The Domesday Book was commisioned in December 1085 by William the Conquerer. The first draft was completed in August 1086 and contained records for 13,418 settlements in the English counties south of the rivers Ribble and Tees (the border with Scotland at the time). The record is believed to have been commissioned to confirm potential tax revenues and therefore how much Danegeld might be available to pay off any marauding Danish armies. Records for Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex were not included in the main collection but are listed instead in a separate "Little Domesday Book" probably because these counties were the final locations for the commisioners' work and King William died before all the records had been given to the principal scribe.
There are many references to Taverham in the Little Domesday Book as it was then also the name of one of the 33 Norfolk "Hundreds", which were the old territorial divisions of the country introduced by King Alfred 200 years before Domesday. Each Hundred had its own court with monthly hearings and was itself usually subdivided into 100 "hides", each of which had to produce one man-at-arms for the king's army.
The Hundred of Taverham included the villages of Attlebridge, Beeston St.Andrew, Catton, Crostwick, Drayton, Felthorpe, Frettenham, Hainford, Hellesdon (part), Horsham St. Faiths, Horsford, Horstead, Newton St. Faiths, Rackheath, Salhouse, Spixworth, Sprowston, Taverham itself and Wroxham.
Courtesy of Mr E.C.Apling the following are the entries in the Little Domesday Book for the villages of Drayton and Taverham:
DRAYTON 20 LAND OF R(ALPH) OF BEAUFOUR The Hundred of Taverham 26 Aldwulf, a free man, held DRAYTON before 1066, 2 c. of land. Now Oder holds. Always 7 villagers; 8 smallholders. Then 3 slaves. Always 1 plough in lordship; 3 men's ploughs; 1 plough could be restored. Meadow, 10 acres; woodland, 3 pigs; 1 cob; 2 head of cattle; 14 pigs. Then 180 sheep, now 60. Then 60 goats. Also 2 Freemen, 22 acres of land. Then ½ plough. 1 church, 8 acres; value 16d. Value then 40s; now 50. It has 1 league in length and ½ in width, tax of 8¾d, The King and the Earl (have) the jurisdiction.
TAVERHAM 1 [LAND OF THE KING] The Hundred of TAVERHAM 55 In TAVERHAM Hrold held 1 outlier before 1066 1 c. of land and 2½ acres, an outlier (int he lands of) Cawston. Always 2 villagewrs; 4 smallholders. Always 1 plough in lordship; ½ men's plough. Meadow, 10 acres; woodland, 10 pifs; always 1½ mills. Always 2 cobs. This is in the valuation of Cawston. Before 1066 13 Freemen appertained to this manor, 2c. of land and 21 acres; these Walter Gifford holds. 4 LANDS OF COUNT ALAN The Hundred of TAVERHAM 33 In TAVERHAM Thorbert, 1 free man, held 1c. of land before 1066. Always 3 villagers; 3 smallholders. Always 1 plough in lordship; ½ men's plough; meadow, 5 acres; woodland, 5 pigs. Value then and now 20s. Haimer holds. 8 LANDS OF WILLIAM OF WARENNE The Hundred of TAVERHAM 7 In TAVERHAM Toki, a free man, held as a manor before 1066, 1 c. of land. Always 6 villagers; 6 smallholders; 1 slave. Then and later 1 plough in lordship, now 2. Then and later 1½ men's ploughs, now 2. Meadow, 10 acres; woodland, 5 pigs; ¼ of 1 mill; ¼ of a church, 3 acres/ 1 cobs. Then 4 head of cattle, now 7. Then 8 pigs, now 40. Then 40 sheep, now 300. Value then and later 30s; now 40s. This is of the Holding of Frederic. It has l½ leagues in length and 1 league in width, it pays 17¼d towards the King's tax, whoever holds there. LAND OF THE BISHOP OF THETFORD BELONGING TO THE BISHOPRIC BEFORE 1066 10 LAND OF BISHOP WILLIAM Hundred of TAVERHAM 36 In TAVERHAM 1 free woman before 1066 held ½ c. of land. Then 3 villages; 2 smallholders. Always 1 plough in lordship. Then and later ½ men's plough. Meadow, 5 acres; woodland, 2 pigs. Then 3 Freemen; 13 acres of land; now 1 Freeman. Then ½ plough. Value then 12s; now 20s. 10a LANDS OF ST. MICHAEL OF NORWICH Hundred of TAVERHAM 1 In TAVERHAM St. M(ichael) held 1 c. of land before 1066, and Stigand under him. Always 4 villagers; 2 small holders. Always 1 plough in lordship; 1 men's plough, 4 Freemen, 12 acres of land. Meadow, always 8 acres; woodland, 12 pigs. Value 20s. 20 LAND OF R(ALPH) OF BEAUFOUR The Hundred of Taverham 27 In TAVERHAM he also holds 1 c. of land which Ulf held before 1066. Always 4 villagers; 3 smallholders. Always 1 plough in lordship; 1 men's plough; meadow, 10 acres; woodland, 5 pigs; ¼ of a mill. Also 5 Freemen, 13 acres of land. Always 1 plough in lordship; 2 cobs; 1 head of cattle. Now 12 pigs; 60 sheep. Value then and later 20s; now 30, ¼ of 1 church, 15 acres; value 16d.
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