Archive of Transactions

Anglo-Saxon Harrow and Hayes

Patricia A Clarke

There are several Anglo-Saxon charters, ranging in date from AD 757 to 1007, which relate to the ancient manors of Harrow and Hayes. In this paper the meaning of each document is discussed separately, and then they are re-examined as a group in their local context. Originally owned by the kings of Mercia, all the lands under discussion passed to the archibishop of Canterbury in the 9th century, and remained in the possession of the see – though intermittently – until the time of Domesday (1086) and beyond. Detailed study of the charters reveals evidence of the estates in which the manors had their genesis, suggests a closer identification of some of the boundaries, and shows that some of the characteristics of a medieval manor were already apparent in pre-Conquest Harrow.

The documents use several terms – hides, cassatae, manentes and tributariae – to describe area, and since they concern a restricted locality during a limited period of time, they are treated as equivalent to each other, at about 120 acres each.

[Transactions 40 (1989), pp 177 – 87; published abstract, modified and augmented]

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