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The Domesday book

In the Domesday book, Woodton is found in the Hundred of Loddon ("Hundret of Lothninga"). Woodton is referred to as Wdetuna, Wodetuna or Wodetona.
It is worth remembering that the Domesday book (1086) was commissioned by William The Conqueror and it was the first comprehensive survey of England. Its main goal was to determine who owned what and what it was worth before and after the conquest. King Edward the Confessor is mentionned instead of King Harold II before the conquest as William always claimed that Harold was not a "legal" king of England. The book refers to Harold's father Godwin to describe his estate.
The words: then, T.R.E.(1), now and afterwards are used all along the text to compare the two periods.

You will find below the main owners in Woodton. For completeness, I added some lands in Topcroft and Bedingham

In Wdetuna 2 freemen and a half of whom Alger had commendation, (with) half a ploughland. Then as now 2 villeins(2) and 1 bodar(3). Then 1 plough, afterwards nothing, now a half, and 1 acre of meadow. Then and afterwards the whole was worth 40 shillings, now 4 pounds. The soke (belonged) to Stigand; and it is 1 league in length and 1 in breadth, and (pays) 8 pence for geld.

In Wodetona was held by Ulketel a freeman of Edric's by commendation, for 30 acres and Walter holds it. Then as now 5 bordars. Then 2 ploughs, afterwards1, and now 2. Then as now half a plough belonging to the men. Wood for 4 swine, and 1 acre of meadow; now 7 swine; now 40 sheep. And there were there 8 freemen of Ulketell's in commendation T.R.E. (with) 30 acres of land. Then as now among the men 1 plough. Then and afterwards it was worth 20 shillings and now 30. It is 1 league in length and half in breadth and (pays) for geld 15 pence. The soke is in the hundret.

In Wodetuna 1 freeman belonging to the same with 20 acres and under him 1 freeman and 1 bordar with 4 acres, and then half a plough. Then and now it was worth 32 pence; 1 church with 12 acres, it is worth 12 pence.

In Bethingaham (Bedingham) Offo a thegn(?) of Stigand's held for a manor 1 ploughland T.R.E.; now the same holds it. Then as now 12 bordars and 2 serfs. Then as now 2 ploughs on the demesne, and 3 ploughs belonging to the men, and 3 acres of meadow. Then as now 2 horses on the demesne and 9 swine. Then as now 20 goats. Then it was worth 10 shillings, now 30.

In Topecroft (Topcroft) Berenger holds 2 ploughlands of the abbot, which 2 priests held T.R.E. then as now 4 villeins and 10 bordars. Then 2 serfs, now 1. Then as now 2 ploughs on the demesne and 3 ploughs belonging to the men. Wood for 3 swine, 3 acres of meadow and 1 sokeman with 2 acres. It was then worth 30 shillings, now 40.

Topecropt (Topcroft) was held by Godwin(5), a freeman of Gert by commendation only; T.R.E. for a manor (of) 3 ploughlands. Then (there were) 12 villeins, afterwards and now 2. Then (there were) 30 bordars afterwards and now 36. Then 7 serfs, now 4. Then (there were) 4 ploughs on the demesne, now 2. Then 7 ploughs belonging to the men, now 5. Wood-(land) for 20 swine, and 4 acres of meadow. And under him (eodem) 4 freemen (with) I ploughland delivered to Henfrid his predecessor instead of land (pro terra). And under them 5 villeins and 12 bordars. Then. (they had) 5 ploughs among (them) all, now 4, and 1 horse in the homestead (aula), now 40 swine and 20 goats. The whole was then worth 6 pounds, now 8. There also Godwin, a freeman-half Edric's and half St. Edmund's by commendation only T.R.E. held 1 1/2 ploughlands, where Covin (Couinus) held. Then as now (there were) 8 villeins and 11 bordars. Then as now 4 serfs. Then (there were) 2 ploughs, now none. Then (there were) 8 1/2 ploughs belonging to the men, now 5 1/2, and 3 acres of meadow. Then the whole was worth 30 shillings, now 40. It is 1 league and I furlong in length and 9 furlongs in breadth and (renders) 20 pence of geld who-ever holds there.

In Wodetuna (Woodton) he also (idem) holds 11 freemen of Godwin(5) (Goduini) Tokesone and another Godwin under King Edward and (?of) Gert, (with) half a ploughman and 4 bordars. Then (they had) 3 ploughs, now 2, and 1 1/2 acres of meadow. It has been included in the valuation. The soke (is) in the hundret.

In Wudetuna 2 freemen, Godwin's by commendation only T.R.E., were delivered instead of (pro = for) 60 acres. Then (they had) 2 ploughs and afterwards, now 1; and half an acre of eadow. Then and afterwards they were worth 10 shillings, now 5. The king and the earl (have) the soke.

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(1) T.R.E.: Tempore Regis Edwardi "In the time of king Edward" (the Confessor). This means before the conquest by the Normans. (go back)

(2) Villein: Unfree tenant of a manorial land. (go back)

(3) Bordar: Smallholder who farmed land of irregular shape, brought into cultivation from waste land (especially woodland), on the edge of settlements.
(go back)

(5)Godwin: died on 15th April 1053, he was the most powerful man in England during at the beginning of of the reign of Edward the Confessor. He was Earl of Wessex and Kent. He married his daugther, Edith, to Edward. His son Harold suceeded to Edward.
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Abbot of St Edmund
Eudo Son Spiruwin








WWW.WOODTON.INFO Last Update: 05/03/2005