Serving up this steaming pile of
Celebrity Gossip
Gay Politics
Gay News
and Pointless Bitchery
Since 1995

Hello and thank you for being a DL contributor. We are changing the login scheme for contributors for simpler login and to better support using multiple devices. Please click here to update your account with a username and password.

Hello. Some features on this site require registration. Please click here to register for free.

Hello and thank you for registering. Please complete the process by verifying your email address. If you can't find the email you can resend it here.

Hello. Some features on this site require a subscription. Please click here to get full access and no ads for $1.99 or less per month.

Life inside medieval castles

What was it like?

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 94Last Saturday at 10:44 AM

Stinky

by Anonymousreply 110/12/2020

Dank

by Anonymousreply 210/12/2020

Gloomy

by Anonymousreply 310/12/2020

I wish somebody would do a really, really good game on this. A very realistic Sims. They did Medieval Sims, but it was nonsense. I want a real one. Might be very interesting.

by Anonymousreply 410/12/2020

Cold and drafty.

by Anonymousreply 510/12/2020

Cold, typically. Some, but not all, rooms heated somewhat by fireplace.

by Anonymousreply 610/12/2020

Castles were not meant to be comfortable. They were defensive fortresses built in extremely turbulent times for the sole purpose of protecting lords and their serfs - high and very thick walls, narrow windows, raised small doors and maze-like corridors made it difficult for attackers to capture or kill the people within it.

Moreover, building them in stone was very expensive, as was having large structures that required maintenance, lots of soldiers and additional defenses to compensate for the larger surface and weak points that enemies could attack from. Thus, in most occasions they were not pretty or homely, because they were meant to be exclusively functional during critical periods and making them luxurious would have made their upkeep unaffordable, not to mention that luxurious rooms take space that could be put to better use by defences.

Also, they are drafty because that would have facilitated the burning of wood in stoves and fireplaces.

by Anonymousreply 710/12/2020

They had rugs and woven wall hangings throughout castles. I mean, the castles aren’t lived in by the wealthiest, most powerful people in their countries anymore. If the king said, “Get me some weavers to make me a free rug,” those weavers would be rounded up & they would weave & give him a free rug or else they would die. Unfortunately, when kings & lords couldn’t threaten people’s lives & labor had to be paid for, it became too expensive to weave & maintain such hangings in castles.

Castles used to be filled with dozens of people all the time, cleaning, maintaining fireplaces & heating stoves, lighting & checking on hundreds of burning candles, beating rugs & hangings to get dust out of them, polishing furniture, tossing out the contents of & cleaning washbowls & commodes, cooking, serving, etc. so castles were far more colorful & warm than they are today. No doubt many of them had subceilings.

by Anonymousreply 810/12/2020

*ornate* sub-ceilings.

by Anonymousreply 910/12/2020

R8 I think you are describing a palace, not a castle

by Anonymousreply 1010/12/2020

Cold, smelly, and dark. Windows didn't come in until the Renaissance, so they either left the windows open to admit light and whatever hot or icy air was outside, or covered them with rugs or leather to keep the heat in, and the rooms were lit with candles (for the rich) or the fireplace. And there would be fireplaces in rooms or halls that rated the expense of firewood but none in the hallways, so during winter you'd go from warm stifling room to icy hallway to a great hall that was kept slightly above freezing by the fireplace.

If you were rich or important, your private room had a garderobe, a sort of hanging toilet built into the wall of the castle, that had an open hole at the bottom that allowed your poop to fall the garden or moat below. Or maybe your servant would bring you a "stool", or you just used a chamber pot that was emptied out the window. The humble workers didn't get chamber pots, they just used the absorbent rushes or straw that were spread on the floor, which were replaced every day in the more well-staffed, hygenic castles. Or not replaced.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 1110/12/2020

R8 you forgot pouring boiling oil on the people below.

That would be the only really fun part about living in one of the things.

by Anonymousreply 1210/12/2020

Tres drear.

by Anonymousreply 1310/12/2020

Rats everywhere

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 1410/12/2020

It’s funny, I watched a little video about castles once & they derided hygiene saying “Toilets were just holes in a bench & emptied into a river or a cesspool,” as if it was the most disgusting thing in the world. Yet watching a video of Roman times, the narrator extolled the hygiene of the time as being wonderful because they had benches with holes in them and they emptied into a pipe with water that washed into a river or cesspool.

