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Medieval bed

Posted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 9:09 pm
by aoefa
Hi all,
My dad has agreed to have a go at making me a medieval bed but I'm struggling to find any clear pictures or find any plans to give him to work from. Can anyone help?
Ems.

Re: Medieval bed

Posted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 10:34 pm
by Phil the Grips
[mod] Moved to the appropriate forum. [/mod]

Her Holiness Larsdatter has the goods as usual-
http://www.larsdatter.com/beds.htm

Re: Medieval bed

Posted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 11:09 am
by Dave B
How about this one!

Image

Re: Medieval bed

Posted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 11:17 am
by Clarenceboy
Cant recall if its this one http://www.amazon.co.uk/Medieval-Furnit ... 933&sr=8-1 or this one http://www.amazon.co.uk/Constructing-Me ... 933&sr=8-2 but i think one has a plan for a bed, plus good books to have it you want to made medieval things anyway

Re: Medieval bed

Posted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 11:20 am
by Phil the Grips

Re: Medieval bed

Posted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 4:05 pm
by lucy the tudor
How much comission are Amazon paying you people... Sooo many of my books have been bought because of recommendations here , and though they are brilliant books, and very useful to further my knowledge/ skills etc. ... hammers the credit card something horrid


Will nobody think of the children!

Re: Medieval bed

Posted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 5:42 pm
by Phil the Grips
It's worse- Donnelly and Dan Diehl are chums of mne so I get given beer when they sell more books :)

Re: Medieval bed

Posted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 8:13 pm
by Colin Middleton
I think that
has the more practical plans in it, but the stuff in the other one is gorgeous!

Re: Medieval bed

Posted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 10:40 pm
by lucy the tudor
I got the plans and instructions one, for obvious reasons.
Nice to know the author is the friend of a friend, at least I know his research should be good, or Monsieur Le Grips would have given him hell... 8-)

Re: Medieval bed

Posted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 11:21 pm
by aoefa
Thanks everyone, am passing it all on to my dad, just got to decide how big and if I'm gonna use an airbed on it or look at other mattress options.

Ems. x

Re: Medieval bed

Posted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 10:13 am
by Dave B
If you size it to suit an airbed you can make a linen cover and pretend it is straw-filled? or are you thinking of a 'memory foam' type job?

Re: Medieval bed

Posted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 10:44 am
by JAYS
aoefa wrote:Thanks everyone, am passing it all on to my dad, just got to decide how big and if I'm gonna use an airbed on it or look at other mattress options.

Ems. x

I am totally deflated!

Be brave and use straw!!!

Re: Medieval bed

Posted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 12:59 pm
by Colin Middleton
Straw doesn't require courage, just space to store and transport it!

Re: Medieval bed

Posted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 2:08 pm
by steven pole
When I visited Shakesperes house, they had beds there that looked very short. I was told that people avoided laying flat in bed as they believed laying flat encouraged the devil/death to com and take them. By sleeping slightly proped up in bed (this short one) they gave the impression of being awake and so warded of the devil/death.
Talking of Mattresses, I make palliases. They are 3 foot wide and 6 foot long sacks which are filled with kit etc to take to an event and then when empty, they are filled with straw and used as a mattress.

Re: Medieval bed

Posted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 4:02 pm
by lucy the tudor
steven pole wrote:When I visited Shakesperes house, they had beds there that looked very short. I was told that people avoided laying flat in bed as they believed laying flat encouraged the devil/death to com and take them. By sleeping slightly proped up in bed (this short one) they gave the impression of being awake and so warded of the devil/death.
Talking of Mattresses, I make palliases. They are 3 foot wide and 6 foot long sacks which are filled with kit etc to take to an event and then when empty, they are filled with straw and used as a mattress.
So, you need fresh straw every time you use it, carrying a bale with you, at least, and then disposing of the straw or you would have to have a bag for that... which would probably be very like the palliases... blimey. Or you have to dump the straw somewhere before leaving the event.
I'm impressed at the lengths people go to be authentic.

Re: Medieval bed

Posted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 4:14 pm
by aoefa
I hadn't considered a straw mattress, and to be honest probably wouldn't go down that route as I wouldn't have space to carry a bale of straw to every show. Tesco had some mattresses a little while ago that come rolled up in a bag so may have a look at them.

Re: Medieval bed

Posted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 6:55 pm
by narvek
lucy the tudor wrote:
steven pole wrote:When I visited Shakesperes house, they had beds there that looked very short. I was told that people avoided laying flat in bed as they believed laying flat encouraged the devil/death to com and take them. By sleeping slightly proped up in bed (this short one) they gave the impression of being awake and so warded of the devil/death.
Talking of Mattresses, I make palliases. They are 3 foot wide and 6 foot long sacks which are filled with kit etc to take to an event and then when empty, they are filled with straw and used as a mattress.
So, you need fresh straw every time you use it, carrying a bale with you, at least, and then disposing of the straw or you would have to have a bag for that... which would probably be very like the palliases... blimey. Or you have to dump the straw somewhere before leaving the event.
I'm impressed at the lengths people go to be authentic.
Or get some off horsey people;) Or drop by nearest farm? :wink:

Re: Medieval bed

Posted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 9:31 pm
by steven pole
Many events i've been to have provided staw for us to use, but I see your point. I guess I could have the same pallias but use some kind of wadding so it's more like a padded jack for sleeping on?

