While many of us in today’s world want grand status homes, poor peasants in medieval times were lucky to have a small cottage with one room. If they were really lucky, they might have had two rooms. Houses were built with whatever local material was available — mostly wood frames covered in wattle and daub (walls covered with interwoven twigs and branches and filled with mud, dung, and straw). Stone walls may have been erected if good building stone was available. The roof was most often thatched, using reeds or swamp grasses.
We worry about germs and odors, rely on our smoke detectors, and buy chemical-based odor-eliminating products. They must have lived in a perpetual state of smokiness and smell. Continue reading