Such biases. Ancient Rome - brilliant toilet infrastructure. Medieval Europe - same mechanism, but yuk yuk yuk.

by Anonymousreply 1510/12/2020

R15 Exactly, also there is a complet ignorant above. I hate it when Americans think they know better than Eurpean how was life in a medieval castle when it is not part of their culture or their environment. Hygiene was excellent for the time. They had domestics to maintain it all perfectly. If the hygiene had been deplorable these castles would not have the gorgeous appearance they have centuries and centuries later, even with restorations

by Anonymousreply 1610/12/2020

Did all medieval castles have the holes-over-a-stream toilets, or just the posh ones? Because not all castles were built over running streams, many relied on wells for the water supply. And suspect those that did, used the same stream for both sewer and water supply.

The reason Ancient Rome was thought of as sophisticated for having running-water toilets is because the water was piped in from clean reliable sources many miles away.

by Anonymousreply 1710/12/2020

I thought that castles were cold, damp and almost uninhabitable. However, when I visited Dover castle there was an exhibit of what castles were like before the royals took up residence. First, there were carpenters who built wood frames in each room. Then plasters came in and plastered the wood wood. Painters were next who painted the plaster. Then all the royal household goods were brought in. The castle was the shell that the interior was put into, one room in Dover castle had been renovated as if the king was arriving. As Mel Brooks said in History of the World, “it’s good to be King!”

by Anonymousreply 1810/12/2020

Damp. Damp. Damp.

by Anonymousreply 1910/12/2020

Here. There’s a whole series.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 2010/12/2020

Terry Jones is an expert on the subject. .

by Anonymousreply 2110/12/2020

[quote] Because not all castles were built over running streams, many relied on wells for the water supply. And suspect those that did, used the same stream for both sewer and water supply.

Yes. People were mentally retarded in medieval times. Their brains were only half the size of current brains. They didn't know how to dig holes & make cesspools or underground sewer pipes or sluices from moats to a nearby body of water.

by Anonymousreply 2210/12/2020

the biggest and largest medieval fortified castle in Europe. It's in France, but in the settings you can activate the subtitles. I plan to visit it when we get rid of the Covid

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 2310/12/2020

It sucked ass! Every corner was a missing place, and you don't even want to know where the did the other thing! No wonder life expectancy was 25!

by Anonymousreply 2410/12/2020

When they had banquets the plates would be made of bread. They were called trenchers and once you were done with the meal, the juice soaked bread plates were given to the peasants to eat.

Four and twenty blackbirds weren't baked in a pie, put placed alive in a large pie shell. The shell would be cut open for the birds to fly out as entertainment for the guests.

Peacocks, on the other hand, were baked in a pie. Usually the crust included a fan of dough feathers as decoration/food. Obviously, the peacock was plucked before cooking. It was often stuffed with hummingbird tongues if it was an extra fancy meal.

The man who cooked the meat for the meals was paid in free food and all the ale he could drink on the job. Working in front of an open fire with enough meat to feed an entire castle everyday was akin to worker in a furnace. The ale was to keep the cook hydrated and happy.

Silverware wasn't until the late 1600s. Ditto for non-edible plates.

by Anonymousreply 2510/12/2020

I can only speak for the dungeon, where I spent most of my time entertaining guests.

by Anonymousreply 2610/12/2020

R25, there are no hummingbirds in Europe. And their tongues are the size of half a needle.

by Anonymousreply 2710/12/2020

R16 hasn't even the faintest idea what he is talking about, nor has he ever read a book about medieval life.

by Anonymousreply 2810/12/2020

Still sounds a lot better than what I have in 2020.

by Anonymousreply 2910/12/2020

The days were dull but the Knights were awesome.

by Anonymousreply 3010/12/2020

Darfur Orphan @ R29, the way in which you say things is hilarious but Lord, if we stop to think about it for a moment, everything you post is so painfully depressing.

by Anonymousreply 3110/12/2020

"there are no hummingbirds in Europe. And their tongues are the size of half a needle."

