Bradford in the Domesday Book 1086

An Extract from Canon Jones History of Bradford on Avon:
The Domesday Book was completed in 1086, just twenty years fter the battle of Hastings, and that remarkable record shows how the country had been portioned out among the captains of the invaders. In Bradford, however, we seem to have been comparatively favoured. The Abbey at Shaftesbury is still spoken of as possessed of Bradford ; and amongst those who held lands here, by military service under the King, are several whose names are clearly Anglo-Saxon.
Domesday Book contains the following entries concerning Bradford and its dependencies.
Under the head of Lands of the Church of Shaftesbury we have the following(1):-

(Ch. xii. § 3.) " The same Church (Shaftesbury) holds Bradeford. It was assessed in the time of King Edward at forty-two hides. Here are forty plough-lands (caracuta). Thirteen of these hides are in demesne, where are eight plough-lands, and nine servants, and eighteen freedmen (coliberti). Thirty-six villagers (villani) and forty borderers (bordarii) occupy the other thirty-two plough-lands. There are twenty-two hog-keepers. Thirty-three burgesses (burgenses) pay thirty-five shillings and ninepence. And one of the holders pays seven quarts of honey. Two mills pay three pounds. The market pays forty-five shillings. Here is an arpen(2) (arpenna) of vines and fifty acres of meadow. The pasture is one mile and three furlongs in length and three furlongs broad. The wood is three quarters of a mile long and a quarter of a mile mile broad.

§ 5. " To the same manor of Bradeford belongs Alvestone.(3) It was assessed in the time of King Edward at seven hides, besides the above mentioned forty-two hides. Here are six plough-lands. Four of the hides are in demesne, where are three ploughlands. The whole of Bradeford with its appendages was and is valued at sixty pounds."

There are also to be found under the head of ' Lands of Odo and other Thanes who hold by military service under the King,' several entries, which seem to have reference to our parish, though it is difficult in some instances to identify with anything like certainty the places alluded to. Thus, Brietric is said to hold one hide in Trole(1);-Vlf one hide in Bode-berie(2); -Uluric three yard lands in Wintreslie(3) and one yard land in Tuder-lege(4):-Ulward four hides in Wintreslie.
In this same record, CUMBERWELL(5) is mentioned, in Cap. xxvii., under the lands of Humphrey de L'lsle, the Lord also of Broughton and of Castle Combe. In § 5 it is said,-
" Pagen holds Cumbrewelle of Humphrey. Levenot held it in the time of King Edward and it was assessed at four hides. Here are five plough-lands. Two plough-lands and a servant are in demesne. Two villagers and four borderers occupy the other three plough-lands. Here are four acres of meadow and five acres of wood. It is valued at three pounds. The King has one hide of this manor in demesne where there is no land in tillage. And an Englishman holds half of it of the King, which is worth eight shillings."
It is not easy, for many reasons, to draw any very accurate conclusions from these entries in Domesday Book. If we presume that the first extract gives us a general summary of the whole parish, we have returned as arable land nearly 5000 acres, for such would be the extent of the ' forty plough-lands' (carucatcs) mentioned. If Cumberwell be not included in this summary, and as it is so specifically mentioned, it may be reckoned separately, there will be an addition to this estimate of 'five plough-lands' more, or some 600 acres. In the former case there would be more than two.fifths, in the latter about half the land under the plough. Taking even the lesser calculation it gives us a large proportion of arable land in the parish, and one much above the average. It may perhaps be accounted for by the fact that it was Church land. For as Turner remarks, " The Domesday Survey gives us some indications that the cultivation of the Church lands, was much superior to that of any other order of society. They have much less wood upon them, and less common of pasture ; and what they had appears often in smaller and more irregular pieces; while their meadow was more abundant, and in more numerous distributions."(1)
The meadow and pasture land is reckoned at about four hundred acres; the wood at about one hundred and forty acres. The small amount of the former is perhaps accounted for by the fact of there being in these early times a very large portion of common land unenclosed and uncultivated, which is not included in the Domesdary reckoning. The latter calculation may relate principally, if not entirely, to what is now called Bradford Wood, and does not include many pieces of wood-land and coppice, that even to this day remain. If so, Bradford Wood, which is now seventy acres in extent, must formerly have been double that size, by no means an improbable supposition, as, in a survey of 1785 it is described as "about 105 acres," and within the memory of many now living( parts of it have been grubbed up and tilled. Indeed, nothing is more evident than that in olden times there was a much larger extent of wood-land than now. This is true of comparatively modern days. In a schedule of lands and tenements leased out under the manor in the eighth year of Charles I., hardly more than 200 years ago, there was one tenement described as being in "Pepitt street, near Bradford wood." The wood alluded to must have come right down almost into the middle of the town.(2)
We may from the Domesday return, form a tolerable conjecture as to the population of our parish, or manor, as it would have been called in these early days. Beckoning those named as resident at Cumberwell, and assuming, in addition to those specifically mentioned, a man for every mill, pasture, house, &c., (the plan adopted by Eickman and Turner,) we have enumerated in all some 175 persons in various employments. Supposing these numbers to have reference to the heads of families only, and taking four as the average of a family, it would give us a population of about 700. Many of these would, of course, live near the lands which they cultivated, so that the population of the town could hardly have been more than from three to four hundred at the most.

(1) Wyndham's Domesday Book for Wiltshire, p. 150. [Jones's Domesday for Wiltshire]
(2) An Arpen was perhaps something less than an acre. It varied in different districts.
(3) Alvestone. It is not easy to explain how Alvestone was first reckoned as parcel of the Manor of Bradford, nor when it was severed from it. The exact place alluded to even may be a matter of doubt. There are two places in Gloucestershire, about ten miles from Bristol, one called Olveston *nd the other Alveston, which till lately were held as one living, and the Rectory impropriate of which now belongs, as does that of Bradford, to the Dean and Chapter of Bristol. [This suggestion is inadmissible. At a teter date, in his " Wiltshire Domesday, p. 196," the author put forth another conjecture. Brictric had a brother A Iwi; and a brother of Brictric, Presumably Alwi, held Farlege (Monkton Farleigh) as his under-tenant, in "* time of King William. Canon Jones remarks, 'o The name is now lost,
way possibly be a memorial of Alwi," whose manor adjoined.]

1 § 4. This is now Trowle; but as part of what is so called belongs to Trowbridge parish, it is impossible to assign the hide of land held, as above, to Bradford with certainty.
2 § 59. Conjectured to mean Btid-bury.
3 §61. Winsley, see above, page 14. 4§ 61. Turleigh (?) S Cumberwell, see above, page 15.
By the Sev. W. H. Jones. 27

(1)History of Anglo-Saxons,' vol. ii. p. 552 (8vo edition, 1886.) See also on this subject Hallam's ' Europe in the Middle Ages,' vol. iii. p. 360.
(2) In 1840, the estimated quantity of land then cultivated as arable, eadow or pasture land, or as wood-land, or common land, was as follows;_
Arable land .................. 4362 acres.
Meadow or Pasture land ...... 5956 acres

Wood-land.................... 399 acres
Common land ................ 209 acres
Since that time, however, 201 acres of common land have been enclosed and brought into cultivation. [And since 1840, a good deal of arable land has been converted into pasture.']
(1)The whole number of heads of families in Wiltshire, according to Domesday, is 10,749. This, according to the calculation above, would give a total population of about 42,000 souls. See Turner's ' Anglo-Saxons,' vol. iii. p. 255. [JTi is probably too small a multiplier.]
2 William of Malmesbury's Chronicle, (A.D. 1139.)