Walking down the cobblestone path to the
Westende you can see the village mill
to your left and a small house on the right.
The basic 15th century peasant houses were between 15 and 20 feet wide
were made at times of "wattle and daub"; daub was a mixture of mud and straw.
Chalk blocks were used for low foundations and the floors were earthen and hardpacked.
They usually had a small yard called a "toft" and close by, a larger plot of land
for gardening called a "croft." Medieval houses weren't permanent structures. When
a house began to get run down a new one would be built nearby thus leaving the old house
to be used for housing animals.
The conditions of peasant life were filled with poverty, hardship, famine
and disease. The peasant class
comprised of three groups: free men, serfs (villians), and cotters. Freemen had certain fixed
dues which they had to pay to the gentry. Serfs paid dues and provided labor services and cotters
were basically squatters with no rights to land usage whatsoever. They worked for some
sort of wage instead.