Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Farming in Prussia

OK, I may have found something on Prussian farming. I found someone's geneology post about Prussian manor farms. This is fairly interesting stuff terrain wise. In his article, he is chasing down family members and where they lived. That is not so interesting. But he gives the typical layout of a Prussian manor farm which is interesting.

He claims that the manor farm layout was very similar across Western Prussia. This is obviously not Bohemia he is talking about but I need to start somewhere. The layout has the manor farm at one end of the village. A cross street that runs in front of the manor house and its associated barns. This connects to two parallel streets that house the villagers who fall into one of three groups: small farmers with hereditary tenure on the manorial land, farm servant laborers with an annual contract and day laborers. In addition to these would be inn keepers, breweres and other small industries that were created around the manor to support the local population and provide industry.

He gives a typical layout to look like this: (

Furthermore, he provides a specific example of such a manor based village, that of Dwor Zespole. The map provided is in Polish. Google translate and I are working our way through it. But this will give me the basis for my Prussian/Bohemian village that I will start to make - eventually. The actual example is a great find. It would cover a whole 6' x 4' table in 15mm with the various buildings. The manor house is not a huge complex. In fact it is a rather modest dwelling compared to some of the buildings in the village. I am thinking of making its base out of stone or so to set it apart from the other buildings.

The center area between the parallel roads is a common area for all the villagers to be able to use. The land behind the manor was its fields with its various crops and source of income for the estate. The worker houses had small gardens behind it and then fields further behind them for their own subsistence. The fields tended to be made out in long thin strips as the plows in use were heavy and hard to turn around. The small farmers tended to have a one to two room house with outbuildings. These are not defined but one can assume that there would be a privy of sorts, possibly a kitchen, some sort of smokehouse and a corn crib or the like. So not that different than their fellows in the AWI and ACW.

The manor house is called a "Gut". Many of those are unimpressive as they were houses the nobility built for the managers of one of many of their estates. The nobles would not live there but instead would have their hired managers living there to manage the estate and village.

Anyway, this gives me something to get started with.

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