Lorsch is famous for its preserved Carolingian port. Soon, it will be home to a fascinating open-ait museum dedicated to explore the practical dimensions of running a manor in the Early Middle Ages
The archaeology department at the University of Hamburg, the Administration of the State Castles and Gardens Hesse (Verwaltung der Staatlichen Schlösser und Gärten Hessen) and the World Heritage site at the Abbey of Lorsch have received more than €4.5 mill. in order to build a new open-air museum next to the famous King’s Hall at Lorsch.
The open-air museum will be a concise rebuilding of a Carolingian manor around 800 AD and is called “Herrenhof Lauresham”. In charge of the project are Dr. Frank Andraschko from the University of Hamburg and the medievalist dr. Hermann Schefers, who has worked extensively on the Carolingian manuscripts which originated at the Lorsch Scriptorium.
The plan is to demonstrate the daily life at a Carolingian manor complete with garden, fields and grassland. The fields will be planted with the species of grains and the garden with vegetables known from written sources as well as archaeobotanical records. According to Frank Andraschko the group behind the project wish to build a 1:1 full working noble manor cum farm. The erection of the buildings will begin this summer and is planned to take two years.
While we wait for the grand opening in 2014, it might be fruitful to delve into the detailed analysis of the wide-ranging sources and diplomas done by professor Matthew Innes from Birkbeck College at University of London. This research has been published in a book about State and Society in the Middle Ages.
State and Society in the Early Middle Ages. The Middle Rhine Valley 400 -1000.
Cambridge University Press 2000
Beyond Royal Estates and Monasteries: Landownership in the Early Medieval Ardennes
Jean-Pierre Devroey and Nicolas Schroeder
In: Early Medieval Europe
Volume 20, Issue 1, pages 39–69, February 2012
In locis vaste solitudinis
In: Le Moyen Age 2010/1 (Tome CXVI), Page 9-35