Michael (mukashi_banashi) wrote in little_details,

Medieval Norway: Children at Work, and Sleeping Arrangements

I've got another question about medieval Norway, mid 1200s through mid 1300s.  I've tried myriad Google searches, even tried searching JSTOR and Amazon as well.  I've read numerous books about medieval Scandinavia, but none of them touched on either of these specific questions.  I've even found a website that gave me a partial answer to the first question, but didn't answer the specific aspect of the question I was curious about. 

Here are the two questions I have:

1)  In medieval Norwegian farms, what was the sleeping situation? From a website I have been able to gather this information: There was an open-hearth house (årestua) in which people worked in the daytime, and slept in, on benches covered with straw and animal hides. There was also a loft house (langeloftet) in which young women slept in the summer, and this was also where a newly-wed couple would sleep on their wedding night. This is really good information, but what I also need to know is this: did the landowners and their family sleep in the lofts, or in the hearth-house with the servants? Or did they sleep in a separate hearth-house from the one the servants used (the site said there were often multiple hearth-houses). Or did they sleep in a completely separate building from either of these? Also, I know there was a bed for the newly-wed couples which they slept in on their wedding nights. Did the family of the landowners also sleep in a bed, or on benches like the servants?

2)  In medieval Norway, at what age did children begin working on farms, and what kinds of work did they do? Specifically, I'm interested in the children of servants, but also the children of the landowners, for both boys and girls if possible.  

(Google search terms used: "children in medieval norway", "children in medieval scandinavia work", "children working in medieval scandinavia", etc., also "sleeping arrangements in medieval norway", etc.)
Tags: 1200-1299, 1300-1399, norway: history, ~middle ages

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