressed in a red robe, white tunic and a black jacket on the morning of the ceremony
➰knelt before the lord for his dubbing
➰lord tapped squires shoulders with a sword and then presented it to him


Did all knights have to go through such a long process to become a knight?

No. On some occasions a squire or other men-at-arms could be knighted then and there on the battlefield as a reward for an act of bravery


Describe the knights armour.

➰chain mail ( thousands of small iron rings linked together to make a shirt)

➰plate armour (metal plate)

➰helmet on their head and metal gloves called gaunlets


How did knights keep fit?

Participated in competitions called tournaments
Mock battles called mêlées


What was the most popular contest at the tournaments?

Jousting - two knights on horseback charged ta each other on either side of a fence called a tilt. The aim was to unseat your rival by knocking em off their horse with a large wooden pole called a lance


What was expected of a knight?

➰good manners known as chivalry
➰courteous to woman


What percentage of europeans lived in the country side in the middle ages?



Where did most people who lived in the countryside live?

Small villages owned by the local lord called manors


What was the lord who owned the manor called?

The lord of the manor


What was a demesne?

The lord usually rented most of his lands to the peasants in the village but the land he kept for his own private farm was known as a demesne


About how many huts did each manor have for peasants?

20 or 30


Where did the lord of the manor live?

The manor house. There was also a church


What was the open field system?

The open field system was when the peasants rented land form the lord. The lord would divide his three fields into one acre strips. The peasants were given separate strips of land from each field. This was to ensure that good and bad land was shared evenly. Crops were rotated fields each year. One field was called a fallow and left free of growing for a year to rest the land. The other fields were used for wheat and bailey


What was common land?

A small patch if land in the manor where peasants could graze their animals


What was the difference between a serf and a freeman?

A freeman and a serf were both peasants however a freeman was free to leave the village as he pleased and a serf was tied to the land. A serf could become a freeman by escaping and remaining at large for a year and a day


What is another word for a manor?

A grange


In return for land from the lord of the manor what do serfs do?

He could;
➰Work on the lord of the manors land
➰lend him animals


What did a serf have to do for the upkeep of the church?

Give a tenth of his crops to the parish priest- this is called the tithe


What work does a peasant in a manor do?

➰sow seed
➰cute the grass
➰make hay for livestock


What type of work does a woman peasant do living in a manor village?

They might;
➰grow vegetables
➰make butter and cheese
➰spinning wool


What did a male serf wear?

➰cloth tunic
➰leather boots
➰felt hat


What did women peasants wear?

A woollen dress and a wimple (linen cloth wrapped around head and neck)


Describe a serfs cottage?

➰one room
➰wattle and daub
➰no glass in windows
➰share a house with animals


What did peasants living in a manor eat?

Cooked on an open fire.
Bread, porridge and pottage (veg stew) washed down by beer


What is pottage?

A vegetable stew eaten by peasants living in a manor village


What were the 2 main festivals?

Christmas and 1st May


What happens if you break the law in the manor village?

If you break the law an animal is taken from you and put in an enclosure called a pound until the fine is paid


What did peasants do for pastimes on Sundays and holidays?

➰wrestling and cockfighting and a fair once a year


What grew close to castles?

Medieval towns


Did those living in towns have to pay rent to the lord of the castle?

Yes , but unlike a serf they were free to travel and did not work for the lord and could choose their own way of living


Name some defensive features of a medieval town?

➰large walk with battlements
➰entrance gates defended by sentries
➰town gates closed at night


How did a town council come about?

The powerful merchants paid the lord to hand over power to a town council under the control of a mayor.


What is a charter?

A list of rules set in a medieval town. Anyone selling goods in the town had to pay a toll


What were the conditions of a medieval town?

-busy, smelly, noisy
-no sewage system
-rubbish and waste piled up in a drain on the road
-disease was rampant , many rats


What was a constance danger in the medieval towns?

Fire and disease


Whats a curfew?

A rule in medieval towns where all fires had to be extinguished properly


When did the great fire of london take place?

Sunday, 2nd September 1666


How did the great fire of london start?

A baker in pudding lane failed to extinguish his fire in the bakery and it spread all round the town


How long did the great fire of London last for?

Four days and four nights


How many houses were destroyed in the great fire of london?

13,000 houses were deystroyed


How many people were killed in the great fire of london?

Miraculously no one !


Who were the two most important people in the towns?

Merchants and craftsmen


How did merchants become rich?

From selling goods and trade


What did merchants sell?

Wool, iron, and exotic goods such as spices


What were most houses in medieval towns like?

-timber frames
-thick plaster


Name some craftsmen?




All craft workers in medieval towns stuck together eg butchers, bakers


How did a craftsmen become a craftsmen?

1) became a masters apprentice living in his house
2) then became a journeyman after 7 years of training and he could do a days work pay for anyone
3) when a journeyman wanted to become a master(craftsman) he made an example of his work called a masterpiece and if the other master craftsmen thought that it was of an excellent standard he became a master craftsman and was free to open his own shop

1) maters apprentice
2) journeyman
3) master craftsman


What was guild?

A group of craftsmen who set down their own rules for the trade to remain a high standard


What type of rules would a guild set down?

-no one allowed to work before sunrise or after dark
-close after dinner on Saturday
-remain closed on Sundays and feast days
-prices were fixed to stop underselling


Who paid the guilds?

The craftsmen paid a yearly fee to them


What were the punishments for thieves and murderers?

Went on trial , if found guilty immediately hanged


How were peope in medieval towns punished for non murder and theif crimes?

Humiliated publicly eg dunking chair and scold bridle


What would happen A butcher who sold rotten meat or a baker who sold stale bread?

