Higham Gobion 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.
Higham Gobion was held by Hugh de Beauchamp in 1086, he would later become Baron of Bedford. Higham was held from Hugh by a man named William de Loucelles who also held land in Streatley. Loucelles is in the Calvados area of Lower Normandy.
The manor comprised 8 hides containing 14 villagers, 2 smallholders and 5 slaves. There was woodland for 100 pigs. 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 84, a higher figure than today .
In 1066 five freemen held the manor but had been deprived by the triumphant Norman conquerors. Under their ownership it had been worth £12. The value had sunk to £8 when the Normans took the property and remained at this level in 1086. The drop in value may have been as a result of ravages by the Norman armies moving north and east to quell Anglo-Saxon rebellions.