Egham Surrey


Egham, Surrey by Frederic Turner.  Pub: Box & Gilham. 1926

Chapter 7 Egham in the Fourteenth Century: The Mediaeval Manor

In 1316, Abbot John Rutherwyke started a survey of all the Abbey's land.  Unfortunately he seems to have only got as far as Egham; and even that not completed.

Miss Ethel Stokes transcribed the scraps from the Lansdowne manuscript of the cartulary and they were summarised by Frederic Turner.

Turner's comments in parenthesis:

"the capital site or homestead was surrounded by a garden and curtilage containing about four acres, enclosed by a hedge and ditch.  The produce of the garden was estimated at 7s yearly, and the cost of repairs to the various buildings at 20s. There was a dove house worth 3s "when it shall have been repaired." (This as we have seen was done).  A mill at Harpesford was set down at 13s. 4d., (probably the rent paid by the holder, as Rutherwyke " purchased " the mill some years later).

There was a wharf or landing place called " le Wodehaghe," the modern Woodhaw, near the Glanty, and the tolls were worth 5s. The surveyor added a note " from which quay and wharfage from time immemorial a toll has been taken and used on the Thames from a place called Loderslakehacche as far as a ditch called le Heghdyche, from ships carrying corn, wood, timber, hay or any other thing."

There were fisheries at Egehampol and Langhampol, worth 2s. yearly. The polling of willows worth 12d. Plots of pasture beside the highways are noted, in one case the value is given ; " and there is a certain lane 0f the highway next le Chalveygarstone, very long, the pasture 0f which is worth all through the summer 6d."

Customary tenants might cut for winter fuel four cartloads of heath from the waste, for this privilege some service, left blank in the record, was to be made.

There was a tax on each brewing in the manor, called " Gavelfestre " amounting to 3s. For pannage the abbot received 1d. a year for each pig one year old, and a halfpenny for each pig of six months, estimated to produce 10s. yearly.

The tallage was unfixed and at the will 0f the lord, yielding about 20s., whilst fines, and perquisites of court, with heriots and reliefs, produced 30s. a year.

The survey then proceeds to set out in great detail the exact measurements of the various "cultures" in the arable fields, which appear to have been three in number, Estforlong, Midelforlong, and West or Cherleforlong. One of the "cultures " was called Homeworth.

The arable lands in demesne were about 50 acres, and included, "la Manicroft next land formerly Henry de Middleton's." The Manorcroft, as it is still called, is a field south 0f the railway station. Mention is also made of "Twentiakers," a field at the Hythe end 0f Chertsey Lane still known by that name, though by division the acreage has been reduced ; for many years it belonged to the priory of Broomhall.

The meadow land amounted to about 56 acres, and valued at 4 2s. 2 1/4d., 0r about is. 6d. per acre. This also was the value put upon a meadow at Chalveygarstone, where in summer two cows could be fed, and in winter " according to the weather God gives."

The rough pasture, amounting to 30 acres, was valued at 29s. 9d., whilst there were in addition some 30 acres 0f moor, " the soil whereof is at present in common for want of enclosure."

The total of the demesne lands was 198 1/2 acres, and a quarter of a perch, with an annual value 0f 6 12s. 9 1/4d., which works out at about 8d. per acre.

The arable land of the demesne was to be ploughed, harrowed and sown by the customary tenants, the allowance of seed per acre being, of wheat or " siligo "1 two bushels ; of beans, peas, vetch or " sprig,"2 two and a half bushels ; 0f barley, " draget "3 or large oats, five bushels ; whilst for small oats six bushels were allowed. If the weather was wet the quantities of seed were slightly increased. Certain customary tenants had to provide their own seed of oats, to be sown in February or March, in places appointed by the reeve.

There were four working horses, and the meadows produced twelve cartloads of hay, six of which were to be made into a " mixture " with straw, for the horses and cattle, whilst for the sheep " well seasoned and sweet-smelling stalks of pease and vetch " were to be added.

The hay was to be put into ricks, " not too large nor too small," one rick in each meadow, containing one cartload [sic]. If straw was used for thatching, or sold, the reeve was to keep an account, so that the cost of the straw used for food could be ascertained. Many words in this part of the record are quite illegible, but we gather that through the lack of straw the number of animals which could be kept was small.

The lord's sheepfold was on the high ground at Purnershe. Next we have the name of the chief tenant, with particulars of his holding, and the rents and services due from him ; most if not all the latter could be commuted by a money payment. John Aldwyne held the " capital site " with half a virgate of land adjacent ;' whilst the remainder of his holding was in acre or half acre. strips, scattered all over the manor. For the tenement and half virgate 4 John paid 6d. each quarter. At Christmas he gave a hen or paid 2d. : at Easter five eggs or a farthing : at the Gule of August (August 1st) he rendered one fourteenth of two sheep's carcasses ; " or he will fill a cart with dung whilst it is being carted, and this work is worth sixpence." He had also to plough and harrow half an acre of wheat, and half an acre of oats . . . barley and " beckab "5 etc., valued at 9 1/4d. He had also to plough, harrow, and sow with his own oats, half a rood, worth 3d. He was to reap half an acre of beat, oats and barley, or pay 7d. As a boon work he has to reap an unspecified area, when the lord was to provide his food, but not the . . . (there is not much difficulty in filling up this blank).

I A very fine winter wheat ; the name has been wrongly applied to rye

2 Sprig I cannot identify.

3 Dragetum, Dredge, mixed corn

4 The virgate in Egham appears to have been the normal one of thirty acres

5 Beckab I cannot identify.