Re: Medieval bed

Posted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 10:45 pm
by lucy the tudor
Padded like a jack, becomes...
Futon mattress!
Lovely and stiff to cope with slats or ropes on the bed ( if you use two of them)

Narvek, getting straw from horsey people late on a Friday evening for a weekend event, when you have driven after work? Not an easy prospect.
Or should the horse contingent of the show bring enough for the reenactor bed requirements?
Even dropping off loose straw to local horsey people/ farm people might be complicated close to lots of show grounds, and just add unnecessary complications to the average weekend warrior.

Re: Medieval bed

Posted: Thu Sep 30, 2010 12:34 am
by narvek
lucy the tudor wrote:..Or should the horse contingent of the show bring enough for the reenactor bed requirements?..
I'll reply to this as the rest of reply is just a by product of the having the bed for event in a modern days. Which is easily solved by not having a bed :wink:

Nope, of course they should not bring straw by order. But if you want some straw and you have friends in the cavalery, calling them a week in advence if the would bring some straw for you is not such a hassle by my point of view. And you can barter for booze :wink:

I have a rope bed as well so I know the pain of ropey morning :wink:

Re: Medieval bed

Posted: Thu Sep 30, 2010 11:05 am
by Dave B
Make a pallias to fit an airbed then just carry a handfull of straw to position stregically sticking out the end, to pretend you are uberauthenti?

Re: Medieval bed

Posted: Thu Sep 30, 2010 11:52 am
by aoefa
It will have a cover on it so no one will know what type of mattress it is and I'm not planning on inviting the public in to sit on my bed anyway, the bed is purely for my comfort as with a bad back getting up off a low bed in the mornings isn't easy! Besides, lol, my very authenic portapotti will be in the corner under a bit of wool so don't think the mattress is the main authenticity problem!

Re: Medieval bed

Posted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 9:27 am
by festering
I too was thinking of making a wooden/rope bed, but i wanted to make it demountable so was intending to use wedge scarf joints of other carpentry joints.

Can anyone tell me whether they would have used such joints or point me in the direction of a text for medieval carpentry.

A second question what would have been placed on top of the rope base. Would they just have laid straw on or a sheet then straw then a second sheet?

Billy

Re: Medieval bed

Posted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 9:38 am
by Miss Costello
ASDA are selling off their airbeds at the moment, we got a dbl for £5.99 on Saturday for when friends come to stay, the pump was £2.99.

Re: Medieval bed

Posted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 10:55 am
by guthrie
steven pole wrote:When I visited Shakesperes house, they had beds there that looked very short. I was told that people avoided laying flat in bed as they believed laying flat encouraged the devil/death to com and take them. By sleeping slightly proped up in bed (this short one) they gave the impression of being awake and so warded of the devil/death.
I was told something similar years ago when visiting Doune castle, that people then slept upright as much as possible since it is easier to breath or something. COmplete nonsense of course, look at all the illustrations of people in beds, ok they often had pillows ut they certainly weren't sleeping sitting slightly upright and if you experiment with your own bed at home you'l find you have to be over 45 degrees upright before you end up taking up less space.

Re: Medieval bed

Posted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 12:46 pm
by Colin Middleton
festering wrote:I too was thinking of making a wooden/rope bed, but i wanted to make it demountable so was intending to use wedge scarf joints of other carpentry joints.

Can anyone tell me whether they would have used such joints or point me in the direction of a text for medieval carpentry.

A second question what would have been placed on top of the rope base. Would they just have laid straw on or a sheet then straw then a second sheet?

Billy
You're probably well served by getting one of the books above (library if you don't want to buy) as they will discuss joints and such in there.

The Great Household in Late Medieval England (CM Woolgar) has an excellent discussion of things that make up a bed. Typically you're looking at a straw or feather filled matress (or possibly one of each) and a selection of sheets (at least 1 above you and one below), blankets and coverlets. You may also have a valance of some form on the bed too.

Good luck

Re: Medieval bed

Posted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 1:29 pm
by festering
Thanks for the pointers Colin,

I found a book which describes wedged Scarf joints in a 13c wheat barn at Cressing Temple in Essex, Structural Carpentry in Medieval Essex, by CECIL A. HEWETT.

So that answers my question as to did they use such joints. But I couldnt find out if they would have made portable beds using this joint method the portable bed I have seen refference of uses tennon and peg joints but keeps the sides of the bed in a single length.

I want to split the sides into two lengths any ideas?

Billy

Re: Medieval bed

Posted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 3:18 pm
by Alan E
To split the side lengths you are going to need some sort of scarf joint.

Richard Harris' "Discovering Timber-Framed Buildings" lists those used on building frames as Edge-halved scarf, Bridle scarf (see http://www.craftsmanspace.com/knowledge ... oints.html) or Face-halved scarf (e.g. see http://www.carpenteroakandwoodland.com/ ... and-bladed).

Not sure if beds would use the same joints or more cabinet-carpentry techniques, but of those I would be tempted to try using a Face-halved scarf.

Re: Medieval bed

Posted: Fri Jul 15, 2011 4:23 pm
by travisball7
Wow. That bed is just awesome. I don't know if I would want to sleep in it though. A little creepy.

Re: Medieval bed

Posted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 12:47 am
by randallmoffett
I had a complete inventory at one point for Roger Mortimer that had some mattresses that were included. I believe one was full of feathers but I cannot find it anymore to see what the others had in them. Any one know of this inventory? I think it happens in 1330 when he is removed from power.

Randall