THE MIDDLE AGES LIES BETWEEN ANCIENT TIMES AND MODERN TIMES. HISTORIANS USE THE WORD MEDIEVAL.
OUTSIDERS BROUGHT NEW IDEAS TO IRELAND.
Came from Scandinavia by long boats.
Pirates who raided Irish monasteries and stole treasures.
Traders who set up towns in Ireland – Dublin.
Came from Normandy in France.
Took over from the Vikings.
Set up the medieval way of life in Ireland (Feudalism)
The Feudal System
System of hierarchy.
King owned all the land and he divided it amongst his lords. The lords were either barons, bishops, earls or abbots. They had to promise to pay for soldiers who would protect the king. The most important soldiers were called the knights. They got a piece of land called a manor. They had peasants to work on the manor who paid taxes to the lords and the king.
Motte and Bailey Castles – Motte = high mound on which you build a keep ie. a lookout tower. A wooden fence was built around this tower. Bailey = flat area below the motte where houses and sheds for animals were kept. It too was enclosed by a wooden fence which linked to the outside by a drawbridge.
Stone Castles – Set up very like the above. Main building was the keep where the lord and the lady lived. Windows were very narrow. The most important room in the keep was the Great Hall where the lord gave orders to his soldiers, collected taxes and feasted. The lady spent most of her time in the Solar sewing or embroidering. Food was stored in the dungeons. The
bedrooms were on the top floor. The building was very cold so there were tapestries on the wall and curtains around the beds. The kitchen was outside the keep near the garden and the well. Around the keep there were courtyards with forges, masons etc..
The castle was protected by high walls with turrets. Outside the castle was a moat. There was an iron gate called a portcullis which allowed you entry into the castle via the drawbridge.
To capture a castle soldiers had to lay siege to it, surrounding it with an army and letting nothing in or out. They usually sped things up by using long ladders and siege towers, battering rams, catapults or mines under the walls.
A. Knights The most important soldier in the army, rode on horseback, wore
chainmail or plate armour, a helmet, carried a lance, a sword, a
battle axe and a mace. Training took 13 years (page / squire /
knight). A knight was supposed to observe the code of chivalry
A. always tell the truth and protect women and children. They kept fit by fighting in tournaments (jousts and tourneys)
B. Archers These soldiers fought with bows and arrows. There were 2 types of archers – longbow and crossbow.
C. Footsoldiers They wore padded tunics and an iron helmet. They carried swords and daggers.
BE ABLE TO RECOGNISE ALL PARTS OF A CASTLE.
BE ABLE TO DESCRIBE THE TRAINING OF A KNIGHT IN DETAIL.
BE ABLE TO DESCRIBE A SIEGE TO A CASTLE IN DETAIL
Most people lived by farming on the lord’s land.
The land was owned by the lord and it was called the manor.
The lord kept the best land for his own use. He also lived on this land in the biggest house which was called the Manor House.
The rest of the land was rented out to his tenants who were known as serfs. There were 2 kinds of serfs – freemen (bought their freedom from the lords, owned their own land) and serfs (belonged to the lord, could not leave the manor without permission from the lord, had to spend 2/3 days working without pay on the lords demesne, had to give up some of his crops to the lord). The peasants grew all their won food and made all their own clothes. They grew wheat or oats to make bread and barley to make ale. They harvested the crops using a sickle and flail. They kept cattle for ploughing and milk. They only ate meal on special occasions. The men wore woollen tunics tied with a belt at the waist. The women wore long dresses and scarves on their heads. Women worked in the home as well as on the farm. Even children helped. There were no schools. Children learned to become farmers. They used a system of rotating the crops.
Small crimes were punished by the local lord, while travelling judges dealt with more serious crimes. Punishments were very harsh. The peasants lived in small wooden houses which they built themselves from wood and wattle. The rooves were thatched. The houses had no windows or chimneys which meant they were dark and smoky. There was little furniture.
The Manor House was the biggest house in the village. It was a long wooden house with a thatched roof. There was a wooden fence around it. Inside it there were barns where crops were stored or animals were kept.
The church was near the Manor House. The parish priest lived beside it. The peasants paid him by a tithe.
Towns had walls around them with gates (opened at dawn and closed at sunset). Taxes were put on goods which came in through the gates. Sentries stood on guard at the top of the gates. Churches were built in the Gothic style, sometimes there was also an abbey. In each town there was usually a High Street which ran from one gate to another. It was paved with stones or wood. Other streets were unpaved and narrow. Most houses in the town were made of wood. A curfew bell rang out at sunset to tell people to put out their fires. Towns were dirty and smelly. An open drain ran down the centre of the street. This resulted in disease being a huge problem for people of the Middle Ages.
Towns were governed by councils with representatives being rich merchants and master craftsmen. These councils made rules for trade and business and taxes and held courts for punishing criminals. They also had to keep the town walls in order. The head of the council was the major. Many townspeople were given the freedom to rule themselves by the king or the local lord. A written document called a charter set out the rights of the townspeople and the rules for governing.
Open air markets were held once a week at the Market Cross. Peasants came to sell their goods. They had to pay a toll to set up their stall. Once a year there was a fair held outside the walls on the green. Merchants from other countries came to the fair.
Many of the people living in the towns were craftsmen who belonged to a guild which set exams for that craft and looked after wages. To become a member of a guild you had to firstly, become an apprentice, then a journeyman, then a master. KNOW WHAT IS INVOLVED IN EACH STAGE.
In the Middle Ages most people were Christian with their leader as the pope. In each country the bishops were the leaders of the Church and they ruled over a diocese. They started to build cathedrals and monasteries or abbeys.
Churches were built in two styles.
Thick walls. Flying buttresses.
Round arches. Pointed arches.
Small windows. Large windows with stained glass.
Dark inside. Thin columns inside.
Spires and towers.
Monasteries were set up by the Benedictines. The monks had to follow the rule of St. Benedict. When a boy joined the monks he was called a novice. The abbot was the head of the monastery. They had to promise vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. They wore habits and their hair was cut in a tonsure. Their day included prayers at many times. They ate in the
refectory, slept in the dormitory, gave help to beggars in the almonry, read in the library, wrote manuscripts in the scriptorium, decided on business in the Chapter House and walked in the cloister.