A medieval town
Sunday, 15 January 2012 by MB in Labels: ,

Long ago many towns had walls around them. As you walked round a town you came every hundred yards or so to towers that stood out from the walls and rose high above them, so that no enemy could come up to the wall. On each side of the gates the towers were higher and stronger than usual. From a long way off it was possible to see the church towers rising high above the red-tiled roofs of the houses.

On busy days the roads leading to the gates of the town were crowded. Farmers came to sell cheese, butter, eggs and other things to the citizens. The toll collector stood at the gates. The farmers had to pay duty on everything they brought in for sale.
Let's look at the streets and shops. The shops were places where people made things as well as sold them. They had no glass windows. Across the front of each shop there ran the counter with different things exposed for sale on it. The shopkeepers stood behind them. All of them shouted without stopping: "What can I do for you?"

Some of the houses of the town were built of stone and wood, just like old houses in some of the present-day villages. Sometimes the ground floor wall was made of stone and had small windows. The door was broad, made of tough wood. The first storey overhung the ground floor, and had rather big windows, and the roof was covered with tiles.

The people wore strange clothes. The streets were very dirty because they were never swept up. But everybody seemed jollier than the Englishmen who walk the streets nowadays. Perhaps they made a living more easily than we do. Perhaps they troubled themselves less about the things we think important. They had more time to do things they liked than we have, because they did not spend all day at business. No wonder old England is called "Merry England".