1066 – 1154 – The Domesday Book survey and the Norman period

Introduction

In 1066 William, duke of Normandy, invaded England, defeated the Anglo-Saxons and King Harold at the Battle of Hastings and seized the kingdom for himself. William vanquished the Anglo-Saxons, and confiscated their estates, introducing a new tenurial system under which he owned all the land. He kept some of it for himself, gave some to the Church and granted the rest to the barons that had fought with him, on condition that they swore an oath of loyalty to him and supplied him with men for his armies.

The barons, in turn, granted part of the land to a select group of knights, who likewise pledged their loyalty. The knights then granted little strips of ground to large numbers of peasants, who worked their lord’s fields and gave him a share of their produce.

The tenurial system the king adopted had two consequences: it created a new ruling class, and tethered power to the possession of real estate because many of the invaders owed their social standing to the lands they held, rather than their lineage.

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Timeline

1066

The battle of Hastings, King Harold was defeated, and William I became King of England.

Roger de Montgomery, Earl of Shrewsbury, was one of William the Conquerors principal councillors. He held substantial land in Normandy France. He commanded the Norman right flank at the battle of Hastings and was rewarded with significant landholding in England, including Sussex.

1067

Roger de Montgomery was awarded the Rape of Arundel which was one of the most critical defence lines of England. Not long after he had obtained the earldom of Sussex, he gave certain lands and advowsons to the abbey of Séez, with a vacant site in Arundel to erect a priory.

According to John Charles Buckwell, The Manor of Drungewick was part of the Norman Abbey of Seez of Arundel. Drungewick is one mile from Loxwood and part of the land held by Roger de Montgomery.

1075

William the Conqueror created the See of Chichester at the Council of London and ordered a Cathedral to be built in Chichester and this was overseen by Bishop Sigand at Selsey, who was the first Norman Bishop. Bishop Stigand then moved his bishopric (Diocese) to Chichester.

1086

The Doomsday Book records the nearest places to Loxwood as: Pulborough, Hambledon, Loseley, Petworth, Stopham all held by Roger de Montgomery, Bramley (which may have included Alfold) held by Bishop Odo of Bayeux, Shalford was held by Richard son of Gilbert, Guildford and Godalming were held by King William. The area between Petworth, Pulborough and Godalming, including Loxwood, Wisborough Green, Kirdford and Plaistow was either uncharted or the records were included in the nearby towns.

1087

William I died in France and was buried at St Stephen’s church in Caen, France.

William II became King of England.

1088

Bishop Stigand died.

1091

Bishop Luffa took over the Chichester Cathedral construction project.

1100

Wisborough Green Church was constructed and dedicated to St Peter possibly as early as 1070.

Alfold Church of St Nicholas was constructed Nave 36 ft by 21 ft.

Kirdford Church St john Baptist was constructed.

Billingshurst Church of St Mary was constructed.

1100

William II died On 2 August 1100 when he was shot by an arrow while out hunting. Henry I became King of England, he was the younger brother of William II, and was also part of the hunting party!

Rudgwick Church of the Holy Trinity was constructed around this year (the church was rebuilt circa 1250 leaving the original tower).

1102

A Priory was erected in Arundel when Gratian, a monk of Séez, became first prior. The priory continued at Arundel for some 70 years.

1108

Chichester Cathedral was completed by Bishop Luffa and consecrated in this year.

1114

Chichester Cathedral was rebuilt after a serious fire destroyed the roof.

1135

When Henry I died in December 1135, there was a succession crisis which led to civil war.

Stephen became King of England usurping the English throne from Matilda.

1154

King Stephen died in October

Henry ascended the throne as Henry II.

Previous Monarch

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