Medieval Craftsmen

Learn about the Lives of Medieval Craftsmen such as Armourers, Blacksmiths, Carpenters & Stonemasons.

Discover Medieval Guilds Rules & History *Find Out which Medieval Craftsmen made Armour, Castles, Coins, Crowns, Castles, Homes, Money, Swords & Much More!

Goldsmith

Goldsmith Craftsmen were highly skilled. Medieval Goldsmiths added Gold leaf to covers and pages of illuminated manuscripts amongst other things Read more about the Goldsmith >>

Medieval Armourer

A Medieval Armourer made high quality armour for medieval knights, and other nobility and warriors in medieval times Read more about the Medieval Armourer >>

Medieval Blacksmith

Medieval Blacksmith Medieval Craftsmen

A medieval Blacksmith was a very important person in medieval times, Medieval Blacksmith's not only made armour and weaponry for example Read more about the Medieval Blacksmith >>

Medieval Bowyer

Medieval Bowyer Making a Longbow

A medieval Bowyer as the name suggest made bows such as longbows and arrows as well as other products for people and the military. Medieval Bowyers usually worked in a shop in a medieval  town or village. Read more about the Medieval Bowyer >>

Medieval Guilds

Medieval Guild Sign

Medieval Guilds were set up in medieval times to improve quality of workmanship and regulate medieval professions. Medieval Guilds also served to protect members and give them a voice in medieval society. Read more about the Medieval Guilds >>

Medieval Miller

Medieval Miller Using Medieval Mill With Overshoot Wheel

A Medieval miller could be quite well off as he could make and sell bread to the people that lived in the medieval village. The miller however usually had to make some form of payment to the lord of the manor who usually owned the village mill. Read more about the Medieval Miller >>

Medieval Moneyer

Medieval Moneyer Made Medieval Silver Coins

A medieval moneyer was a skilled medieval craftsman, he made (minted) the coins that were needed. A medieval moneyer worked from his shop in medieval towns and villages where he kept all his tools. Read more about the Medieval Moneyer >>


As the medieval period progressed, towns and cities became more established and prominent, populations increased and people had more disposable income. Craftsmen were in high demand and many were required to produce a wide range of products for medieval people.

Medieval-Blacksmith-Fits-Horseshoe

Medieval Craftsmen Apprenticeship & Guilds

Medieval craftsmen started in a trade usually at an early age as an apprentice. Medieval apprentices in the trade usually did the same trade as their fathers and learned their skills from them, in addition a medieval person wanting to be a craftsmen would usually join a specific guild.

The culture of creating guilds for a particular profession took roots during the high and late medieval period in Europe. One of the main purposes of a medieval guild was to safeguard the interests of its members and raise a voice for their rights.

Medieval-Guild-Sign-of-Baker

Medieval Guild Sign of Baker

In England, the concept of guilds arrived after the Norman Conquest of England in 1066.  Medieval guilds were formed for merchants, musicians, craftsmen, and people from other professions.

From Apprentice to Journeyman

Finally after all the years of hard work and training an apprentice would become a journeyman and at this stage he would be paid a daily wage.  A journeyman could then become a master craftsman, this was dependant on him producing an outstanding piece or work for the guild that was accepted as being worthy of a master craftsman.

Medieval-Guild-Sign-Outside-Busniess-Premises

Medieval Guild Sign Outside Busniess Premises


Types of Medieval Craftsmen

  1. Blacksmiths *Horse Shoes  *Door Knockers *Metal Gates *Armour *Weapons *Tools *Torture Devices
  2. Bell founders *Bells of all Types
  3. Calimala *Cloth Finishers and Merchants
  4. Candle Makers – Kept busy making candles as no other lighting
  5. Carpenters – Houses, Carts, Fences, Wooden Beams, Gates, Flooring, Doors, Furniture
  6. Chest and Trunk Makers
  7. Cobblers (Shoemakers)
  8. Coin Makers (Moneyers)
  9. Goldsmiths (Jewelry)
  10. Cooper (Made wooden casks, barrels and other similar containers)
  11. Harness and Beltmakers
  12. Locksmiths (Padlocks, Doorlocks)
  13. Stone Masons (Stoneworks for Buildings and Castles)
  14. Tanners, Wholesale and retail (Leather Goods)
  15. Weavers of all kinds (Cloth Products)
  16. Wheelwrights *Wheels in high Demand for Carriages and Carts

