Feudalism and Manors Info page

or safety and for defense, people in the Middle Ages formed small communities
around a central lord or master. Most people lived on a manor, which consisted of the
castle, the church, the village, and the surrounding farm land. These manors were
isolated, with occasional visits from peddlers, pilgrims on their way to the Crusades, or
soldiers from other fiefdoms.
In this "feudal" system, the king awarded land grants or "fiefs" to his most
important nobles, his barons, and his bishops, in return for their contribution of soldiers
for the king's armies. At the lowest level of society were the peasants, also called "serfs."
In exchange for living and working on his land, known as the, the lord offered his
peasants protection.
In most of medieval Europe, society was dependent on
the "feudal" system, which was based on allocation of
land in return for service. The king would give out grants
of land to his most important noblemen (barons and
bishops), and each noble would have to promise to
loyally follow him and supply him with soldiers in time
of war. They did this at a special - kneeling before the
king, he swore an oath with the words "Sire, I become
your man." The nobles then divided their land among
lower lords, or knights who also had to become their
vassals(servants). In the lowest spot in society sat the
peasants who worked on the land itself. They had almost
no rights, tiny pieces of property - and no vassals.
Country people often lived on a manor. On a manor there
was a village, church, lord's house or castle, and the farmland upon which the people
worked. The peasants had requirements they had to fulfill in order to live there. This
involved farming the lord's land and paying rents with food. Officials were hired by the
lord of the manor in and were responsible for enforcing
those requirements. Because many of them were knights,
they were often in constant battle between each other. The
lord of the manor acted as judge in the manor court and
authority to fine those who broke the law. As the manors
were usually isolated, the villagers had to produce all they
needed themselves. Only salt for curing meats and iron for
tools came from outside. An interesting characteristic of
the people is that very few ever traveled far from their own
villages. And the only visitors were soldiers, peddlers, or