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Domesday Malhamdale

The famous Domesday Survey is our earliest public record and is now housed in The National Archives. External Website logo It was compiled between the years 1080 and 1086 to provide a detailed survey and valuation of all the land held by the King and his chief tenants and presents the earliest picture of England under the feudal regime. The general purpose of the Survey was to ascertain the taxable capacity of the country and to this end a return was made of the cultivated area of each vill or township. Usually though not invariably, a number of other details were recorded — the name or names for instance, of its Saxon owner or owners and of its present holder with those of his sub-tenants ; the extent of its meadow and woodlands; its value in the time of the Confessor and its present value. Other items frequently noted were the presence of churches, mills and fisheries; but since the Survey betrays an absence of uniform diligence on the part of the Commissioners charged with its preparation, or of their scribes, the mere omission of any one of the latter items cannot be regarded as exclusive proof of its nonexistence at the time. For example, a church is not mentioned under Kirkby-in-Malhamdale, though, there are good grounds for believing that one stood there in pre-Norman times. The Survey deals first with the estates of the Crown, secondly, with those of the church, and thirdly, with the large fiefs or baronies of the tenants-in-chief, in the course of his reign. In one or other category most of the present-day townships of England are enumerated. A few of the Saxon owners have evidently been permitted to retain their land, and appear in the character of feudal sub-tenants, but the majority have been dispossessed in favour of Normans. Five of the Malhamdale vills, — Airton, Calton, Scosthorpe, Otterburn, Kirkby, and part of Malham, are included in the fief of a Norman magnate, Roger of Poictou, lord of the Honour of Clitheroe. The rest of Malham is held by a compatriot of equal, if not greater importance, William de Percy, founder of the House of Northumberland, while Hanlith, the remaining vill of the parish, is returned as in the King's hands. Excepting Airton and Calton, all the vills are described as 'waste', a condition Whitaker attributes to ravages by the Danes, but which might be ascribed to the fierce revenge which the Conqueror exacted from the rebellious north and west, between the years 1068 and 1071.

National Archives Domesday logo
The Great Domesday Book, which contains the Malhamdale entries, is held at the National Archives ref. E31/2/2 and the page images and translations are available to download via their Documents Online External Website logo service. All the entries for Malhamdale are covered by page images of the following four folios: 301v; 322r; 332r and 380r. The National Archive's scans and transcripts are from the Editions Alecto External Website logo Great and Little Domesday.
Phillimore & Co External Website logo publish a facsimilie edition of Great Domesday, with translation, in County volumes.
The National Archives also have an information section about Domesday External Website logo and a Research Guide External Website logo

So you can find the earliest written references to the Malhamdale townships in the Domesday Book, drawn up in 1086 for William the Conqueror.  A typical example of the content of Domesday for this area is shown by these two examples which show the holdings in Malham, firstly of William de Percy:

In Swinden, Hellifield , Malham and Coniston [Cold] there are 13 and a half caracutes taxable.
Bjornulfr had the manors. Now William de Percy has [them] and they are "waste".

A ‘carucate’, or ploughland, was variable in size around the country, depending on the quality and situation of the land, but in Malham it consisted of eight oxgangs. An oxgang was also a variable and in Malham was about twenty acres, so a Malham carucate was 160 acres. The second entry shows the extensive holdings of Earl Edwin:

In Bolton [Abbey] Earl Edwin had ........
3 Caracutes in Malham ......
They are "waste"

You can also see amongst his holdings in Craven that Earl Edwin held similar amounts of land in Malhamdale at Otterburn, Scosthrop, Coniston (Cold) and Hanlth.

So Domesday seems to show that the area being farmed in Malham township amounted to around 960 acres. This is all described as ‘vasta’ in Latin, which may mean ‘devastated’ as some authors such as TD Whitaker have suggested, because William had carried out a severe punitive expedition across the north some twenty years earlier following a rebellion. This is known as The Harrying of the North in 1069-70 and is suggested to have laid waste to as much as a quarter of the land in the northern counties. The term could also simply mean ‘not cultivated’, but used as pastureland, or the term was sometimes used for manors simply not paying geld for one reason or another.

The end of the 11th Century may have brought the first known written references to Malhamdale places, but after the arrival of the Normans, the country soon saw the founding of the many great monasteries, which by the thirteenth century completely controlled the township of Malham; with Fountains Abbey holding four carucates (640 acres), and Bolton Priory, two (320 acres). These extensive 'religeous businesses' created a wealth of documentary information in which Malham features, as the local area became an important generator of monastic wealth. This influence was also repeated in other parts of Malhamdale, with the smaller Abbeys of West Dereham in Norfolk, Sawley and Furness also having interests in this corner of the Yorkshire Dales.

TD Whitaker in his History of Craven says that: of the townships or manors of Malgum, Chirchebi, Oterburne, Airtone, Scotorp, and Caltun, only Malgum alone was of the original fee of W. de Perci; the rest were included in the Terra Rogeri Pictaviensis. Malgum was surveyed, together with Swindene, Helgefelt, and Conningstone, making in all 12 and a half caracutes and Chircheby 2 caracutes under Giggleswick, of which it was a member. The rest are given as follows :-

Manor.-In Otreburne (Otterburn) Gamelbar had three carucates to be taxed .
Manor.-In Airtone (Airton) Arnebrand had four carucates to be taxed .
Manor.-In Scotorp (Scosthorp) Archil and Orm. had three carucates to be taxed.
Two manors.-In Caltun (Calton) Gospatric and Glumer had four carucates to be taxed. Erneis had it, but now it is in the castellate of Roger.