1. Blacksmith

Blacksmiths were one of the most in demand craftsmen of the medieval period as they made a wide array of important everyday products that were needed such as keys, locks, horseshoes as well as armour and weaponry, in time specialist ‘smiths’ who were dedicated to making armour and swords called ‘armourers’ and ‘swordsmiths’ became more commonplace.

Medieval-Blacksmith-Anvil

Learn more about the Medieval Blacksmith



7. Cobbler *Shoemaker

Medieval shoes were made by cobblers who also repaired all types of shoes. However, medieval cobblers mainly made and repaired shoes for the common people. As for the nobility, they had their own shoemaker who was known as a cordwainer. He made luxury shoes with various styles that were exclusive to the nobility. Cobblers made shoes from materials such as burlap, hide, and wood.

Medieval-Craftsman-Cobbler-Shoemaker

Cobbler Shoemaker


12. Medieval Locksmith

Locksmiths were in high demand during the medieval period creating many types of lock, the most popular of these was the fetterlock, which was used to secure livestock. Medieval homes often had several locks on their doors especially if they were important buildings such as armories and treasuries that stored valuable items.

Medieval-Craftsman-Locksmith

Medieval Locksmith


13. Medieval Stonemason

Stone masonary was a highly skilled occupation, stonemasons might be tasked with building a famous castle, church or cathedral, some stonemasons may be tasked with creating an elaborate design or piece of work such as a medieval gargoyle.

Medieval-Stonemason-Medieval-Craftsmen

Medieval Stonemason


16. Medieval Wheelwright

A medieval wheelwright was in demand to make wheels for carriages and also repaired broken wheels, the name wheelwright means in Old English ‘Shaper of Wood’, Carriages were popular modes of transport with wealthly medieval people such as Royals, Nobles and wealthy merchants.


Medieval Craftsmen *Weapons & Armour

As well as craftsmen who made general products that were used by medieval people there was also a grouping of important weapons and armour craftsmen who were specialists in their type of work.

  1. Armourer *Armor Smiths
  2. Bowyer *bow makers
  3. Fletchers *Arrow makers
  4. Swordsmith *Sword Smiths

1. Armourer

An armourer was similar to a Blacksmith, indeed medieval Blacksmiths did make armour and weapons, but as the medieval period progressed the advancements of medieval weapons led to the natural progression of specialist ‘smiths’ such as armourers.

Medieval Armourers in medieval times

Once an armourer had specified the features he would use in the armour, he would begin working on every inch of the armour, using tools such as a very heavy hammer and rudimentary welding equipment.

An armourer would heat metals in a forge and then hammer and twist them into the required shape on an anvil.  Great armour manufacturers sprang up in Germany and Italy where sophisticated armour could be produced quickly in large quantitie.

Medieval-Blacksmith-Anvil

Armourers Anvil

Learn More about Medieval Craftsman – The Armourer

2. Bowyer

A Bowyer was in high demand as a weapons maker during the medieval period as he made the longbows used in the many battles of the hundred years war between England and France during the Plantagenet period. A Bowyer could skillfully shape freshly cut wood splits into bow staves in just a few hours of intense work.

Medieval-Bowyer-Medieval-Craftsmen

Medieval Bowyer

Medieval Bowyer Making a Longbow

Medieval Bowyers Longbow

Learn more about the Medieval Craftsman – The Bowyer


Moneyer

Authorised to make coins from different metals such as copper, gold and silver that could be used to buy goods and services. Moneyers would have been licensed by the Crown and would have been allowed to keep a very small percentage of the money he created in payment for his work.

Medieval Moneyer Coins

A Medieval Moneyer mints the coins in medieval times