In the making of The Luttrell Psalter Film, the key questions were how much of each illustration could we take at face value; how much should we attribute to artistic licence or to allegorical meanings too complex to be fully understood today; are the Luttrell Psalter images of everyday life a true reflection of village life in the first quarter of the 14th century?
Yes, certainly the images have many meanings within the context of the book, but we decided to take all the illustrations literally and to test them out so far as we could within our means.
So, rather than cast actors for the roles of the Luttrell villagers, we were looked for people with specific skills – people who really could spin with the medieval walking wheel, use a sling shot or play two pipes at once!
We also needed to find the specialists who could make the replica pottery, an exact copy of the Luttrell Psalter plough, and even replicate a page from the Psalter itself.
For the locations, we wanted to replicate not only the landscape, but also the very geology – we would not have been happy filming in reconstructed medieval houses in any other stone that the local Lincolnshire creamy-grey limestone!
Through this process we learned so much more than could be expressed by the film alone. This blog is a chance to share some of those discoveries and experiences.
Coming next, an archaeological field walk of the lost medieval village of Middle Carlton.