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View Full Version : multi-function village building - what did it do?



benbenberi
10-27-2013, 11:45 PM
For a throwaway detail that's bugging me right now -

In a fantasy setting based mainly on 17c France, my general is besieging a town and has his headquarters in a village on a main road 5 miles from the town. The detail that's trying to stall me is: before he made it his headquarters, what was the building for? It's the biggest one in the village. I think it was an inn, and also the town hall, but did it have any other functions? My brain is temporarily blanking on the options, and my google-fu is weak today. Help!

DeleyanLee
10-27-2013, 11:51 PM
What kind of community is it in? That'll tell you a lot about a function of a large building.

A large building in a manufacturing community (think looming/weaving or whatever) would have a different function than one for an agricultural area, or whatever, for instance.

King Neptune
10-27-2013, 11:57 PM
For a throwaway detail that's bugging me right now -

In a fantasy setting based mainly on 17c France, my general is besieging a town and has his headquarters in a village on a main road 5 miles from the town. The detail that's trying to stall me is: before he made it his headquarters, what was the building for? It's the biggest one in the village. I think it was an inn, and also the town hall, but did it have any other functions? My brain is temporarily blanking on the options, and my google-fu is weak today. Help!

Depending on the layout, it might also have been a dancehall and a meeting place and hospital in times of plague or whatever. And it would be handy when someone was invading or defending the place. The local lord probably would have owned the place and used it as a warehouse and office when the space was needed.

waylander
10-28-2013, 01:06 AM
Tithebarn? Steward's house?
Who owned the land and village? Local aristo? monastery? Possibly they built the building to act as a central point for produce to be brought for storage and sale and for their representative to live in.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tithe_barn

Debbie V
10-29-2013, 03:14 AM
Meetinghouses and dance halls often doubled as churches or schools until the community could build separate spaces for those.

WeaselFire
10-29-2013, 11:03 PM
It was an inn. Probably will be again when the General decamps.

Jeff

thothguard51
10-30-2013, 02:45 AM
In a port type village, the building could also be used where fisherman make deals on their catches, freight captains make deals for shipping freight, and sailors found ships hiring...

That sort of thing...

Mr Flibble
10-30-2013, 04:04 AM
It could be any and all (OK maybe not all, lol, but many buildings where used for more than one thing. Prolly does not include aristo's mansion) of these at the same time, depending on your purpose/devised culture (this IS fantasy, yes?)

Inn - the more trade routes pass through/near the place, the bigger it will be
Staging post
Dealer's in X local wassname
Place to swap horses/livery
Place that got the mail to distribute/for people to pick up
Policeman's/guard's office
Small barracks (depends on local need)
Blacksmith (blacksmiths were, after the inn, often one of the larger buildings in villages)
Local stores - as in grocery/dry goods/butcher etc
Alderman's/mayor's office
Tax collection
Town/village hall
Guild hall
Local aristo's mansion
Possibly something to do with any Church you have? Depends on how close to real 17h century you want to be.

benbenberi
10-30-2013, 04:18 AM
Thanks everybody! I think my Big Village Building is a combination inn/town hall/customs house (for duties on trade heading in & out of the big town - probably doubles as smugglers central when there's no invading armies hanging around).