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Catholic Church and Communities in DA England

Dark Ages

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#1 CthulhuBob

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Posted 08 January 2016 - 11:07 PM

Hey Brits,

 

I'm writing a Dark Ages scenario and I need information for setting a moderate-sized community with a moderate-sized church.  It can't be too small, but I don't want a massive cathedral.  Shot in the dark size estimate for the town?  500-ish?

 

Thanks in advance.


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#2 GBSteve

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Posted 08 January 2016 - 11:34 PM

Fief is the reference work for this kind of thing. You can see the basis of it here: http://www222.pair.c...eroom/demog.htm

And you can use this calculator to get an idea of who might live in such a town: http://qzil.com/kingdom/
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#3 cjbowser

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Posted 09 January 2016 - 12:54 AM

Shoot me an email at cjbowser @ gmail.com. I have a boatload of info I can send you.

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#4 Gaffer

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Posted 09 January 2016 - 02:56 PM

Great resources, GBS!


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#5 cjbowser

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Posted 09 January 2016 - 03:26 PM

Here's some quick info. If you want to stick to the strict DA period which four to five hundred years earlier than the stats used by Fief, you're going to see different numbers

During the Anglo-Saxon period, England has a total pop of 1.5 to 2.5 million. That's not a lot of people. That's less than Chicago in 1920.

A small village, of which there are many scattered around the island, might consist of as few as a handful of households.

Urban centers like Oxford and Wallingford might have one to two thousand, but that would fluctuate during market times and times of strife.

Mid size areas like Leicester might have around 500 people. But, it would still be serviced by several churches. Including one just got the thegn and his retinue.

If a one church town is a requirement, I'd probably go with a wic of 50 people or so.
Maybe even one that's serviced by a travelling priest.

All that being said, it's your game so don't feel constrained by history. Make it what you need to be plausible for your group.

Edited by cjbowser, 09 January 2016 - 03:45 PM.

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#6 CthulhuBob

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Posted 09 January 2016 - 06:33 PM

All that being said, it's your game so don't feel constrained by history. Make it what you need to be plausible for your group.

Always a good rule of thumb.  :-)


What do you guys think of this page?  http://www.learner.o...ges/feudal.html


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#7 cjbowser

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Posted 09 January 2016 - 06:39 PM

Always a good rule of thumb. :-)

What do you guys think of this page? http://www.learner.o...ges/feudal.html


It's very cursory and makes a few mistakes, but it's just an overview site. Bear in mind that the Dark Ages are before the rise of the feudalism.

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#8 GBSteve

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Posted 09 January 2016 - 09:48 PM

You can have a look at this which will give you an idea of what those early buildings looked like: https://en.wikipedia...0_AD_to_1000_AD

And sorry for being anachronistic with Fief, a good resource nonetheless.
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#9 JeffErwin

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Posted 16 January 2016 - 07:09 AM

Keep in mind also, that once you go back far enough, the size of the ecclesiastical buildings may also reflect the former (i.e., Romano-British) importance of a settlement, not its population in the present. Though, of course, they may be somewhat ruinous. Another influence on the splendour and size of churches are the presence of elite influences. Abbeys, court sites, and so forth, with royal or higher noble associations may have more impressive churches. It is, after all, the most important building in any community.



#10 cjbowser

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Posted 16 January 2016 - 02:50 PM

And to add to what Jeff says, during the A-S period, if a building is made of stone, it's a religious building. The A-S weren't keen on reusing these enta geworc for other purposes or even stealing a lot of the nicely worked stone.

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