was often slow and dreadful, and visiting was very occasional, other pastimes
and sports where arranged by nobles. After their evening meal, the
halls were cleared for dancing, or barrels were brought in to play checkers
and other games. Grown ups played wacky games that are only played
by children today. Blind mans bluff was one of the favorite games
of the time. One player was blindfolded and the others hit him with
hoods trying not to be caught.
Life on the Manor
The manor, the lands
held by a lord in one spot, whether a village or a strong house with
the homes of tenants around it, was a self contained little world.
Its connection with the rest of the world might just be a single cart track.
All around it were woods and wastelands, and it had dusty summers, and
very muddy winters. Some villages grew up in rows of houses along
the road, especially if it was a main highway connecting two important
towns. But mostly, small lanes wound through the woods, ending at
a group of cottages around their church, with the lord's manor house nearby.
The manor house was often built on a mound or a hill, with a wooden palisade,
or wall around it behind which everyone could take shelter in case of trouble.