My body has returned from Devon, but my mind hasn't caught up with it yet, and I haven't really been 'present' all day. So it's good to remind myself of the roots of this place. Mucknell Farm goes back at least as far as the Domesday Book of 1086, where it appears as 'Mucenhil'. The relevant paragraph is translated:
"Of this manor Urse the sheriff holds 3 BEREWICKS of 7 hides, Mucknell, Stoulton, Upper Wolverton. There are 7 ploughs, and 7 villans and 7 bordars and 7 slaves, and 16 acres of meadow. For these 3 estates farm was rendered TRE, for they were always for the sustenance. They are worth 100s."And by way of further explanation:
- BEREWICK - Derived from the Old English word for corn farm, referring to an outlying holding within a manor, separate but taxed as a part of that manor.
- hide - Measurement of land for tax assessment, of approximately 120 acres, depending on local variations in the acre.
- plough - A plough team with its eight oxen and the plough itself. The measure of a hide was originally the amount of land which such a team could plough in one day.
- villan or villagers - Member of the peasant class with the most land.
- bordar or smallholder - Middle class of peasant, usually with less land than a villager but more than a cottager.
- slave - A man or woman who owed personal service to another, and unable to move home or work or change allegiance, to buy or to sell, without permission.
- TRE - "Tempora Regis Eduardis", that is, in the time of King Edward the Confessor; by implication, when all in the realm was legally correct and ownership would have been rightfully secured.
- sustenance - That is, of the bishop of the Church of St Mary of Worcester.
- 100s - Shillings, for accounting purposes (there was no actual coin).