You are correct. They were bullfinch tongues.

For some reason I remembered it as hummingbird.

by Anonymousreply 3210/12/2020

Why would anyone want to eat a bird's tongue?

by Anonymousreply 3310/12/2020

I always figured there multiple people posting under the signature of Darfur Orphan? I thought of a hilarious reply as the Darfur Orphan once but didn't use it, it just didn't seem right. I thought I saw someone posting in the authenticated red type once as Darfur Orphan.

by Anonymousreply 3410/12/2020

birds have tongues?

by Anonymousreply 3510/12/2020

Why would anyone want to eat a bird's tongue?

Some people are very into tongues. And you know, an entire cow's tongue--who has the time these days.

That's why I stock my freezer Birdseye Birds' Tongues. Great for a snack on the go or even a light lunch.

Side effects may include, diarrhea, vomiting, and death by avian influenza. The Birdseye Corporation is not responsible for your disgusting dietary habits.

by Anonymousreply 3610/12/2020

"birds have tongues?"

How else do you expect them to French kiss?

I swear, some people are so mean.

by Anonymousreply 3710/12/2020

I like the scene in “The Lion in Winter’ where the king awakes and wants to wash his face, so he has to break through the ice in a bowl left for him.

If you ever see a bed with curtains around them, like Scrooge has (not medieval times), the curtains were to trap in body heat, not for privacy.

As it happens, Henry II and Eleanor of Aquataine are my ancestors.

by Anonymousreply 3810/12/2020

R38 Yeah sure Jane, they are your ancestors, lmao!

by Anonymousreply 3910/12/2020

Criminal lack of throw pillows.

by Anonymousreply 4010/12/2020

People would shit anywhere they could. At Versailles there were signs warning people not to shit in the gardens and hallways.

by Anonymousreply 4110/12/2020

Where did the servants sleep?

by Anonymousreply 4210/12/2020

On the cold, stone floor, r42.

Covered in rushes (usually thick with days worth of piss and shit) if they were lucky.

by Anonymousreply 4310/12/2020

When you know better you do better!

by Anonymousreply 4410/13/2020

Servants slept wherever they could. I remember reading something about guards and servants and dogs all over the floors wherever they could find.

by Anonymousreply 4510/13/2020

Remember the Victorian tradition of the ladies "retiring" after dinner? When the women left the table after a long dinner and went to drink tea and chat about woman things, and they left the men to sit around the table with brandy and cigars to discuss the important man things? That's actually based on the practices of the Dark Ages and Middle Ages.

Back in the Dark/Middle ages, the Lord and his men and ladies would eat dinner in the hall of the castle, and the men would drink as much as was available, and after a while the unmarried knights or thugs would start grabbing any woman they could reach. The Lord's wife and daughters and or ladies of importance would eave the hall and barricade themselves in the safest room they could access, and hope they could get through another night without being raped (God only knows what became of the female servants). Over time this retiring to a defensive position mellowed and its original purpose was forgotten, and it became the "retiring" and tea and brandy and cigars.

by Anonymousreply 4610/13/2020

Remember the Victorian tradition of the ladies "retiring" after dinner? When the women left the table after a long dinner and went to drink tea and chat about woman things, and they left the men to sit around the table with brandy and cigars to discuss the important man things? That's actually based on the practices of the Dark Ages and Middle Ages.

Back in the Dark/Middle ages, the Lord and his men and ladies would eat dinner in the hall of the castle, and the men would drink as much as was available, and after a while the unmarried knights or thugs would start grabbing any woman they could reach. The Lord's wife and daughters and or ladies of importance would eave the hall and barricade themselves in the safest room they could access, and hope they could get through another night without being raped (God only knows what became of the female servants). Over time this retiring to a defensive position mellowed and its original purpose was forgotten, and it became the "retiring" and tea and brandy and cigars.

by Anonymousreply 4710/13/2020

R16's confusion of hygiene with building maintenance is about my favorite thing on this thread. As if a stinking crotch or shitty ass would undermine the structure, or that "excellent hygiene" maintained by servants somehow ensured the mortar wouldn't fall from between the stones.

