The Anglo-Norman Territories


Trades and crafts


    All over western Europe in the 11th – 12th centuries the scale of manufacturing output appears to have been increasing rapidly. For the most part traditional raw materials such as wood and wool, and metals like iron, copper and lead were employed, although production of goods for the upper classes and the church in such scarce materials as glass and precious metals became more widespread. Enterprises remained overwhelmingly small-scale and workshops were often part of the artisan’s own house. However, in this period there are examples of the emergence of larger-scale production units as in the case of the new pottery workshops set up in rural areas, rather than towns as hitherto, in order to be near sources of clay and fuel. Increased output also followed from technical improvements such as the horizontal weaving loom.

Another aspect of the economic development of the Anglo-Norman era is the exploration of new avenues for trade. Although trade remained overwhelmingly local and regional, there is evidence that both England and Normandy were benefiting from a rising level of long-distance trade, especially in high-value goods like silk and wine, carried out by merchants using great port cities such as London and Rouen. Norman kinship with the rulers of southern Italy and Sicily may for a time have made other great ports such as Naples and Palermo particularly inviting destinations.


Textile production
Ceramics and pottery

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