A Matter of Britain
Holding a manor is the basis of your knight’s status and wealth. With it your knight is a step above an ordinary household knight. As a landed knight you have many rights and responsibilities, including protecting its people and revenues.
Your starting manor pays you an annual income of £10—enough to support an appropriate lifestyle. The actual area and harvests of manors differ greatly. Naturally, available resources vary, and also some of a manor’s properties and resources may belong to your knight’s liege lord so the knight, while responsible for them, gains no income from it. Nonetheless, the manors of Logres at this time are situated in the richest part of the island, and generally share many features.
This is your fine house, a monument to your knighthood and individuality. It has small private rooms for your family, a secret place for hidden treasure, and kitchen, but its great hall is the showpiece. Here you hold court, and entertain guests with feasts. Trophies and treasure show off your Glory.
Your squire, soldiers and bailiff sleep in the hall too.
Other servants sleep where they work: cook in the kitchen, nurse in the nursery, clerk in the chapel, and so on. The outside workers do the same: grooms in the stable, gardener in his tool shed, dairy maids in the barn, dog boy in the kennel, and so on.
A village of about a hundred households is part of your manor. They might be clustered together (a village), spread in clusters (hamlets), even spread about in separate houses. Most village buildings are common “croft and toft” huts, sheds, byres and granaries.
A small, poor church is at the center of the town. It is the largest building around, and made of wood. The resident is a porter, while the priest makes rounds among several nearby villages.
You own a couple of fields, and some strips of land in the peasant fields. Your peasants send men and plows to work the land. Your fields are planted mostly in wheat (for people) and oats (for horses). The more numerous peasant fields are generally of barley. Your personal fields, worked by others, are called demense. Plow lands are usually crowded into the half -mile around a village or town. Oxen can only work half a day, and any farther than that and the work day is too short. Half the fields are plowed each year. The other half is left fallow, and used to graze livestock.
Manors all contain varying amounts of these nonfarmed lands.
Meadow: These grow hay to feed the livestock over the winter.
Pasture: Animals such as sheep and horses graze on these.
Wastes: Land not cultivated, supplying wood and grazing for pigs. Hunting is not allowed to the peasants, but unless it is a royal forest, the knight can hunt on his lands.
MILL AND BAKERY
You own the mill here, and your commoners pay to use it. The communal bakery is the same. Neither is commonly near the hall.
Horses: You need at least five working horses at all times (1 charger and 1 rouncy for you, and rouncys for your squire, wife, and a servant). Your herd is sufficient to supply these, including a charger every other year; plus many working rouncys, sumpters, and cobs.
Cattle: Cattle provide meat, leather, and work animals (plow oxen are castrated bulls). The herd has around 20 cattle (1 bull, 1 yearling bull, 6 oxen, 5 milk cows, 2 unseasoned oxen, 5 calves).
Sheep: Sheep provide food and wool. A herd of about 20 serves the manor (1 ram, 14 sheep, 5 lambs).
Pigs: Pigs provide the most meat per pound of hoof of any domestic animal. The herd is around 31 animals (1 boar, 6 sows, 24 piglets) and is loosed into the wastes each year to fatten on wild acorns. They are rounded up and slaughtered each fall.