Towns and Villages

  • Created by: mrevv
  • Created on: 19-02-20 15:46


  • The conquest disrupted trade and towns, destroying parts of towns such as half of York.
  • Fighting destroyed Lincoln, Exteter and Durham, with castles pulling own homes. 166 in Lincoln. Taxes increased, shown by the Doomsday book. Intermarriage created stability. 
  • London was well knwn for trade thanks to the Thames, William produced writs protecting London's traditional rights. It had to recover to its original prosperity.
  • Castles initially disrupted trade but they brought stability in garrisons. 21 towns with castles.
  • New castles and churches encouraged merchants and artisans to produce goods.
  • They traded grain, hides, tin (mines in Cornwall), fish, beer and wool.
  • Trade also came from Outremer and Europe, each city had trade quarters in London.
  • Frenchmen had exemptions- 'French Street' in Southhampton had 96 French traders.
  • Jewish community appeared, trading foregin and English coins. 
1 of 4


  • Peasants had brutality, plunder and murder. Many refugees were displaced.
  • 1/3 of Yorkshire was waste, its value dropped by 60% in Doomsday.
  • Normans wanted higher rents and increased work obligations.
  • The ASC describes English laments over rents. Normans took land for their demense.
  • Many landowners became tenants and had to pay rent on thier own land.
  • There were less land owning peasants and more landless labourers.
  • However, they did not change agricultural systems or introduce any innovations.
  • Nucleated villages had a manor house, church and three large common fields.
  • These were invented to have more power over the workforce.
  • The ASC describes fires, bad harvests. famines, diseases, and stomrs from 1066-1100.
2 of 4

Forest law

  • Source of opression/pleasure for the Normans. Also used for food.
  • William loved hunting, took Wiltshire, Dorset, Somerset and Essex as royal forest.
  • Sherwood forest in Nottingham, New Forest in Hampshire. 
  • 2000 were displaced and 20 villages destroyed for the forests.
  • Restrictions were placed under wood gathering, farming and scavanging. 
  • Civil law was based around land- the Forest laws had separate rules since everything belonged to the royal reserve, animals and nature, timber, and food.
  • William Rufus faced a rebellion from his uncle  in 1088- he used forest law to gain support against his uncle. 
3 of 4


  • 10% of Edward's population were slaves, for manual, agricultural and domestic work.
  • They were born into slavery, captured or raided and distributed round the country.
  • Got rid of slavery, you get more money from tenants' rent and taxes.
  • The church disliked slavery for morality, stopping abuse and stopping illegitimate children.
  • Lanfranc, archbishop of Canterbury from 1070, stopped slavery.
  • Church reform was part of William's promises to the Pope, slavery was a sin. 
  • Slaves in Essex fell 25 percent between 1066 and 1086 (Doomsday).
  • Lanfranc persuaded William to free men in Wales in 1081 and made freeing slaves a law. 
4 of 4


No comments have yet been made

Similar History resources:

See all History resources »See all The Normans resources »