By Charles Cooper
During this fantastically crafted heritage, Charles Cooper explores the advance of the marketplace city Kingston-near-Lewes, from the time of the Norman conquest to the top of the 19th century, analyzing how its medieval prior formed the borders and limits of its current.
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Additional info for A Village in Sussex: The History of Kingston-Near-Lewes
If they had been scattered at random about the laine it would have been a different story. There is clear evidence of assarting – opening up of wastes or pastures to tillage – probably in the late Elizabethan period, when a good deal of assarting took place all over England, under the pressure of a growth in population. There are other circumstances that support the idea that there was assarting in this particular corner of the Kingston fields. The first is the geography of this part of Kingston.
Its demesnes were in lands along the northeast boundary of the Kingston fields in Mill Laine. In addition to these five yards, there was a 60 freehold tenement in Kingston held by Houndean. Iford and Houndean differ from the classical type of manor in that their Kingston lands were essentially ‘outliers’ – they lay apart from the main manorial holdings, in particular the demesnes. Kingston Manor and the ‘Manor or reputed manor of Hyde’ differed too – but in other ways. They were the only manors that had demesne lands in the village fields.
There are two prevalent generalizations about the medieval manors historians nowadays regard with scepticism; the manorial system in Kingston confirms their doubts in its own small way. The first generalization is that manors conformed more or less to a type – consisting of demesne lands, copyhold and freehold and embracing the standard social structure of lord, freemen, villeins and cottagers in its entirety. In fact, this ‘ideal type’ of manor turns out to be rather rare. ’ The other generalization – which is to some extent tied up with the ‘ideal type’ – is summarized in the phrase: ‘one manor, one vill’.
A Village in Sussex: The History of Kingston-Near-Lewes by Charles Cooper