They could be forced to spend a day in the pillory or stock to face public ridicule


What happened in medieval towns when a curfew bell rang?

All good townspeople were in their houses for the night and the gates were locked. Anyone found outside would be challenged to a night watchman. Everyone in the town had a duty to raise a hue and cry if they saw a crime being commited


Who was the most powerful ruler in western europe?

The pope as head of the roman catholic church. Most people believed in God


What was a diocese?

The place the pope nominated bishops to rule was their diocese


What was a symbol of the power and glory of the church?



Describe a Romanesque style church?

-rounded arches
-thick columns


Describe a gothic church?

-pointed arches
-narrow isle (the nave)
-round stained glass windows (rose window)
-flying buttress


Other than prayer what were medieval monasteries used for?

➰poor houses


How did a man become a medieval monk?

He had to spend a year in a monastery as a novice learning the rules and discipline of the monastic ways of life


What did the novice have to do to become a monk?

Take a vow and shave his head in the tonsure


What did medieval monks wear?

A woollen tunic called a habit and sandals


Name the buildings in a medieval monastery?

➰chapter house (daily meetings)
➰refectory (dining house)
➰cloister (pray in silence place)
➰abbots quarters
➰infirmary (hospital for the sick)
➰scriptorium (aluminium designed the work)


What monk was in charge of looking after the ill?



Who look after visitors in the monastery?

The almoner


Were the medieval monasteries self sufficient?



What happened in 1347?

The outbreak of a terrible plague (disease)


Why was the plague of 1347 called the black death?

Because once caught large black boils began to appear on the body


How did the plague arrive in Europe?

It arrived from Asia and spread on ships arriving at Italian trading ports


How was the plague spread?

Bloodsucking fleas that lived on rats


What was seen as a punishment from God for their sins?

The black death


How much of the european population were killed from the plague after 6 years?

One third


Who was a friar?

A friar was a monk who did not live in a monastery but preferred to travel about spreading the work of God


In the nineteenth century what countries were attacked by viking raiders from Scandinavia?



Where did the vikings first establish settlements?

Along the east coast mainly in Dublin, Wexford and Waterford however they failed to control large parts of the country


When were the plans of a viking conquest ended?

When they were defeated by Brian Boru the ard rí of Ireland at the battle of clontarf in 1014


How did the group of vikings get the name normans?

A group of viking settled in a place of France we now call Normandy and became known as 'north-men' or commonly referred to as Normans


Who introduced the feudal system?

The Normans in Ireland in the twelfth century


What happened in 1066?

The Norman duke William the conquerer invaded England and killed the king harold at the battle of hastings. William became king of England and introduced the Norman way of living


What happened when the normans arrived in Ireland?

-Over 100 years after battle of hastings

-dermot mac murrough, king of leinster invited them

-mac murrough quarrelled with rory o conor high king of ireland and was forced to leave the country

-mac murrough travelled to England and seeked help from king henry2(a descendent of William the conquerer)

-king henry let mac murrough recruit and army to help him

-strongbow agreed to help after agreeing to marry Aoife mac murroghs daughter

-normans arrived in waterford 1169

-began to capture palces and establish their own kingdoms

- king henry travelled to ireland bringing an army

-the normans agreed to king henrys rule over ireland


How did the Normans influenec Ireland?

Feudal system of farming


Give examples of surnames with Norman origins?



What was the feudal system?

The name given to the system of land ownership during the middle ages


What was a fief?

An area of land which the king granted a lord. In return the lord promised to fight for the king


What was a motte?

A man made hill on which a castle was built


What was a bailey?

The courtyard of a medieval castle


What was a moat?

A deep ditch dug around the walls of a castle


What was a keep?

A large square tower in a castle


What was a portcullis?

An iron gate which could be lowered over the entrance of a castle during attack


What was a turret?

A small tower built on a castle wall


What was a barbican?

A defensive gatehouse at the entrance of the castle


What was the fosterage?

A common practise in the middle ages whereby the children of the lord and lady were sent to other noble families to supervise their upbringing


What was hawking?

A form of hunting whereby birds of prey are trained to hunt for small animals


What was a manor?

The land owned by a lord


What was a demesne?

The land retained by the lord for his own uses


What was a page?

The first stage of a knights training. Young boys were taught manners and basic fighting skills


What was a squire?

The second stage of a knights training. Squires accompanied fully trained knights and learned to fight with real weapons


What was a tournament?

Contest between knights


What was jousting?

A contest in which two knights on horseback charge at each other with a lance in an attempt to unseat their opponent


What was chivalry?

A code pf conduct for knights


What was the open field system?

A system in which the land in the village was divided into three large fields and then divided into strips which were farmed by the serfs


What was a serf?

A peasant who was not allowed to leave the village without the lords permission


What was the tithe?

Every year the serfs had to give one tenth of their crops to the parish priest to pay for the upkeep of the church


What was pottage?

A vegetable stew normally eaten by peasants


What was a charter?

A list of rules for a medieval town or city


What was a toll?

Money that had to be paid in order to trade in a medieval town


What was a curfew?

Once darkness came, townspeople had to extinguish all fires


What was a guild?

An organisation for craft workers which had strict rules for all its members


What was a pillory?

A medieval form of punishment where an offenders hands and head was locked in a wooden frame


What was a sanctuary?

A place of refuge from the law within church grounds


What was a cloister?

A cloister was a wall, enclosed area in a monastery where monks prayed


What was an abboy

The monk in charge of the monastery


What was a tonsure?

The shaving if the crown of the monks head


What was a chapter house?

Where the monks held daily meetings


What was a refectory?

The dining room in a monastery


What was a infirmarian?

A monk that looked after the sick


What was an almoner?

A monk that looked after visitors and distributed food to the poor


What is the black death?

A medieval plague