The manor system was where the majority of people lived during the Middle Ages. Since much of Europe was devestated by war, powerful lords and ladies built fortified castles where they could live, along with their respective staff. These massive plots of land became known as manors. A manor was self-sufficient, meaning that everything needed to survive could be located on the property. For example, manors had housing for all the people who worked for the lord and lady, food sources, water sources, and specialty shops. Please look at the diagram below, which depicts a typical medieval manor:
Stop & Think Questions: 1. Why do you think most manors were located along a river or stream? 2. Which social group had the best housing? Which social group had the worst housing? 3. Which social group needed to leave the manor on a regular basis?