To get a better understanding of what life was like in England during the 17th century we looked at reconstructed buildings such as at Little Woodham – Living History Village in Hampshire.
The village started in the mid-1980s as a community project and was initially funded with a grant from Portsmouth Council. It is now self-funding.
In the village Little Woodham volunteers wear replicas of the clothes that would have been worn in the C17th and use the tools and working techniques from that era too. All the volunteers interact with visitors demonstrating the respective skills and answering their questions.
Here are more interviews with the volunteers:-
The Blacksmith would have been one of the wealthiest people in a village. He would make and repair farming tools and also make iron work such as hinges and nails.
The forge itself and many of the tools used date back hundreds of years. The craft skills being used date back even further.
During the demonstration we learned more about the tools, the role of an apprentice and the techniques and skills of making and maintaining the fire.
We also learned about the role of the apprentice.
From the C13th to the C15th wool was the driving force of the English economy. Sheep outnumbered the population many times over. The quality of English wool meant it was a highly sought-after in overseas markets.
Many farmers would have had a loom to weave wool to supplement their income and make cloth for their own clothes. The whole family would have been involved in different stages of cloth production.
One of the reasons that the Pilgrims moved from Amsterdam to Leiden was to earn more income using skills they already had rather than being low paid manual labourers. In Leiden many found employment in the cloth and wool trade using skills and experience they already had gained in England.
During the demonstration we saw each stage of production from carding the wool, to spinning and weaving.
More demonstrations will follow shortly.
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