The Farming Year



The pictures below, from The Luttrell Psalter (written about 1340), show work on the estates of Sir Geoffrey Luttrell, an English knight.

Study these Sources, then answer the question sheet by clicking on the 'Time to Work' icon at the top of the page.


The following websites will help you research further:


Medieval Farming:

• The History Learning Site on medieval farming and the farming year

Witheridge village archive - a VERY detailed account of the farming year

Kibworth - BBC video

Les Très Riches Heures - brilliant slideshow of the farming year as painted in a 15th century prayer book.


The Farming Year

This cheat-sheet tells you the correct order of the scenes; do not look at this until you have completed Task One!


a.  Stacking sheaves


b.  Harrowing

Harrowing broke up the clods of earth and killed the weeds:

c.  The Lord's Mill

Villagers had to grind their corn here.


d.  Ploughing with oxen

e.  Threshing

Beating the corn - either outside on a windy day, or in a barn with both doors open; the lighter 'chaff' (the husk and dust) blew away leaving the grain ready to be ground into flour.


f.  Reaping using a tool called a sickle


g.  A harvest cart

This carried the sheaves back to the barns for threshing:


h.  Sowing

The man sows 'broadcast', expertly throwing the seed so that it is spread evenly over the soil.