Hulcote in 1086
Domesday Book was commissioned by William the Conqueror (1066-1087) at Christmas 1085. It was designed to show who held every piece of land in the newly conquered Kingdom of England. It was known colloquially as the Domesday Book because it was seen as being as final as the Last Judgement and as difficult to conceal things from. The book does not cover the whole country - Cumberland, Durham, Northumberland, and Westmorland were omitted and London and Winchester likewise, along with some other towns. A separate book, called Little Domesday covered the counties of Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk and, despite its name, it is actually bigger and more detailed than the Great Domesday Book containing the other counties.
Hulcote was owned by William Speke in 1086, his tenant was Ralph Passwater. The manor comprised 4 hides and had five villagers, eight smallholders and a slave as well as a mill worth five shillings and fourpence and woodland for fifty pigs. In 1066 Hulcote had been held by Alfward Bellrope, "Alric's man" and he could sell to whom he wished. The manor was then worth 40 shillings. This value had halved by the time Speke obtained the manor, perhaps as a result of depredations by William's Norman armies on their way north to quash rebellion. Assiduous husbandry had increased the value over its original level, to sixty shillings by 1086, however. A note in the Book says: "This land is in exchange for Toddington which he [Speke] gave in exchange"].