After all, there's only one Cheryl, and she was never known as Fair Maid Cheryl of the Dissolving Castle.

by Anonymousreply 4810/13/2020

[QUOTE] The Lord's wife and daughters and or ladies of importance would eave the hall and barricade themselves in the safest room they could access, and hope they could get through another night without being raped (God only knows what became of the female servants).

I’ve been reading that there actually wasn’t a lot of rape back then, the way we believe.

by Anonymousreply 4910/13/2020

I've read that it it was a problem in Medieval castles, where the Lord typically had a lot of knights and soldiers living in, who were unmarried or a long way from their wives, with no legitimate outlet for their sexual energy. I've read that the whole Courtly Love thing was popularized as a way to take the edge off the problem of having all these horny knights in the castle, eyeing the Lord's wife and daughters. Courtly Love tamed this impulse, it encouraged knights to keep admiring the Lady of the castle, but in a chaste and romantic way, rather than in a rapey way.

I forget where I read this, but one book I read had a long discussion of Courtly Love, and cited two contemporary accounts of the same knight being in Courtly Love with the same married Lady. One account said their love was chaste and honorable, the other account said that the knight eventually raped the lady, and left her "bleeding at both ends".

by Anonymousreply 5010/13/2020

Oh yes, I've also read a discussion of rape in Medieval castles. So the law was that if a man raped a girl and he was convicted, then he'd either be executed, or he had to marry the girl. If it was a question of a knight or lord raping a peasant or servant girl, and the case came to court, the girl was usually pressured into marring the rapist rather than having him killed, as this would preserve her honor by the standards of the time and it's not like anyone really wanted to execute a knight or lord over some worthless peasant girl.

So to protect themselves from having to ever marry a peasant, when the knights and lords raped some peasant or servant girl, they'd have their "men" join him in a gang-rape. That way if the case went to trial and someone had to marry the peasant, it'd be a servant and not the knight himself.

by Anonymousreply 5110/13/2020

For those of us who know something of medieval life, we encourage people to recognize that living standards, decor, organization of daily life, cultural and societal practices and the rest were not only related to location but to period of time.

Life in the peak feudal period in England, for example, differed considerably from that during the late medieval War of the Roses. French dynamics differed by region considerably and they changed as the power of the usually weak medieval monarch ebbed and increased. Also, living situations differed mightily from, say, the experience of people at the ducal court of William of Aquitaine (Eleanor's father), with highly developed codes of protocol and aesthetics, and the rough-and-tumble (some would say "near-savagery" but I'm a Scot and see it a bit otherwise) of contemporary Scottish lairds in their often-small fortresses.

All of which isn't edifying, but needs to be considered as the howlers declaimed here are considered. The poster who pointed out that these structures were military bastions more than anything else says the most. The specific purpose of each structure (monitoring river traffic, asserting baronic or royal power, serving as defensive strongholds, serving as frontier watches, bolstering power and protection of trade and religious centers) meant a lot to how life was lived. But war was not perpetual. A culture showed much of its nature by how it behaved between the battles and carnage.

Certainly the noxious and ignorant "explanations" of the origins of courtly love (note the especial capitalization in the post) is a fine example of the lack of education behind the DL "expert commentary." As for rape, women at any time in almost any place were subjected to rape and attendant dishonor. Stating that gang rapes were enacted to protect a single knight from being forced to "marry" a pregnant victim is not just stupid. It is willfully outrageous.

Gad.

by Anonymousreply 5210/13/2020

R24/Margaret Beaufort could have really done with the modern (for her) invention of electroshock therapy.

by Anonymousreply 5310/13/2020

Six years ago, I bought one. It took 16 months to renovate it. No matter what I do, it's most always cold inside.

by Anonymousreply 5410/13/2020

What r54? Do explain

by Anonymousreply 5510/13/2020

Castles always bring me back to Family Classics “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court”. As a very, very young gayling, I wanted Rhonda Fleming’s snood. I improvised.

It didn’t go over well with the family. They hated that movie. It had to be a cheap license, as it aired frequently.

