BBC Learning Zone Clips

CLIP 14246

What was farming like in medieval England?

What was farming like in medieval England?
Key Info
  • What was farming like in medieval England?
  • Duration: 02:35
  • The peasants of medieval Kibworth farmed large open fields divided into narrow strips. The manure used to fertilise the land throughout the community's history reveals the domestic debris of many centuries. Interviews with local archaeologists are interspersed with supporting images from the Luttrell Psalter to reveal what rural life might have been like in medieval England. First broadcast on 'Michael Wood's Story of England' on BBC4 in October 2010.
  • Subject:



    Medieval: Social and Religious Life

  • Keywords: farming, agriculture, rural, peasant, medieval, medieval England, Kibworth, Leicestershire, archaeology, MichaelWoodsStoryofEngland
Ideas for use in class
  • Younger pupils might enjoy the idea of discovering the past through debris and rubbish. A point of discussion following the account could be to consider what sort of evidence might be found by the field walkers and what this might tell you about medieval rural society in England. Older pupils may be studying the transition from the open field system to enclosure. Michael Wood sets the scene for 800 years continuity within agriculture until enclosure changed the landscape. This might be a useful reference point before introducing the open field system to the class more formally. There is a nice map of the strips within the open fields in Kibworth at the start of the account and this might be referred back to when developing greater depth on pre-agricultural revolution farming.
Background details
  • Clip language : English
  • Aspect ratio : 16x9

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