New PDF release: A Social History of the English Countryside

By G. E. Mingay

ISBN-10: 0203199839

ISBN-13: 9780203199831

ISBN-10: 0203326857

ISBN-13: 9780203326855

ISBN-10: 0415034086

ISBN-13: 9780415034081

Strains the increase and fall of rural England from the center a while to the second one global warfare and the character of the alterations that have happened.

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Example text

Large parts of the forested areas, however, were strictly reserved for hunting, and medieval people lacked the means for dealing very effectively with swamps such as Sedgemoor and Otmoor, much less the vast inundation of the fenlands. The pressure on land of the early middle ages, though varying locally in intensity, sprang essentially from a combination of mounting numbers of people seeking food and occupation, and an output from the farmland that was severely limited by the prevailing state of technology.

The external door was placed at one end of the hall, under a porch, and opened into a passage screened from the hall which gave access to a minstrels’ gallery above and the domestic offices on the ground floor. At the opposite end of the hall, on a dais, was placed the high table for the lord, his family and guests, with tables for the officials and other inferior members of the household set lengthways down the body of the hall. A door behind or to the side of the high table led to the private chambers, consisting of the withdrawing-room or parlour below, and the solar or bedchamber above.

10 * * 36 * THE PROGRESS OF THE PLOUGH Except in some pastoral districts where meat was plentiful, the yield of grain was of vital importance to the community, the medieval diet depending very heavily on bread and ale, consumed in huge quantities. The poor peasants, however, relied less on wheat and more on rye and oats for their coarse dark bread and their dish of oatmeal pottage, leavened perhaps with vegetables and any meat that could be afforded, all washed down with draughts of weak ‘third’ ale.

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A Social History of the English Countryside by G. E. Mingay


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