A Skelding Summary
Beds are places where one catches forty winks, makes love, or, if you are feeling really adventurous, eat beans on toast.
The Egyptians raised themselves from the floor to sleep some 5000 years ago, with cedar wood designs with a stool for a head rest. Through the ages many cultures had headrests of stone, wood, pottery - all pretty hard. (But do feather pillows last for 5000 years?)
In the Middle Ages places of rest were usually in alcoves to shelter the occupants from the wind and the rain. This period saw the development of the great four poster - not necessarily as a form of status, the bigger it was, the bigger the person, the poor had big beds too but that was to put more people in them. Sharing a bed with total strangers in inns was the order of the day. (see Chaucer). The four poster, with canvas sides and a canopy, provided stout protection from the elements.
Naturally, with time the four posters did become a symbol of wealth and class with ornate designs on elaborate frames and plush fabrics reflecting this.
Modern times see a much simpler design - emphasis being placed more on the comfort of the mattresses, though grandeur will always be a status symbol. People spend a third of their lives reclining, so a comfortable night nowadays is more than just flaking out after an exhausting day's toil in field, factory and kitchen.
Is office work quite as exhausting? Maybe not - given the quantities of pills sold to help us go to sleep.
This FAQ (frequently asked questions) is also a running Q&A (questions & Answers) so you can ask and we will answer or find out for you.
Histories of Things