Tudor Tour

Medieval Cottage Excavation

This is a reconstruction of a medieval croft that was excavated in Willen by the Milton Keynes Archaeology Unit. It appears that the croft was lived in from the 1200s to the middle 1400s. The building has a wooden frame with straw thatch on the roof and the walls infilled with wattle and daub. There are layed hedges round the croft. These provide pens to keep animals safe at night and to keep them off the vegetable garden. Some of the animals would share the main building with the people.

In the house there would be an open hearth in the middle on which food would be cooked in iron pots. Peoples eating habits were different from today. There would be no chimney, so the house would be very smoky. People would sleep on straw filled mattresses on the half floor under the thatch. They would reach this platform via a ladder. There is some evidence that this house was occupied by the Frances family during the late middle ages. Bits of pottery and bone were found on the site which tell us quite a lot about the daily life of the Frances family.

Picture courtesy of MK Parks Trust