Tag Archives: Colin Platt

Medieval Myths about Peasant Hovels

This is the first in an occasional series of posts looking at commonly believed ‘myths’ about Medieval times. For instance many people, including some writers of popular history, often picture the medieval peasant as living in fairly primitive housing – perhaps basic wattle and daub or wooden structures.

However, evidence from archaeology shows that is not always the case. In fact where excavations have been made stone buildings are not uncommon. It might have been the case perhaps that these were owned by the wealthier peasants in the village – the free farmers who had managed to achieve a surplus after paying their rents. But sometimes it’s not just one or two houses in a village that are made of stone, but a whole cluster of them.
Colin Platt’s book Medieval England is a great book for demonstrating how archaeology can inform our historical understanding of the Middle Ages – and for debunking those medieval myths that we still have!