I’m just imagining they’re gritty. You’re in a hollowed sand-glued rock. It’s like having dusty freakish staff is a necessity. There will be dust. And, you’re going to have to chase off those renaissance folk who reek of bad weed and toquitos.

by Anonymousreply 5610/13/2020

Nasty, brutish, and short.

by Anonymousreply 5710/13/2020

[quote]I wanted Rhonda Fleming’s snood.

The gayest thing you will read all week.

by Anonymousreply 5810/13/2020

Some castles (e.g. Prague Castle) were like little fortified cities with armouries, taverns, churches, stables, granaries, and other amenities all safely ensconced within the walls and in service the palace (another separate structure withing the castle compound). Other castles were smaller and used as a defensive hold only with less amenities (e.g., Fort La Latte). Incidentally, the film The Vikings with Kirk Douglas was filmed @ Fort La Latte and it is a v good film!

by Anonymousreply 5910/14/2020

Fort La Latte

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 6010/14/2020

Prague Castle

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 6110/14/2020

R41 please note Versailles is a palace not a castle

by Anonymousreply 6210/14/2020

The entire city of Avignon was fortified and in service to Palais des Papes (itself a fortified complex) and those Medieval Antipope fuckers.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 6310/14/2020

It's not a castle unless it has walls and bastions

by Anonymousreply 6410/14/2020

Castles really were first built in the Xth Century and really took over from the XII onwards. In the very early middle ages people (or the upper classes anyways) lived in what used to be Roman style villas (in various stages of maintenance and upkeep) centuries before.

Charlemagne and his court never lived in a castle but in an amalgamation of Roman/Byzantine and early romamesque palaces that somewhat resembled the roman villas of the past. Cities and courts weren't really very populated, so having access to decent hygiene was possible. The crowded, rat infested medieval cities came much later.

Charlemagne, his ancestors and succesors had access to Roman style baths. The Catholic Church wasn't extremely pruddish, that came after.

by Anonymousreply 6510/14/2020

“A dungeon is still a dungeon,

Even if there’s no corpse shackled there...”

by Anonymousreply 6610/14/2020

Nasty, brutish, and short.

by Anonymousreply 6710/14/2020

They had mastiffs to scarf up leftovers.

by Anonymousreply 6810/14/2020

“In a castle dark or a fortress strong, with chains upon my feet.”

- Gordon Lightfoot

by Anonymousreply 6910/14/2020

Medieval people bathed, they also washed the bits as poeple did until indoor plumbing became common.

Or at least some people did, who knows about the peasants.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 7010/14/2020

People back then seemed to have rather unusual sleeping habits, in that they had a 'first sleep' for a few hours, woke up for an hour or two, and then had a second sleep until dawn. During the in between waking period, people would relax, read a book, sew, have sex, etc. There was no eight-hour, continuous sleep like what people strive towards today.

by Anonymousreply 7110/15/2020

Yeah I’ve heard of that first sleep/second sleep I don’t believe it.

by Anonymousreply 72Last Friday at 2:30 PM

[QUOTE]Rats everywhere.

Kind of like New York City, R14?

by Anonymousreply 73Last Friday at 2:46 PM

R49, what do I have to do with any of this?

by Anonymousreply 74Last Friday at 3:03 PM

well, you may be right, but you're sort of casually dismissing 95 percent of the population in that last sentence r70

by Anonymousreply 75Last Friday at 3:11 PM

Hever Castle looks awesome

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 76Last Friday at 3:20 PM

A lot of the ideas about “Dark” Ages & Middle Ages being miserable & unhygienic comes from historians in Victorian London who assumed people back then must have lived like poor people in the East End because poor people in London had no modern amenities & were filthy, therefore they must live like people did before the “modern” conveniences of the Victorian Age. Also, they made assumptions based on poor Victorian villages, which had been impoverished and brain-drained by the Industrial Age.

by Anonymousreply 77Last Friday at 3:27 PM

there were definitely problems though r77. People who are as poor and vulnerable as the Dark Ages peasants ain't thinkin about bathing first and foremost. I think of Africa now. There is a wide variety of cultures and civilizations but a lot of poverty. Some people are living well, most people are really, really struggling.

