The Middle Ages 1066-1540
In this Section
- Domesday Book
- The Manors of Hook Norton
- The Secular Lords of the Manor
- The Ecclesiastical Manor:
Little evidence survives of daily village life in the five centuries after the Norman Conquest. The residents of Hook Norton first gain flesh in the Domesday Book of 1086, but after that most of what we know concerns the affairs of great men and institutions that influenced the parish, usually from a distance.Medieval Hook Norton was ruled through two manors, divided between Church and State. On the one hand, the King granted his manor to important favoured noblemen, from the Barons Hooknorton to the great Lancastrian, Yorkist and Tudor Lords, only a few of whom (as far as we know) bothered to come here. On the other hand, an equally great manorial property was controlled by Oseney Abbey in Oxford right up to the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the late 1530s.
The needs of the manors dictated much of the pattern of daily life, though communal traditions also influenced the basic pattern of growing food and ensuring a livelihood. But the main record of what went on within the village is provided by the parish church – St Peter’s – which stands as a physical record of the essentially religious focus of medieval life.
© Donald Ratcliffe