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Norman

Model of Norman East Meon

A reconstruction of East Meon in 1086, showing the predecessors of All Saints Church, in the foreground, and of The Court Hall, top left. The model was made for the Domesday exhibition staged in The Great Hall in Winchester in 1986, commemorating 900 years since the Domesday Book was compiled.

Domesday

In 1986, nine hundred years after the survey was written East Meon was chosen by the Hampshire Museum Service as the ‘Domesday Village’. The choice was made by curator Elizabeth Lewis and architectural historian Edward Roberts not because any buildings survive of the period, but because in their opinion its layout still reflects the Norman period and because it has more remaining hall houses and other listed buildings than any village of its size. They visualised the settlement of East Meon as it would have been in 1086 and a model was displayed in the Great Hall in Winchester. It is now at the Musee de la Tapisserie in Bayeux.

Model of East Meon in Norman times

A wider view of the model of East Meon in Norman times, created as part of the Domesday Project, 1986

The Domesday Book has separate entries for Menes Manor and for Menes Ecclesia (Meon Church, which is described below):

Domesday entry for Mine Manor.

Translation: InMene HundredMenes Land of the King. Archbishop Stigand held it before 1066, for the use of the monks; later he had it for his lifetime. Then there were 72 hides; it paid geld for 35 hides and 1 virgate. Land for 64 ploughs. In lordship 8 ploughs; 70 villagers and 32 small holders with 56 ploughs. 15 slaves; 6 mills at 40s; meadow, 8 acres; woodland at 200 pigs from pasture; from grazing 7s-6d. Value before 1066 £60; later £40; now £60; however, it pays £100 by weight in revenue but it cannot bear it.

Meon Hundred (and Manor) had previously been owned by Stigand, Archbishop of both Canterbury and Winchester; on his death in 1072 it had been appropriated by King William. It comprised seventy-two hides (8,640 acres), but it only paid tax on thirty-five hides (4,200 acres) and one virgate (30 acres); the other half was presumably not cultivated. The Hundred had land to support sixty-four plough teams and seventy farmers, as well as thirty-two small holders who had land for fifty-six ploughs. Also on this land were fifteen slaves, six mills worth forty shillings, a meadow of eight acres, woodland to support two hundred pigs, and pasture earning seven shillings and sixpence from grazing. The value before 1066 had been £6, declining to £40, and by 1086 it returned to £60. However, ‘the manor pays £100 but this appears too much for this manor’.

Domesday entry for Menes Ecclesia

Translation: Menes Ecclesia The bishop holds 6 hides and 1 virgate with the church in Mene.  Land for 4 ploughs. In lordship 1½ ploughs; 11 villagers and 8 small holders with 3 ploughs. 2 slaves; 1 mill at 30d; meadow, 4 acres. Value before 1066 and later £4; now 100s.

In summary, Menes Hundred, and the two manors of Menes, included the tithings of Froxfield and Steep. and covered an area of almost 9,000 acres, of which Mene Ecclesia was only 700 acres. The Hundred had a population of over a hundred ‘villagers and slaves’, 7 mills and 127½ plough teams. For details of the Hundred, click here. For more on the Manors, click here. For more about East Meon’s entries in Domesday, click here.