by Anonymousreply 78Last Friday at 4:30 PM

I dunno r46, people were pretty, oh, uptight about who was fucking women in those days. the idea that the lord of the castle was okay with a bunch of asshole knights raping his wife and daughters, not so sure about that.

by Anonymousreply 79Last Friday at 4:34 PM

Also, it is very much true that the Victorians, and all Romantics, had a lot of fun inventing the "middle ages." There was a whole thing going on of amateur historians deciding that this or that quaint custom was medieval, that this or that quaint and cute ideal or idea was medieval, and never forget a lot of it was Protestants loving to invent silly things that medieval Catholics believed.

by Anonymousreply 80Last Friday at 4:42 PM

[quote]I’ve been reading that there actually wasn’t a lot of rape back then, the way we believe.

Whoopi has spoken.

by Anonymousreply 81Last Friday at 4:45 PM

rape was probably more marital rape. small villages and communities where everyone knows everyone and strangers are treated with suspicion, probably less rape than goes on in the typical city today, except during war, when it was all soldiers and brutality and all kinds of nastiness, including rape.

by Anonymousreply 82Last Friday at 4:48 PM

It's true about sleep having been in stages -- the idea of sleeping through the night in one shot only came about with the industrial revolution and the need to have workers on the job from morning to night -- and then, even more so, with the invention of the sleep industry (mattress, sheets, duvets, etc etc) that promoted the idea of a good 8 hour sleep. People were always biphasic when it came to sleep -- some were even polyphasic. It's important to get about 7-8 hours of sleep, but not in one night, as society seems to demand -- but over a 24 hour period.

by Anonymousreply 83Last Friday at 4:50 PM

OP, you came to the right place to ask considering the avg age of a DLer

by Anonymousreply 84Last Friday at 5:15 PM

If only Olivia de Havilland were alive to tell us

by Anonymousreply 85Last Friday at 5:18 PM

According to the wisdom of the Datalounge, people were much filthier a few centuries later. Around the 17th century the rich never cleaned their luxurious garments and rarely changed their linen, and cut their hair off and wore wigs because it reduced the number of lice on their heads. People were known to bathe or wash in the middle ages, and if they could afford linen undergarments they washed and changed those.

by Anonymousreply 86Last Friday at 5:26 PM

R50 every time you typed "Courtly Love" I kept seeing Courtney Love, didn't help that you capitalized it.

by Anonymousreply 87Last Friday at 5:26 PM

R86, we experienced a mini-ice age that left everything much damper and mouldier. You learned about that from Virginia Woolf and I’m pretty sure it’s in Tilda Swinton’s voice. You used to be cool.

The Courtney Love sending knights out on quests for mushrooms and holy hashish. Yeah, I can see a coronet tied onto her head with streamers where everyone knows where she is at all times.....

by Anonymousreply 88Last Friday at 5:33 PM

well, you should join the 1970s discussion r88, cause whatever is going on with you is kind of fun.

by Anonymousreply 89Last Friday at 5:35 PM

Your poop fell a long way.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 90Last Friday at 8:04 PM

The climate did change. England had a Mediterranean climate before it got cold and damp and making it harder to grow crops.

by Anonymousreply 91Last Saturday at 7:44 AM

need a source on that r91. I know it was somewhat warmer, but not THAT warm. There definitely was a Little Ice Age that set in, in the 16th century and last until maybe the 19th?

by Anonymousreply 92Last Saturday at 9:44 AM

Jawohl! Der Festung Hohensalzburg! With many inner courtyards and a realy weird puppet museum inside. Construction began 1077.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 93Last Saturday at 10:42 AM

Yonda is the cassle of my faddah

by Anonymousreply 94Last Saturday at 10:44 AM
Loading
Need more help? Click Here.

Yes indeed, we too use "cookies." Don't you just LOVE clicking on these things on every single site you visit? I know we do! You can thank the EU parliament for making everyone in the world click on these pointless things while changing absolutely nothing. If you are interested you can take a look at our privacy/terms or if you just want to see the damn site without all this bureaucratic nonsense, click ACCEPT and we'll set a dreaded cookie to make it go away. Otherwise, you'll just have to find some other site for your pointless bitchery needs.

×

Become a contributor - post when you want with no ads!