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Knotting 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.

In 1086 Knotting was held by Michael, Bishop of Coutances and comprised five hides. In 1066 a native Anglo-Saxon named Burgred held the manor when it was worth £3. The bishop had built the value up to £4 by 1086. The manor included woodland for 400 pigs as well as 8 villages, 5 smallholders and 4 slaves – 17 people. This number represents the heads of household. To get an idea of the total population it is probably necessary to multiply this figure by a factor of at least four suggesting a total population to somewhere around 68, a good-sized settlement for the time.