Knights of the Realm
The Standard Manor
Manors come in many sizes and with many different components.
The Standard Manor
Logres, a land rich in rivers and alluvial valleys, is mostly populated with standard manors. The standard manor typically provides £6 of income, and contains the following:
- a village with 500 commoners
- a small church
- a mill
- a communal bakery
- a pack of dogs (for herding and hunting)
- a herd of about 20 horses
- a herd of cattle, a flock of sheep, a herd of pigs, a flock of chickens, a gaggle of geese and other animals (some owned by the manor, and many more owned by the peasants).
The manor house is surrounded by plowed fields, meadows (used for hay), pastures (used for grazing), and wastes (land not used for other purposes).
This is your fine house, a monument to your knighthood and individuality. It has small private rooms for your family, a secret place for hidden treasure, and kitchen, but its great hall is the showpiece. Here you hold court, and entertain guests with feasts. Trophies and treasure show off your Glory.
Your squire, soldiers and bailiff sleep in the hall too. Other servants sleep where they work: cook in the kitchen, nurse in the nursery, clerk in the chapel, and so on. The outside workers do the same: grooms in the stable, gardener in his tool shed, dairy maids in the barn, dog boy in the kennel, and so on.
A manor is the most common holding for a knight. For simplicity’s sake these are standardized as the £10 agricultural manor. But in actuality, the situation may be far more complex. Gamemasters may play with this as much as they wish. Remember, though, that the general rule is that a lord keeps his income sources as much as he can, and gives out treasure to prove his largesse. Gamemasters who wish to vary some of their manors can use some of these common variants. Since lords are capricious, it is quite possible that a liege will give a manor that is worth more or less than the standard £10. A manor may have been damaged and be worth less, or improved to be worth more. It might have larger fields, or smaller. It may already have some Enhancements or Improvements from previous tenants.
Knights might get a portion of the income from a particularly large village or a town. They might get part from several villages, or some from a village and some from a town. The land may have several small hamlets instead of a village. In lands that are less richly endowed than Logres other sources of income may prevail. Thus in mountainous Cambria or the Pennines, a manor is likely to consist of a hamlet with a small amount of farm and a lot of territory for sheep herding. Along a coast or on a large river a village might be a fishing village. In the mountains a knight could be assigned a portion of income from a mine. The money could come from a toll station or ferry. Many regions, not just in the mountains, have quarries that are reliable sources of income. Timber rights near a large forest are another possible source. Finally, manorial income could be granted to a knight without any land or kind whatsoever, but as a stipend paid by a lord to the knight for his services. Additional income to reward a knight and let him live more richly than a mere vassal knight, might be assigned as a part of a gift or grant to a knight. It might be a small amount to cover the costs of being a banneret, for instance; or to maintain his stature as an officer of the court. These could be from any of the sources listed above. It could even be a portion of the income from an agricultural manor, so that someone has half of a manor, or a third of one.
From: The Book of the Manor