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Little Staughton in 1086

Jeanette Atkinson and Brenda Foster have been working on adding Community Archive pages for Little Staughton.


The Great Domesday Book was commissioned by William the Conqueror (king of England 1066 to 1087) at Christmas 1085. It was designed to show who held every piece of land in the newly conquered Kingdom of England.  The information was colloquially known as the Domesday Book because it was seen as being as final as The Last Judgment and as difficult to conceal things from. The book does not cover the whole country; Cumberland, Durham, Northumberland and Westmorland were omitted. London and Winchester plus some other major towns were not surveyed. A separate book, called the Little Domesday Book, covered the counties of Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk, Despite its name, the Little Domesday Book is actually bigger and more detailed than the Great Domesday Book.

The information gathered for William the Conqueror was extensive, written in Latin and sorted so that it was classified into:

Little Staughton in North Bedfordshire is only mentioned in the Domesday Book, as ‘Staughton’, under the villages named in the Stodden Hundred; the record shows that no taxes were received for Staughton, there was no manor and there were no heads of household.  However, the Stodden Hundred as a total was valuable and assessed at ninety-nine and two thirds hides valued at £146 15s an increase from the £127 14s 4d recorded during the reign of King Edward the Confessor. There is much evidence from the Historical Environment Record (HER) of settlement in the Little Staughton area in the medieval period (1066 to 1539) but this is possibly after 1086 when the Domesday Survey took place.

An ancient parish, such as Little Staughton, may have had areas in more than one Anglo-Saxon Hundred. The Domesday translation for Bedfordshire by Phillimore indicates that a part of Little Staughton may have fallen into the Leightonstone Hundred in Huntingdonshire as Staughton is mentioned under Estone, now Easton. Although Great Staughton lies close to Little Staughton, it was a significant place at the time of the Domesday Survey and is recorded as Tochestone in the Toseland Hundred.