Land Holdings in the Middle Ages

Landholdigs in the Middle AgesThere is often the misconception that the medieval peasant had hardly any land upon which to make a living. Such a perception runs counter to the truth. The actual size of his holdings was rather large especially for the time.

Subscription8Author P. Boissonade notes that these holdings varied according to the fertility of the land. He writes:

In Alsace it contained on an average 30 acres, in Germany 20 to 180 acres, in England 15 to 30 acres, and in exceptional cases 50 acres, which was the usual size in France and elsewhere. It must be added that the peasant had a share in the use of the heaths, pasturegrounds, and woods belonging to the village community and the lord. (P. Boissonnade, Life and Work in Medieval Europe, New York, Alfred A.Knopf, 1927, p. 141.)