Richard Calle Goes Shopping
What might shopping have been like in medieval times? Here Richard Calle, senior servant to the family, sets off from Paston Hall to the market at Walsham to order the food for the coming week. Watch carefully - there are some questions coming up on the Activity Sheets!
One of the fascinations with the Paston Letters is they way they mix major national information, stressful family problems and daily needs for new material for a dress or a new hat. You'll find Teachers' Notes and a Topic Map at the bottom of the list on this page, below the information and Activity sheets, which can be printed out for use with young learners.
In addition, some of the activities are available as interactive pages on screen.
Shields from the Blacksmith Can you recognise and work out the family names for the shields?
Here's the sheets for printing out.
An information sheet for Key Stage 2 (7-11-year-old) pupils that gives some basics about the importance of bread in medieval times and the process of making it. Click the picture to download.
Many towns had their 'Shambles' – the area of the market where butchers kept, killed and sold meat. To download the information sheet, click the picture on the right.
Little was known of modern medicine in medieval times; methods of treatment depended on some simple natural remedies, though some did more damage than good. Click the picture on the right to download the sheet.
An information sheet to describe some of the drinks of medieval times. Click the picture on the right to download the sheet.
The blacksmith, an important man for all the community. To download the information sheet, click the picture on the right.
Some simple arithmetic using the pounds and shillings of medieval times. Click the picture on the right to download the sheet.
Today, some of us choose to eat meat, some choose not to. In medieval times poor people rarely had the choice - they couldn't afford meat.
Without our modern scientific knowledge of how the human body works, the people of medieval times relied on their religious beliefs and a simplistic knowledge of plants for treatment. Many plants were though to be helpful - how would you recognise them?
Our standard measure in England is generally in litres - though we still talk of a pint of milk or beer. Click right to try the medieval measurements.
The blacksmith's skill might be needed to repair a peasant's pitchfork through various things up to creating a new shield for a knight. Click the picture on the right for an Activity Sheet.
A Topic Map with lots of idea for use in the classroom as a follow-up to Richard Calle's journey to Walsham market. Click on the right to download.
Background for teachers on the resources provide on this page. Eat and drink like the Pastons! Click the image on the right to download.