Medieval Britain: Water, Waste and Food

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  • Medieval Britain: Water, Waste and Food
    • Water
      • Towns
        • Conduits were lead pipes which brought spring water to some towns
        • Water sellers sold water from leather sacks
      • Countryside
        • Fresh water from springs or wells, springs sometimes used by animals too so water was not always completely clean
    • Food
      • Meat and fish: people who could afford it ate a wide variety of meat. The church didn't allow people to eat meat on Friday's so fish was eaten instead.
      • Bread: Nothing mattered more for people's daily lives than a good harvest and a plentiful supply of bread. The poor ate bread made from rye which could contain a fungus that lead to illness and death
      • Pottage: a thick vegetable soup was widely eaten by medieval peasants.
      • Ale and cider: ale was made by boiling water (which killed germs) and barley (full of nutrients). Cider was made in a similar way using apples. These drinks were heathier then water in towns.
    • Waste
      • Countryside
        • Midden: a waste heap in the garden
        • Some cesspits were constructed near village houses
        • Waste used for fertiliser
      • Towns
        • Public latrines were often in market squares
        • Rakers removed waste from towns
        • Cesspits were used and then cleared by gongfermers., who took it outside of the townto be used on fields or tipped into streams


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