Peasants, Serfs and Farmers
Everyday peasants could be educated and marry if they could afford it. Serfs, however, could do neither and were not permitted to relocated with out the lord’s approval.
Farmers were a bit better off than peasants, as some owned their own farms. Most worked the farm lands themselves or with the aid of peasants and serfs.
Farmers and peasants lived in simple dwellings called cottages. They built their own homes from wood and the roofs were thatched (made of bundles of reeds that have to be replaced periodically). The interior walls were generally made of wattle and daub – an arrangement of twigs weaved into a wall shape and coated with mud and straw to make a hard, plaster-like surface to keep out drafts. Often farmers, peasants and serfs brought their animals into their homes to protect them.
King and nobles often sought the finest carpenters and kept them retained on their staffs as specialists. Furnishing castles and estates was not only done for decorative purposes, but also to demonstrate prestige and status to visitors. Thus, a master carpenter was always in demand and could earn high wages.
The blacksmith would also work as an armorer for the king or count – making swords, shields and armor.