ISLINGTON HOUSING NEWS SUPPLEMENT


HISTORY OF CITY HOUSING NO.4

 

1. THE UNHAPPY CENTURY 1000-1100 AD

It was a bad time. It was a frightened time. A thousand years had passed since the birth of Christ. Many were fearful that the world would end on this anniversary date.

It was a hungry time. Europe teetered on the brink of mass starvation. Never before and never since have so many suffered from famine.

Skeletons of the time show all the scars of deprivation. The poor were often reduced to eating the barks and roots of trees.

2. THE DARK AGES

With the decline of the Roman Empire there had been a collapse of civilisation in Western Europe.

The Barbarian invasions had swept over Europe -the Goths, the Vandals, the Saxons - even the Huns from Asia. From the bleak fiords of Scandinavia had come the long boats of the Vikings.

Little wonder the fine citios of Europe decayed. Little wonder that people lost the know-how of running things.

They could not organise life. They found it difficult to keep body and soul together in their villages.

3. SOMETHING STIRRING

But men began to stir against the bleak monotony of their country lives.

They were led by the Normans. These were descendants of the Vikings who had settled in Northern France.

The Normans maintained their vigour and as the century wore on they spurred on the European migration - out of the cold, miserable villages of the Dark Ages.

4. THE CRUSADES

Towards the end of the century the Crusades started. The objective was to recapture Jerusalem, the Holy City, from the Moslems.

The Popes gave their blessings to this venture. They hoped it would stop their flock fighting among themselves.

So not just soldiers, but whole masses of people tramped towards the East. They suffered terrible hardships; they fought bloody battles.

5. JERUSALEM

Amazingly they succeeded. They conquered Jerusalem. They slaughtered all the inhabitants and the streets ran with blood.

Then they gave solemn thanks to God!

 

Next