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Nutbourne in the Domesday Book

The earliest records of Nutbourne appear in the early Saxon period as knutu burna, or 'nut trees over a stream'.

In 1066 William the Conqueror invaded England and was soon crowned our first Norman King. In the years that followed many properties across the Country changed hands as William favoured his supporters. Just under twenty years after he first set foot on our shores, the new King ordered one of the largest projects ever seen, a survey of his subjects and lands, that it known to us today as 'The Domesday Book'. Worked started in 1085 AD, as the King's Commissioners visited every County, recording the details in administrative zones known as 'Hundreds'. Much of what they gathered survives to this day and gives a unique insight into life in England almost a thousand years ago.

The place names that we use today appear in the Domesday Book often spelt differently. Nutbourne appears in the volume for Sussex ('Sudsexe') as part of 'Easewrithe' Hundred, alongside 'Storchestone' (Storrington), 'Codeha' (Coolham), 'Perham' (Parham) and 'Poleberge' (Pulborough). The entry highlights the fact that Nutbourne has retained much of its character ever since the survey was made.

The original entry for Nutbourne ('Nordborne') and Nyetimber ('Nitinbreha') from the Domesday BookFrom the original Domesday Book. Click the picture to reveal the full page of the entry in a new browser window.

The original Latin reads:

NORDBORNE tenet idem Robertus de comite. Warinus de eo. Duo liberi homines teneurant T.R.E. Tunc et modo se defendebat pro vi hidis. Terra est vi carucarum. In domino est una et xx villani et iiii cotarii cum vii carucis et ii molini de xxv solidas. Ibi vii acrae prati silva de xii porcis. T.R.E. et modo valet vii libras. Quando receptum vi libras.

Rogeri ten de com NITINBREHA 7 Aluaard de co. Leuuin tenuit T.R.E. 7 q uoluit ire potuit. Tc 7 m fe defd p IIII hid Tra e v car 7 XVI uitti 7 III cot cu IIII car 7 III ac pti 7 filua de X porc T.R.E. 7 poft 7 m ual III lib.

Translated into English these two paragraphs read:

Robert holds NUTBOURNE from the Earl, and Warin from him. 2 free men held it before 1066. Then and now it answered for 6 hides. Land for 6 ploughs. In lordship 1; 20 villagers and 4 cottagers with 7 ploughs. 2 mills at 25s; meadow, 7 acres; woodland at 12 pigs. Value before 1066 and now £7, when acquired £6.

Roger holds NYETIMBER from the Earl, and Alfward from him. Leofwin held it before 1066; he could go where he would. Then and now it answered for 4 hides. Land for 5 ploughs, 16 villagers and 3 cottagers with 4 ploughts. Meadow, 3 acres; woodland at 10 pigs. Value before 1066, later and now £3.

Domesday Book Facsimile from History from the Sources Domesday Book: Sussex. General Editor: John Morris. Published by Phillimore & Co. Ltd, Shopwyke Hall, Chichester, 1976. ISBN 0 85033 145 5 (casebound version) and ISBN 0 85033 146 3 (softcover) version.

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