Entries in the Domesday Book for Dilwyn Parish

doomsdayThe following translated extracts relate to the area of Dilwyn parish. It shows that various communities were well established under the anglo-saxons before the arrival of the Normans. In fact it names the anglo-saxon land holders prior to the conquest. The purpose of the Domesday book was to establish the levels of taxation that could be applied.  

Translation of the Great Domesday Book of 1086

Terms used in the translations are explained at the foot of this article.

Overall Landowner



Land of
King William

Lay in Leominster. Queen Edith
held it (wife
of Edward
the Confessor
and sister
of Harold)

HEF 1,25

William [of Ecouis] also holds NEWTON, and Bernard [Beard] from him. Bruning held it. 1/2 hide. This land is waste.

HEF 1,26

William [of Ecouis] also holds (Little) DILWYN, and Richard from him. Almer held it. 1 hide. In lordship 1 plough;
1 riding man with 1 plough. 1 Frenchman and 4 smallholders
who pay 25s. 2 male slaves, 1 female.
The value was 5s; now 20s.

HEF 1,32

Ilbert [son of Turold] holds (Sollers) DILWYN. Ravenkel <of Dilwyn> held it. 2 hides. In lordship 2 ploughs;
8 smallholders with 4 ploughs. 4 ploughmen.
The value was 20s; now 40s.

HEF 1,33

Ilbert [son of Turold] also holds LUNTLEY. Ravenkel <of Dilwyn> held it.
2 hides. In lordship 1 plough.
A reeve, 4 smallholders and 2 ploughmen with 2 ploughs.
The value was 40s; now 30s.

Land of
of Tosny

HEF 8,5

Ralph also holds CHADNOR. 3 hides which pay tax. Ernwy, Hadwin and Alward held it as three manors. In lordship 2 ploughs;
4 villagers, 6 smallholders and 1 smith with 3 ploughs.
6 slaves; meadow only for the oxen; woodland which pays nothing; a further 3 more ploughs would be possible there.
In the same village lies the third part of 1 hide; 1 plough there.
Value of the whole before 1066 £4 10s; now 110s.

Land of
of Lacy

HEF 10,52

Roger also holds ALTON, and Osbern from him. Alnoth held it; he could go where he would. Two parts of 1 hide; they pay tax. Land for 2 ploughs.
2 slaves. Nothing more.
The value is and was 10s.

HEF 10,53

Roger also holds SWANSTONE, and Guthmund [son of Saeric] from him. Saeric [father of Guthmund] held it; he could go where he would.
1 hide which pays tax. Nothing in lordship.
3 villagers and 3 smallholders have 2 ploughs.
The value was 10s; now 15s.

Land of
of Ecouis

HEF 14,4

William also holds in NEWTON 1/2 hide which pays tax. Brun held it. Bernard [Beard] holds from William. In lordship 1 plough;
2 villagers with 1 plough; 4 slaves.
The value was 10s; now 12s.

HEF 14,8

William also holds DILWYN. Edwin held it; he could go where he would. 3 hides which pay tax. In lordship 1 plough;
8 villagers and 5 smallholders with 7 ploughs; a further 2 more
ploughs would be possible. 1 female slave.
Value before 1066 £4; later and now 75s.

HEF 14,9

William also holds in this village [DILWYN] 1 hide which pays tax. Ernwy held it; he could go where he would. Land for 3 ploughs.
1 villager and 3 smallholders.
Value before 1066, 25s; later 10s; now 15s.

Land of
Osbern son
of Richard

HEF 24,7

In NEWTON 1/2 hide which pays tax and 1 virgate which does not
pay tax. Saeric [father of Guthmund] held it as a manor; he could go where he would. Herbert had it from Richard Scrope. In lordship 3 oxen;
3 villagers and 1 smallholder with 1 plough.
The value was 40s; now 24s.
1 plough would be possible there.

The standard unit of land measure, used to assess geld (tax). In theory each hide was divided into four equal parts, called Virgates. In area 120 or 200 acres or less: as much land as could be tilled with 1 plough, or support 1 family.
Tax, assessed per hide.
Land in the pesonal possession of a Lord, used to support that Lord rather than the tenants working it. i.e. the land of the manor, or home farm, belonging to the lord and cultivated by villans.
Servile tenant, bondman, farm servant, yeoman.
A peasant, lower on the social ladder than a Villan.
These were at the bottom of the economic and social scale, normally without resources of their own and there to perform their lord's bidding. The significant correlation between numbers of slaves and plough teams on the lord's demesne, or home farm, has been taken to prove that they were often utilised by the lord as his ploughmen.
A tenant who gave service on horseback to his lord as an obligation of his landholding.
A settler from abroad (not necessarily French) of non-noble status. Frenchmen were freeholders.
A judicial officer over the villans in the manor. Inferior to the Eorl, he assisted the Bailiff in the management of the estate and held a position corresponding the the modern Justice of the Peace.
Ploughmen. Ploughing in medieval England was a two-man operation, one man to handle the oxen and the other to guide the plough. Indications are that the oxmen performed much the same function as the the slaves in tilling the demesne land, and that an oxman was often associated with a slave in this task. Possibily, the oxmen shared the servile status, as well as the function, of the slaves.

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