Bere Regis Entries in The Domesday Book

In 1086 King William ordered a new, more detailed survey of his newly acquired Kingdom in order to asses its wealth and its tax potential. Officials of all Manors were required to furnish not only details of the amounts of ploughland, meadow, pasture and woodland, but the numbers of personnel employed in the form of Villeins, Cottars, Bodars and Serfs together with the numbers of Livestock. They had also to state the previous owner in the time of King Edward (1042-1066), before the Conquest and the present Tenant in Chief (Demesne land) and the sub-tenants (Mesne tenants).

The king died before it was completed. 900 years later (1986 was the 900th anniversary of the publication of the book) 90% of the towns & villages still remain.

The original book was hand-written by, probably, a single monk. It still exists and is kept at the UK's Public Record Office in Kew, near London. It is kept secure in a metal chest, to be carefully removed every few centuries or so when they need re-binding.

The questionnaire sent out for the Domesday survey asked:

The name of the place
Who held it before 1066
Who holds it now (1085)
How many hides (1 hide of 20 acres could support 1 family)
How many ploughs
How many Lordships
How many men
How much woodland
How much meadow
How much pasture
How many villages
How many cottagers
How many slaves
How many free men
How many Freeman
How many mills
How many fish ponds
What the total value was
What the total value is
How much each free man or Freeman had or has

The Village is mentioned several times in the Domesday Book in 1086. You can find an electronic scan of the actual pages where it is mentioned by clicking the 3 Images below. Beneath each image is a link to a translation of each page. Further down the Page you can find Notes on the Domesday Entries for different parts of the Parish.

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Unlike the Geld Rolls which were listed by Hundreds, the Domesday Survey was listed under the headings of those who held the land as tenants in chief, so that the two surveys require to be studied together if it is desired to extract the items relating to one particular Hundred.

Most of the place names in the Domesday Survey can be readily located even when they have undergone considerable changes, but in the case of all the various Winterbourne villages along the two Dorset streams of the same name, they are almost all called simply Wintreburne. It is therefore not possible to identify many of them with certainty and Winterborne Kingston, known to have been in Bere Hundred, is not on this account referred to in the following notes on the Domesday entries. Places which were in the Hundred but which do not now come within the present parish are dealt with more briefly.

A. The Royal Manor. Held by the King, it hidage is not known as it was not referred to as an individual manor.

B. Scetra or Scetre (Shitterton). This seems to have been temporarily a royal manor at the time of Domesday. Ulviet had held it before the conquest and Hugh Fitz Grip had held it subsequently. It contained 5 hides of which the King held 3 1/2 in demesne and the villeins held 1/2 hide. There was arable land for 4 ploughs of which the King held 1 and the villeins 1. There were 4 acres of meadow, pasture 2 furlongs x2 furlongs, woodland 3 furlongs x3 furlongs, 6 villeins, 3 bordars, 5 serfs, 20 pigs and 120 sheep. It was worth 100s. (£5) a year, but it had been worth £6 a year when Hugh Fitz Grip first received it.

C. The Churches of Dorchestre (Dorchester) and Bere. For some reason these two church lands were dealt with together. Bristuard the priest held them and their tithes, containing in all 1 hide and 20 acres and worth £4 a year.

D. Bere (Doddingsbere, now Doddings Farm). Containing 1/2 hide and held by the wife of Hugh Fitz Grip as chief tenant. William (De Monasteriis) was sub-tenant and Leomer had held it before the conquest. There was a mill rendering 20s. (£1) a year, arable land for 1/2 plough, 6 acres of meadow, 6 acres of pasture, 1 bordar, 10 beasts, 45 sheep, 28 pigs and 1 pack-horse. The manor was worth 30s. (£1.50) a year.

It is stated, as a separate entry, presumably still relating to Doddings, that William held 1 1/2 virgates from the wife of Hugh Fitz Grip, worth 20s. (£1) a year.

E. Affapidele (Affpuddle). Containing 9 hides and held by the Abbot of Cerne both before and after the conquest.

F. Pidele (Turnerspuddle or Tonerspuddle). Containing 6 hides and held by the wife of Hugh Fitz Grip as chief tenant. Walter Tonitruus (origin of Tonerspuddle?) was sub-tenant and Gerling had held it before the conquest.

G. Pidele (Briantspuddle). Containing 5 hides and held by Godric the priest., Azor had held it before the conquest.

H. Meleburne or Meleborne (Milborne Stileham). Part 1:- Containing 2 hides and held by Odo Fitz Eurebold. Dodo had held it before the conquest. Part 2 :- Held by Swain as chief tenant. Osmund was sub-tenant and Swain's father had held it before the conquest.

I. Bovintone (Bovington). Containing 4 hides and held by Alvric who had also held it before the conquest.

J. Beastewelle (Bestwall Farm in Wareham Lady St. Mary Parish). Containing 3 hides and held in demesne by the Count of Mortain. Edmar had held it before the conquest.

K. Aelfatune or Hafeltone (Hethfelton in East Stoke Parish). Part 1 :- Containing 3 virgates (3/4 hide) and held in demesne by the Abbot of Cerne both before and after the conquest. Part 2 :- Containing 2 hides and held by William of Briouze as chief tenant. Robert was sub-tenant and Aedelflete had held it before the conquest. Part 3 :- Containing 1 1/2 hides and held in demesne by Alulf the Chamberlain. Azor had held it before the conquest.

L. Ristone (Rushton in East Stoke Parish). Part 1 :- Containing 1 1/2 hides and held by William of Briouze as chief tenant. Walter was sun-tenant and Burde had held it before the conquest. As a matter of interest it rendered each year 30s. (£1.50) and 4 sesters of honey. Part 2 :- Containing 3 virgates (3/4 hide) and held by Odo Fitz Eurebold. Part 3 :- Containing 1/2 hide and held by the wife of Hugh Fitz Grip as chief tenant. Two Knights, one of them named Turold, were sub-tenant and 3 thanes had held it before the conquest. Part 4 :- Containing 1 virgate (1/4 hide) and held by Ailward. Part 5 :- Containing 1 hide (less 1/2 virgate) and held by Edric. Sawin had held it before the conquest.

M. Vergroh, Weregrote or Wiregrote (Worgret in Arne Parish). Part 1 :- Containing 1 hide and held in demesne by the Abbot of Cerne. Part 2 :- Containing 1 3/4 hides and held by William of Briouze as chief tenant. Walter was sub-tenant and Brictuin had held it before the conquest. Part 3 :- Containing 1 virgate (1/4 hide) and held by Hugh Gosbert. Almar had held it before the conquest.

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