TD Whitaker continues: The castellate of Roger, I have already proved to be that of Clitheroe ; Calton, therefore, in the reign of the Conqueror, was a member of the honour of Clitheroe. But as Roger of Poitou, soon after this, time, alienated all his possessions in Craven (with one or two trifling exceptions) to the Percies, the whole parish, from the time of that alienation to the present, has constituted part of the Percy fee, now belonging to his Grace the Duke of Devonshire.


Malhamdale lands & landowners 1086

Township   Description in Domesday

Malham

Malgon
Malgun

Manor and Berewicks. - In Suindene, (Swinden) and Helgefelt, (Hellifield) and Malgun, (Malham) and Cuningestone, (Conifton-Cold) thirteen carucates and a half to be taxed. These were Bernulfs; William de Percy now has them, and they are "waste".

Manor. - In Boldetone, (Bolton Abbey) Earl Edwin had six carucates of land to be taxed.
Soke. - Otreburne (Otterburn) three carucates, Scotorp (Scoflhorp)
three carucates, Malgun (Malham) three carucates, Coneghestone (Conniftone) three carucates.........
To be taxed together seventy-seven carucates. They are "waste".

Kirkby Malham

Chirchebi

Manor. - In Giggleswick Feigr had .......,
Chirbie 2 caracutes........
Roger of Poitu now has (it).

Hanlith

Hanelif
Hangelif

Manor. - In Boldetone, (Bolton Abbey) Earl Edwin had six carucates of land to be taxed. .........
Soke.- Anleie (Aneley) two carucates, Hangelif (Hanlith) three
carucates.
To be taxed together seventy-seven carucates. They are "waste".

Scosthrop

Scotorp

2 Manors. - In Scotorp (Scofthorp) Archil and Orm had three carucatesto be taxed.

Manor. - In Boldetone, (Bolton Abbey) Earl Edwin had six carucates of land to be taxed.
Soke. - Otreburne (Otterburn) three carucates, Scotorp (Scosthorp)
three carucates, Malgun (Malham) three carucates, Coneghestone (Conniftone) three carucates.........
To be taxed together seventy-seven carucates. They are "waste".

Airton

Airtone

Manor. - In Airtone (Airton) Arnebrand had four carucates to be taxed.

Calton

Caltun

Two manors. - In Caltun Gospatric and Glumer had four carucates to be taxed. Erneis had it, but now it is in the castellate of Roger (of Poitou).

Otterburn

Otreburne

Manor. - In Otreburne Gamelbar had three carucates to be taxed .

Manor. - In Boldetone, (Bolton Abbey) Earl Edwin had six carucates of land to be taxed.
Soke. - Otreburne (Otterburn) three carucates, Scotorp (Scoflhorp)
three carucates, Malgun (Malham) three carucates, Coneghestone (Conniftone) three carucates.........
To be taxed together seventy-seven carucates. They are "waste".

Coniston Cold

Coneghestone
Coningeston
Cuningestone

Manor. - In Boldetone, (Bolton Abbey) Earl Edwin had six carucates of land to be taxed.
Soke. - Otreburne (Otterburn) three carucates, Scotorp (Scoflhorp)
three carucates, Malgun (Malham) three carucates, Coneghestone (Conniftone) three carucates.........
To be taxed together seventy-seven carucates. They are "waste".

Manor and Berewicks. - In Suindene, (Swinden) and Helgefelt, (Hellifield) and Malgun, (Malham) and Cuningestone, (Conifton-Cold) thirteen carucates and a half to be taxed.
These were Bernulfs; William de Percy now has them, and they are "waste".

In Cuningestone (Conistone) William de Percy held two carucates to be taxed, but Roger of Poitou has it.

Eshton

Estune

Manor. - In Estune (Eshton) Archil and Uflred had six carucates to be taxed.

Winterburn

Witreburne

Manor. - In Witreburne (Winterburn) Torfin had three carucates of land to be taxed. Roger of Pictou now has it.

Bordley

Borelaie

Manor. - In Borelaie (Bordley) Suartcol had two carucates to be taxed.

You can download a free, searchable, copy of the 19th century transcription of the Yorkshire Domesday entries used to create this table for Malhamdale. It was transcribed by the Rev. William Bawdwen and is available from Archive.org External Website logo

Sources:
Rev W Bawdwen, Translation of Domesday for Yorkshire, Sheardown, Doncaster 1809 External Website logo
JW Morkill, The Parish of Kirkby Malhamdale, Bellows, Gloucester, 1933
TD Whitaker, History of Craven, 3rd ed, Dodgson, Leeds, 1878

Malham, Mallam, Malum, Maulm, Mawm, Malam, Mallum, Moor, Moore, More, Kirkby, Kirby, Mallamdale, Mallumdale, Malhamdale, Malham-Dale, Kirkby-in-Malham-Dale, Kirkby-Malham-Dale, Kirby-in-Malham-Dale, Kirby-Malham-Dale, Hanlith, Hanlyth, Scosthrop, Scosthorpe, Skosthrop, Airton, Ayrton, Airtown, Calton, Carlton, Craven, Yorkshire, Otterburn, Otter Burn, Bellbusk, Bell Busk, Conistone, Family, Genealogy, Geneology, Buildings, People, Maps, Census, Scawthorpe, Scothorpe, Return to Previous Page
Cold, Coniston Cold, Bordley, Bordly, Boardly, Boardley, Winterburn, Winter Burn, History, Local, ancestors, ancestry, Scorthorp, Wills, Tax, Eshton, Asheton


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