Extract from the Domesday book in 1086 for Baschurch



ROBERT the butler holds WALFORD of Earl Roger, and Sturmid [holds] of him. Siward held it TRE. There are 2 hides. [ .. ] In demesne is half a plough and 1 oxman; and 2 villans and 2 bordars with 1 ½ ploughs. TRE it was worth 15s; and afterwards it was waste; now it is worth 20s.

The same Robert holds STANWARDINE. Ealdrred held it. There are 2 hides. There is 1 villan and 1 bordar and a smith with half a plough, and 2 ploughs more might be there. It was and is worth 10s.

The same Robert holds PETTON, and Ralph [holds] of him. Leofnoth held it. There are 1 ½ hides. [ ... ] In demesne is 1 plough; and 2 villans and 2 bordars with 1 plough. It was worth 5s ; now 10s.




Unfree peasant with less land than villans.



Part of the manor either kept by the lord in his own hands or farmed for his own profit.



The standard unit of assessment used for tax purposes. It was meant to represent the amount of land that could support a household, roughly 120 acres. There were four virgates to every hide.



A sub-division of the shire (or county) used for administrative purposes.



When Domesday refers to number of ploughs it is referring to the taxable amount of land that can be ploughed by a team of eight oxen. Thus, land ‘for half a plough’ (or ‘for four oxen’) means half a plough land.



Abbreviation used in Domesday Book for tempore regis Edwardi, ‘at the time of King Edward’. When William wanted to know who owned the manor immediately before he became King he referred to the reign of King Edward. Harold, who succeeded Edward as King in January 1066 and was defeated by William in October 1066 is nearly always referred to as ‘earl’ Harold in Domesday – his reign being airbrushed out of history by the scribe.



An unfree peasant who owed his lord labour services (two or three days per week) but who also farmed land for himself. Villans were the wealthiest and most numerous of unfree peasants. Also called villains or villeins.




Great Domesday Book. 1086. Folio 256r. Catalogue reference: E 31/2/2. Held at National Archives, Kew.

Translation by Editions Alecto Limited.

Glossary of terms from National Archives website.